This recipe for eggs Benedict is simple. If you prefer to not make your own hollandaise sauce, I recommend using the easy Knorr packaged version, just adding some lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it more flavor. You can make the sauce a few hours ahead and keep it warm over a double boiler or in a wide-mouth thermos.
1 cup hollandaise sauce
4 English muffins, halved and toasted at last minute
2 tsp. white or cider vinegar
8 slices Canadian bacon
1 or 2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a wide, straight-sided pan three-quarters full with water. Stir in vinegar and pinch of salt. Bring water to boil, then reduce to simmer. Fill a bowl halfway with hot tap water and set it next to the stove.
One at a time, crack the eggs into a ramekin or small cup and gently pour them into the water. Cook as many eggs at a time as will comfortably fit in the pan. Let each egg cook until white begins to set, about two minutes, then gently turn egg over with slotted spoon. Let cook another minute or so, until the white is opaque and fully cooked and yolk still runny. Carefully transfer the eggs with the slotted spoon to the bowl of water to keep warm while you finish cooking the rest of the eggs.
Warm a frying pan over medium heat and cook Canadian bacon until warmed through, turning once.
Place toasted muffins on each plate and lightly butter. Place bacon on top, followed by eggs, then hollandaise. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Makes one cup.
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
Place egg yolks in a blender with the lemon juice and a pinch each of salt, pepper, cayenne. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, then slowly add the melted butter, blending until sauce is nice and thick. If it becomes too thick, you can thin it with a bit of hot water. Keep warm until serving.
This recipe for panzanella has a Greek twist. It is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa “How Easy Is That?” cookbook.
3/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups diced rustic bread
Kosher salt, and pepper
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced large
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced large
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced in half-rounds
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 lb. good feta cheese, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
Heat one-quarter cup of olive oil in large sauté pan until hot. Add bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Set aside.
Place cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion in large bowl and toss together.
For vinaigrette, place vinegar, garlic, oregano, mustard, one teaspoon salt and half a teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Whisking constantly, slowly add remaining half-cup of olive oil to make an emulsion.
Add the feta, olives, and bread to the vegetables in the large bowl, add the vinaigrette, and toss lightly. Let sit 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.