Eggs Benedict

Today, we were cooking breakfast meals and experimenting with different ways to cook eggs. On the list were fried eggs, scrambled eggs and poached eggs. Our group chose to work on poached eggs because it was the only kind that we weren’t completely familiar with. One of Anna’s favorite meals that incorporated poached eggs is Eggs Benedict, for which we found a recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com. The meal is well known, but many of our class hadn’t had it before, so it was a good new experience. the Hollandaise sauce can sometimes be an acquired taste and some people do not like it.

Amory, mixing together the components for Hollandaise Sauce.

Since we had to premeditate our list of ingredients, we had completely ignored the fact that we needed English muffins. Amory had to run down to the school kitchen to grab an emergency  package. Otherwise, the preparation went well. Although we were a little hesitant about poaching the eggs (we hadn’t considered in our grocery list that we might mess up the first few times and we may need extra eggs), but we triumphantly poached all six eggs without any major mistakes. Success!

English muffins with some of the poached eggs before they are coated with Hollandaise sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Amory stirring the Hollandaise sauce on the stovetop.

Hollandaise Sauce

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 T lemon juice
  • A pinch ground pepper
  • 1/8 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T water
  • 1 c melted butter
  • 1/4 t salt

    The finished Hollandaise sauce.

Egg Preparation

  • 5 c water
  • 1 t cider vinegar
  • 8 eggs

    Pulling out a successfully poached egg.

English Muffins

  • 4 split English muffins
  • About 2 T  butter, softened

Directions:

  1. Over heat, combine egg yolks and the tablespoon of water. Add the lemon juice, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Constantly whisk until it starts to thicken
  2. Melt the butter in a small bowl and slowly pour the butter into the mixture. Stir the mixture  until the butter and the lemon and egg sauce is well-integrated. Put aside on very low heat to keep warm while preparing the English muffins and eggs.
  3. To poach the eggs, put the 5 cups of water into a medium pot. Add the cider vinegar. The vinegar helps the eggs stay together when putting them into the water. Bring the water to a gentle boil.
  4. While waiting for the water to boil, toast the English muffin halves and butter them. Cover with a paper towel.
  5. Carefully break an egg into a small bowl and then pour the egg gently into the boiling water.
  6. Take a large slotted spoon and check the eggs. When the eggs are done, the yolks will be soft, but the whites will be solid. Carefully scoop up the egg with the slotted spoon and place on the English muffin. Each muffin half gets a poached egg.
  7. After all of the English muffin halves have an egg on top, generously drizzle the Hollandaise sauce on top and serve.

    All done! English muffins with poached eggs, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce.

After making Eggs Benedict, since we had an excess of Hollandaise sauce leftover, we should have altered the recipe. We were only making three serving sizes, rather than the recipe’s intended four. We only made six eggs and six English muffin halves, and, on top of that, after the sauce had settled, we decided that we should have put more on top. Otherwise, the recipe tasted great, and there was nothing wrong.

The only thing we learned was to stick to the recipe proportions that were given if we wanted to use all of the components of the meal.

Bull’s-Eye Eggs (Egg in Toast)

Time Commitment: <15 Minutes

Yield:  1 Bull’s-Eye

1 Egg
1 Slice 12 Grain Bread
2 T Butter

This is how you want to cut the bread before buttering it.

1.    Cut a 2-inch in diameter hole in the slice of bread.
2.    Butter both sides of the disk and ring of bread.
3.    Melt about a teaspoon of butter in an 8-inch frying pan over medium heat and heat the butter until it bubbles.
4.    Place the two pieces of bread next to each other in the frying pan and crack an egg into the ring of bread. If the yolk breaks, scramble the egg lightly. 
5.    Cook both pieces over low heat until the bread disk is well browned, shaking the pan to prevent the egg from sticking. Then flip the disk.
6.    Lift up the bread and egg with a spatula and drop a little less than a teaspoon of butter on the pan and turn the Bull’s-Eye onto the melted butter.
7.    Remove the pan from the heat, let the egg finish cooking (about 20 seconds), and serve.

Cooking the first side

This time the egg broke after I added it, so I scrambled it.

Normally, I cook with nonstick pans, but I didn’t have one today. Despite my efforts to keep the egg from sticking by shaking the pan, the egg stuck repeatedly. I was able to prevent some sticking by adding a little cooking oil to the pan each time I added butter. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a foolproof solution and the egg still stuck to the pan, even with the oil.

The Final Product
This is how the dish is served. Notice how there is egg that leaked onto the pan after it was flipped. This is normal.

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Journey to the Perfect Smoothie

Today, Luke, Thomas, and I worked with basic smoothie ingredients to create a berry-filled smoothie. We started by using frozen mixed berries  blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries),  Greek yogurt and orange juice. The recipe we began with was:

1/2 c orange juice
1/4 c yogurt
1 1/2 c frozen berries

After blending the ingredients thoroughly and a quick taste test, we decided that the mixture was too tart. However, a peer who also tasted the mixture suggested that there was too much yogurt. We changed the recipe so that there was more yogurt but less orange juice so that it would work proportionally. To prevent the orange juice from overpowering the yogurt, more yogurt was added in order to balance the orange juice.  The new recipe we came up with was:

1 c orange juice
3/4 c yogurt
1 1/2 c frozen berries

The mixture we produced this time was thicker, which was a plus, but it still tasted too tart. This is when we got the bright idea to add sugar to balance the orange juice. Our final recipe is listed below.

Mixed Berry Smoothies
Yield: 2 8 oz. smoothies

5/8 c orange juice
3/4 c yogurt
1 1/2 c frozen berries
1 T granulated sugar

After blending the ingredients, another taste test was in order. The sugar balanced the orange juice and brought out the taste of the berries, producing a sweet and tasty smoothie. Sugar turned out to be an essential ingredient in this particular smoothie because the orange juice and berries were not particularly sweet.  For example, one would not need to add sugar to a smoothie using canned fruit, such as pineapple, because the syrup  it sits in is very sweet. Next time we make smoothies, we will be sure to add sugar from the very start.

Cream Scones with Strawberry Jam

Today, we decided to experiment with eggs and breakfast sides. As a group, we wanted to make something unique out of common ingredients. After some thought, we thought of baking scones with a twist. We initially found a scone recipe out of the Joy of Cooking written by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker, 2006. There were a couple of scone recipes that we could have chosen, but when thinking about our budget, we went off a recipe called Cream Scones. This recipe is an alteration of an existing recipe, where you substitute more heavy cream in place of eggs and butter. When thinking about how to serve these scones, there were two possibilities, either serving scones with jam or  cinnamon sugar. After some discussion, we decided that we would use jam on these scones because it seemed to be more fit for the theme of breakfast. And from there, we found some homemade strawberry jam that we could use.

With all this thought towards the preparation of these scones, we finally got to the part where we started to bake. Since we used an alteration of another recipe out of the Joy of Cooking, it was a little confusing to follow the directions. There was a big chunk of the directions that we had ignore, making it critical that we were paying close attention to what was happening. After mixing the dry ingredients together and the heavy cream, Amory had the idea that we make the scones almost like a layered cake. Having jam in the center, we would shape out two disks, creating layers. We were almost to the point where we could put it in the oven and wait, but as a group, we had to decide whether or not to put sugar or salt on top of the scones. Thinking that if we put sugar on top of the scones, it would make the scones something too sweet to have for breakfast, we decided to sprinkle salt on the scones. After fifteen minutes of waiting and hoping that  the scones would come out perfectly, we knew that we had done a good job.

Delicious Cream Scones

Cream Scones with Strawberry Jam
Yields 8 scones

1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tbs. sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup jam

The scone's dough is primarily flour and cream

Preheat the oven to 450° F

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix until all clumps are gone.
  2. Pour in heavy cream and stir well until the mixture becomes a stiff dough. Try to avoid handling the dough as much as possible.
  3. Lightly flour the counter or work surface and transfer the dough onto the surface.
  4.  Divide the dough into two equal balls and shape into thick disks with a diameter of 6-8 inches.
  5. Spread the jam on top of one of the disks and place the disk left over the jam covered disk. Move the jam filled dough into the middle of a non-greased pan.
  6. Sprinkle either sugar or salt on top of the dough.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden.
  8. Let the scone cool for about 5 minutes.
  9. Cut into 8 slices and serve.
As a group, we thought  the scones were a success.  The whole experience of baking and preparing the scones ran smoothly and there were no complications. The only thing that we could have done to make the scones better was to leave them a bit longer in the oven. Just a minute or two more could have helped. If you are making this recipe for a small group of people, it would be perfect; letting people even have seconds. But if you are making this for more than five people, you might want to make more than one, just so everyone can have a good amount. Overall, baking the scones are worth it because they come out deliciously.

Homemade Jam was layered into the crust

The finished scone. Delicious.