Cooking with Mark

HOW TO POACH AN EGG

Whether it’s eggs Benedict, Florentine or Bearnaise, it’s easier to make than you think

Eggs Benedict, eggs Florentine or eggs Béarnaise I don’t mind. For me, it’s the best way to start the weekend or in fact any day of the week. My Instagram feed is full of snaps of my various ‘eggs benny’ experiences. I’ve eaten around the globe, stayed in top hotels, in my experience if the egg benny is on point then I’m in a decent hotel. It’s true you won’t find it listed in the low-cal section of any menu you but its OK right? So where did this delicious breakfast dish originate from?
To get answers I scoured the internet; the results were inconclusive, there are many contradicting ‘claims’. The first is that of a gentleman named Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stockbroker who wandered into the New York Waldorf Hotel in 1894, feeling a little worse for wear he ordered ‘off menu’, toast, poached eggs, crispy meat strips, and a side of hollandaise sauce.

I’VE TRIED CARROT FRITTER, TOASTED BUNS TO CRUMPETS ALL OF WHICH WERE EQUALLY DELICIOUS. FOR YEARS I WONDERED HOW THE SILKY SAUCE IS MADE

The head waiter was so impressed with the combination he later placed it permanently on the menu. Another claim was made by Edward P. Montgomery, he reportedly sent a letter to the New York Times, including a ‘breakfast recipe’ that had allegedly been sent to him from his uncle, Commodore Benedict, although the hollandaise sauce recipe differs, the preparation is much the same today. The American dish is pretty much a staple of any breakfast menu, globally. Food outlets across the region have gone to all out on its presentation, hoping for that insta worthy shot. Some restaurants have moved away from a traditional muffin base.
I’ve tried carrot fritter, toasted buns to crumpets all of which were equally delicious. For years I wondered how the silky sauce is made, and how? So again I searched the net, I watched endless videos tutorials then voila, and I found the perfect method. It’s a science, a test of your patience and skills. I didn’t get it first or second time, but as my confidence grew I got it. I’m now a fully signed-up member of the ‘yes, I can make hollandaise sauce’ gang. I now make the most amazing poached eggs with silkiest hollandaise sauce. You know I love to share, so here’s are a couple of my easy-to-make delicious breakfasts. Good luck, and I wish you and egg-xcellent weekend! Step one.

Recipes, food styling and photography by Mark Setchfield

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