Saturday, 3 September 2011

Come on in, I'll stick the kettle on....

This is my day spa.... arrrgh those damn downlighters!!
Growing herbs is easy peasy, anyone can do it!
So I've decided, seeing that this is a food driven blog, I'm going to have to show you around the hub of my food world, where the magic happens so they say. Modesty, may I add, is not one of my stronger points. My kitchen is very important to me. I regret every day I didn't make my kitchen an open plan kitchen/living room. Some people like to close their doors to the kitchen mess and aromas. I love the buzz and activity of the kitchen. The heart of the home and all that. Home economics has had to prevail in my kitchen. I did a clear out of my cupboard a few weeks ago and much to my horror, I discovered strange ingredients with a best before date ranging from 2006-2008. Figures- that was the boom, when I bought stuff 'in case' I needed it. Now, it's about buying as I need, sourcing nice fresh ingredients. I just got fed up of throwing out hairy vegetables.

I've also included a pic of my beloved herb garden. There's such a wonderful satisfaction from growing herbs. I love them and use them all the time. I don't think there's one herb I don't have. Well yes, there is one. And if I had it I'd have huge ESB bills and I'd probably never get stressed. But who needs illegal herbs when you've got eggs? When I'm happy, sad, hungover, in a rush or just simply hungry, I opt for the humble egg. I love it poached. Forget about your egg poachers, cling film or vinegar. You need a snug shallow pan, water and of course, the obliging, extremely fresh, and of course free range EGG.

Use fresh & Free range, no excuses.
Here's my twist on
Eggs Benedict 

I've made it our Christmas day traditional breakfast, but welcomed any time of year when I'm not counting points.

Serves 4, or 2 hungry people
6 large free range eggs
4oz Butter
half teaspoon Dijon
squeeze of a lemon
8 slices of streaky bacon
2 English Muffins

Grill the bacon to your liking. Keep warm.

For the Hollandaise:
I think Hollandaise is not as tricky to make as people think. I don't bother with fiddly double boilers or the like. I think a good heavy saucepan and to know your cooker does the trick. I use the smallest ring on the lowest possible flame.

This is my bockedy but trusty pan, note the itsy bitsy flame,
 key to success for perfect poachers and silky Hollandaise.
Put two egg yolks into a heavy saucepan, add a squeeze of lemon and add the butter bit by bit, whisking all the time until the sauce thickens. The idea is not to have a hot sauce, as too high a temperature and it will inevitably split, which is horrifying as there's no going back. If that happens, I'd reserve it and put them through mashed potatoes. No point in wasting perfectly good ingredients.

Poaching the perfect egg. 
There's a few necessities here: First and foremost use the freshest possible eggs. The next is your pan. I don't use a saucepan, I use a shallow pan. It was a cheapy yoke, bockedy and quite frankly embarrassing, but, it's the perfect size and it fits the eggs snugly and it's just the right depth. Forget about vinegar, you wouldn't shake vinegar on your eggs so why bother put them in the water I say. Fill the pan with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs into the water, keeping them as close to the water as possible. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the white has become translucent.

Grill the muffins and butter them, top with the bacon, egg and top with the Hollandaise and snipped chives and cracked fresh pepper. It's a treat and a half.
Would you look at that.....Eggs Benedict. Because it's worth it. 

1 comment:

  1. One of my fave foods - apart from chocolate that is! Eggs benedict - yummylicious! Your pics are amazing!