For more years than I care to remember and despite my best efforts, there remained two basic dishes that continually defeated me.
The humble scone and poached eggs. I would not have cared so much if it weren’t my favourite way to enjoy the little buggers.
I tried to replicate every tutorial I could find on the subject to no avail. I swirled malt vinegar of just the right quantity into rapidly boiling water; I omitted vinegar and replaced with salt; I omitted salt as well as vinegar and attempted the stirring of water in a clockwise direction using a wooden spoon; using a metal spoon; lowering the eggs as close to the surface as possible before releasing from the delicate shell; cracking the egg first onto a saucer before sliding the gloop carefully from the dish to the waiting abyss of water. Not one of these methods rewarded me with perfect poached eggs. I would try, and try again, but always felt frustrated and defeated, until the urge to try once more overtook me and I’d start over.
And then, at the tender age of 39.5 years old, I cracked it. (ha) I felt sure that it was a fluke for the first three times. And then, of course, I messed up. I tried again – success. And again – success. And once more – perfect.
I can not describe to you how satisfied I was to have mastered this basic skill. And so proud was I, and so feeling as though I couldn’t possibly be the only one who was struggling to reach this point, decided to share my fool-proof method here.
Good quality eggs are essential and free-range a given.
You will also need a slotted spoon, paper towels and a plate to drain them on.
Using my fail-safe method, you can now create my delicious rendition of Eggs Benedict for your Christmas Breakfast.
I have used the beautiful Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs for this dish. Laid by hens who live a happy life in the north, just out of Whangarei and south, just outside Rotorua, Otaika Valley chickens are free to roam and enjoy a natural habitat, exploring their usual daily activities such as scratching, perching, dust bathing and foraging. At night they rest in spacious safe barns. They are fed with wholesome natural grains so produce an equally wholesome and healthy egg. One taste and you’ll notice the difference. And you’ll notice the difference just by the colour! Check out how yellow that Hollandaise Sauce is!
- English Muffins
- Baby Rocket
- Hot Smoked Salmon
- Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs, poached
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- 100 g butter, melted
- 2 x Otaika Valley Free Range Egg Yolks
- 1 t Dijon Mustard
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ice cube
- In a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, add the egg yolks and dijon mustard and whisk to combine. Add the lemon juice and a spoonful of the melted butter at a time, whisking well to bring together.
- Continue adding the butter slowly until it has been amalgamated into the sauce.
- If at any point your sauce splits, add the ice cube to the bowl and continue to mix until it comes back to gether.
- While your eggs are poaching, toast the English Muffins and lay out on serving plates.
- Place a small handful of rocket leaves on each muffin and top with your desired amount of hot smoked salmon.
- After your eggs have had a minute to drain on the paper towels, carefully place on top of the salmon and pour over the Hollandaise sauce.
- Season and serve with lightly blanched asparagus.
- Bon Appetit
- Of course you can play around with this composition - using bacon instead of salmon, spinach instead of rocket.
Just in time for the festive season, from December 5th up until Christmas, you can find Otaika Valley’s newly released limited edition festive packaging on family value 18 packs of free-range eggs in Farro, Nosh, Countdown, Pak n Save and New World stores. The cute Christmas design includes a beautiful silver foiled label and you all know I’m a sucker for the shiny things!
How does this look for your Christmas Day breakfast?
* this post is made possible thanks to Otaika Valley Eggs