Eggs Benedict with Prosciutto & Spinach English Muffins

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

As soon as I put the knife and fork down, I wanted another go. You know when food's so good that you just want to keep eating it and eating it?

In the world of food writing, something with those qualities would be considered moreish. That's exactly what you have here.

Eggs Benedict is one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant and after having some seriously good offerings, I wasn't entirely convinced I could do the dish justice.

After stumbling across an intriguing recipe for spinach English muffins, I decided to give it to go. Caution to the wind, I organized all of my ingredients on the countertop, cranked up the iPod and set to work recreating this classic brunch dish one rainy Sunday morning. 
groceries...


For the spinach English muffins:
  • 30g butter
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1tsp dried yeast
  • 250g spinach
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 450g strong white flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • just a bit of Semolina
For the hollandaise sauce:
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper
  • few drops lemon juice
For the poached eggs:
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
alright, let's cook:


For the spinach English muffins, activate the yeast by steeping it in water as directed on the packet. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Melt the butter in a saucepan, adding the sugar just as it begins to soften. Stir in the yeast (it should be frothy), and a bit of nutmeg. Add the spinach and allow to gently wilt.

Pour the flour and sea salt into a food processor. Pour over the yeasty, spinach mixture and mix until a soft dough forms. The dough should come away from the sides of the food processor cleanly. Depending on the size of your processor, you may need to do this step in two batches.

Remove the dough ball from the processor and place into a bowl covered with cling film. Leave to rest and rise for about half an hour. Once the dough has risen, dust your countertop with a little Semolina and, using your hands, stretch the dough out. Sprinkle the dough with more Semolina and cut into rounds. Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan until very hot and brown the muffins on each side for about five minutes.

For the hollandaise sauce, gently melt butter in a saucepan and set aside. Next, whisk the egg yolks and vinegar in a bain marie (a bowl set over the top of a pot of boiling water) along with a pinch of salt. Continue whisking the yolks until they have thickened.

Reduce the heat so that the rolling boil slows to a simmer while continuing to whisk the egg yolks. Slowly, drizzle in the butter, whisking all the while. Once all the butter has been whisked in, you should have a sauce the consistency of mayonnaise. Add a bit of lemon juice, if necessary, to thin the sauce. Keep warm.

For the poached eggs, bring a large stockpot of water to a rolling boil. Add a the white wine vinegar and crack the eggs, one at a time, into the water to poach. If it helps, you can swirl the water to create a whirlpool effect, which will help keep the white together. Either way, it should take about 2 minutes for the eggs to poach.

To assemble, top each vibrantly green muffin with half a slice of prosciutto and a poached egg. Dress in a coat of thick, golden sauce and finish off with a good sprinkle of black pepper. 

 nutrition...

Servings: 4


Amount Per Serving
  Calories 1,053.1
  Total Fat 68.9 g
      Saturated Fat 39.4 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 19.2 g
  Cholesterol 445.4 mg
  Sodium 218.5 mg
  Potassium 467.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 84.5 g
      Dietary Fiber 5.3 g
      Sugars 5.3 g
  Protein 27.6 g
 Vitamin A 168.6 %
  Vitamin B-12 12.3 %
  Vitamin B-6 11.7 %
  Vitamin C 29.3 %
  Vitamin D 19.5 %
  Vitamin E 12.8 %
  Calcium 18.5 %
  Copper 5.2 %
  Folate 40.0 %
  Iron 15.3 %
  Magnesium 13.0 %
  Manganese 29.2 %
  Niacin 2.5 %
  Pantothenic Acid     3.7 %
  Phosphorus     18.0 %
  Riboflavin 21.0 %
  Selenium 8.6 %
  Thiamin 4.6 %
  Zinc 7.8 %

Ahhh, the Power of Cheese Giveaway!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In the wake of Cinco de Mayo, I find myself reflecting on what makes Mexican food so tasty. Last week, the husband and I consumed a record number of Mexican dishes in celebration of the 5th of May--from taco salad to tortas, it was all about the lime, the avocado and of course cheese!

I've always had a bit of a food affair with Mexican grub, if it can be folded up in a cozy tortilla, I'll eat it! There's something about Mexican food that's just comforting. Maybe it's because the entire cuisine has that no frills, just good home cookin' feel to it? Either way, Mexican food just wouldn't be the same without all that gooey, melted cheese perfection. In honor of this and because the lovely people at The English Table are so generous, I've got a treat for you!


i've got goodies...

That, my dear friends, is a Creative Tops Gourmet Cheese Baker! Typically used in French cuisine (baked Camembert, anyone?), I say it's time to broaden the horizons and liven up Nacho Night! Now, my husband does the best nachos I have ever tasted. He piles them onto a cookie sheet and loads it down with cheese and guacamole, sour cream and salsa... and he lets them bake. They're perfect.

But sometimes, you want something quick like tortilla chips and a nice gooey queso dip. How's about making your own with this lovely gourmet cheese baker? The skinny on cheese bakers is this: you can use any soft or semi-soft cheese! A few cheeses that would work well baked and use as dips are:
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Queso Asadero
  • Monterrey Jack
  • Stinking Bishop
  • Waterloo
  • Gorgonzola
  • et cetera, et ecetera ...
One lucky winner will receive that gorgeous piece of kitchen kit! It comes wrapped up in a spiffy box, too:

about The English Table...

The English Table is one of the UK's leading suppliers and manufacturers of quality design-led tableware and giftware.  With a passion for design, they constantly create new and exciting products for the retail market.

What I love about The English Table is that it responds to every type of cook out there--you're guaranteed to find something fabulous for your kitchen! From fine bone China to contemporary British fare to practical, everyday bits and bobs, The English Table is bound to have it!

Ever since my first visit to this site, I keep going back for a good nosy around! I've fallen in love with so many of their products, too! At the moment, I'm crushing on all of the Justin Capp merchandise, particularly the salt and pepper pigs. I swear, salt and pepper pigs are an addiction of mine ... I can think of three off the top of my head that are in my kitchen right now. :)     

 here's how to enter...

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Avocado and Chorizo Torta with Mexican Rice

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I thought I'd share my take on a lesser-known Mexican favorite, the torta. In short, it's a Mexican version of a club sandwich: a warm ciabatta roll halved and smeared with avocado and sweet potato and stuffed with caramelized red onion, fat chorizo sausages and crisp Romaine lettuce.

Served up with a side of fresh Mexican rice, it's quick and simple and versatile, too. Have it for lunch, substituting the rice for hand-cut chips or keep it as is for a dinner fiesta!

groceries...

For the Avocado and Chorizo Torta:
4 chorizo cooking sausages
4 ciabatta rolls
1 avocado, mashed with the juice of half a lime
1 sweet potato, boiled then mashed
1 red onion, sliced
Romaine lettuce
salt and pepper
For the Mexican Rice:
1 cup basmati rice
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup salsa
1tsp cumin
1tsp ground coriander (cilantro)
1tsp fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
salt and pepper
alright, let's cook:

For the Mexican rice, toast the basmati rice in the olive oil in a large pan over high heat until the rice is opaque. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes, covered. Meanwhile, get on with the torta.

For the torta, peel and dice the sweet potato and boil until soft. Once soft, mash with a fork and set to one side.

Split each sausage down the middle, but not completely in half. Fry skin-side up in a hot pan for about 4 minutes. Add the sliced onion and fry the sausages on the opposite side. Continue cooking until the onions are nicely caramelized and the chorizo is cooked through.Remove from the pan, leaving the fat and juices.

Meanwhile, warm the ciabatta rolls in a low oven and prepare the avocado by peeling it and mashing it with the lime juice. Set to one aside.

To assemble, half the warmed ciabatta rolls and brush with the leftover chorizo fat. Spread about half a tablespoon of sweet potato on the bottom half of the roll and top with some of the caramelized onions. Place the chorizo on top. Spread about half a tablespoon of the avocado on the other half of the bun and top with a piece of Romain lettuce. Serve with the Mexican rice.