Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Mother's Day Breakfast

Mother's Day - the day which we recognize the woman who gave birth to us, and the person we all adore and wish to shower with gifts and appreciation.  Although really, we should be doing this on the other 364 days of the year, but on this particular Sunday in May, flowers, cards and presentations of our love for all that our moms do.

Per tradition in the Yu household, my sister and I make breakfast for Mother's Day, and this year was no different.  We decided to be a little more adventurous this time around, and aimed for something we had never made before - Eggs Florentine.

I recently discovered poached eggs and they are amazing!  The only problem is, I have not quite perfected the art of making them, and while browsing other food blogs, found a supposedly "fool-proof" way to poach eggs in the microwave.  Of course, different microwaves have different strengths, and it depends on how much water you put in the bowl, and so on and so forth, but we decided we'd have a go at it.  The basic premise is that you fill a bowl with water, and then crack your egg directly into the water.  The initial time in the microwave is about a minute and a half, then check the solidity of the egg white.  Continue to cook in the microwave in 10-15 second bursts, until the yolk is at the desired consistency.  While this does produce a rather excellent looking poached egg, it does tend to over cook the egg white, but nevertheless, a delicious addition to any breakfast entree.

You can't have an eggs Florentine without Hollandaise sauce.  Hollandaise sauce is not really that difficult to make, and while I've never really made it either, I was pleased by how it turned out.  The basic ingredients include egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice.  The key to making this sauce is CONSTANT STIRRING!  This helps to distribute the heat evenly, and prevents the egg yolks from coagulating and causing a lumpy sauce.  Normally this would be made in a double boiler, but seeing as we didn't have one, we had to do it in a normal pot, thus the greater emphasis on constant stirring. 

Hollandaise does not just go with eggs Benedict or eggs Florentine.  It can also be a great accompaniment to a fish or chicken dish, or even a plate of greens.  To make this sauce, here is the ingredient list:

3 egg yolks
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup) - melted
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

Mix together the egg yolks and lemon juice and put on the stove on low to medium heat.  Continue stirring and heating until the yolks begin to thicken.  Slowly add in the butter (you may not use all of it), and keep stirring until desired consistency.

So there you have it: An easy sauce for a relatively easy breakfast!  As for the other components of our breakfast, we wilted some baby spinach, fried some pieces of Canadian bacon, and toasted English muffins. 
The final step: assembly.  The English muffin, placed on the plate, and the Canadian bacon and spinach placed on the bottom half.  Carefully place the poached egg on top, and drizzle with the desired amount of Hollandaise sauce.  The top half of the English muffin can either be placed on top, or left on the side like an open-faced sandwich.

I can take no credit for the beautiful plating - that would be all my sister.  And I have to say, she did a wonderful job!

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