Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Eggs Benedict, with Chive Beurre Blanc

Ingredient Shopping List:
1 pound fresh asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
White or black pepper
Dry white wine
1 shallot
1 quart heavy cream or half and half
1 handful fresh chives
1 loaf French bread
3 sticks butter
8 large eggs
Country ham

1 pound fresh asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread asparagus on baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil. Toss gently to cover well and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Chive Beurre Blanc Sauce:
Makes 1 cup
½ cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely snipped chives, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white or black pepper
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

On medium high heat, boil wine and shallots until reduced by half. This will take from 5 to 8 minutes. Whisk in cream and chives and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add a few pats at a time. Continue to whisk, and add more butter as the pats melt. You want the consistency of hollandaise or thin gravy.

You can strain sauce, which is traditional to remove shallots and chives, but I prefer them, so I don‘t. Keep sauce warm until ready to use.

Note: Remaining chives will be used to garnish dish.
French Toast:4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
4 slices French bread, 1 inch thick
Butter for frying

Directions:Whisk eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Dip French bread in the bowl of egg mixture and soak on each side until bread is slightly spongy, but not soggy. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt a teaspoon or two of butter at a time and add soaked bread. Cook each side until golden brown and done in the middle. Reduce the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Add one slice to each place and assemble.

Ham:4 slices of country ham

Directions:In the same skillet, add a teaspoon butter and fry 4 medium thick slices of country ham in a skillet, until browned. Set aside.

Poached Eggs:4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions:Poach 4 eggs in an egg poacher or-- in a skillet, bring about 2 inches of water and vinegar to a simmer. Crack eggs, and place one at a time in a small dish. Gently slide eggs, one at a time into water, trying not to plop into water.

Using a spoon, push and spoon water over the top of eggs or whites only (for sunny side up), to set (about 3 minutes). When eggs are done to your liking, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside until ready to assemble.

Assembly:Top each slice of French toast with ham, asparagus and poached egg. Drizzle with beurre blanc sauce and garnish with chives.


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