Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

My first successful attempt at making hollandaise sauce. This one came from Michel Roux’s Sauces (actually its in both his Egg’s book, and his Sauce’s book), but the recipes are identical. Basically white wine vinegar, water, and white peppercorns into a pan, reduce volume by a third. Let it cool. Stir in 4 egg yolks… put it back over a low low heat until it starts to thicken up. Now when its got a nice thick creamy consistency, take it back off the heat and gradually add clarified butter until you’ve got the taste and consistency you want. Season with salt to taste, and add some lemon juice just before serving.

The poached eggs are getting better by the day… the method keeps on getting perfected every time and I’ve got a kind of cross between the whirlpool method and the simmer over bubbles method that has been giving me great shape and perfect consistency inside.

So… toast some turkish bread loaves, cook some bacon… Layer the bacon on the loaves, put the eggs on top, wilt some baby spinach in a pan with a little butter, and then put that on top. Smother the whole thing with freshly made hollandaise.


Eggs Benedict

How to poach an egg.

Or perhaps more appropriately… How I poach my eggs.

Eggs are one of my favourite breakfast foods. Bacon being the ultimate companion to eggs, and hash browns their illegitimate half brother. When asked how I’d like my eggs, I will 9 times out of ten say poached. I don’t know what it is, but poaching eggs seems to me to be the most true to form way to appreciate the luscious eggy goodness, as the yolk spills out in a molten lava like cascade of yellow gold into a well toasted slice of thick crusty bread.

Until recently however, I’d be using the lazy mans method of poaching eggs. That is, fill a frying pan with a couple of centimetres of water… get it to a simmer, crack in some eggs, and gently splash water over the surface of the yolk until it turns a nice shade of pink. The end.

This method works ok… but I’d always wondered how cafes and restaurants managed to serve me those great little poached egg cocoons… with the white wrapped around the yolk in a tight protective little ball, waiting to gush out as soon as its cut into.

So enter Gordon Ramsey to save the day. I should have known i’d find my salvation from a loud annoying Englishman who swears too much… Actually, for all his short comings as a general human being, Gordon makes some great food, and the book he put out after the Kitchen Hell series was full of a great set of “basic” cooking techniques to know… like how to dry lettuce leaves, how to make a white sauce, how to fillet, pinbone, and skin fish… and… how to poach an egg.

The technique is really very simple, but I love the results.


Get a large heavy based pot and fill it with water. Get the water boiling and season it well with white wine vinegar. The vinegar helps to strengthen the albumin in the egg white, which will make it hold together, and give a nice rounded shape.

Then, using fresh eggs (which is important, as fresh eggs will have the white clinging to the yolk quite strongly), crack them into a shallow cup to make sure they aren’t broken. Then use a slotted spoon to spin the boiling water into a sort of a whirlpool/vortex/worm hole in the space time continuum.

Once the water is spinning quite fast, drop the egg from the cup into the centre of the whirlpool, where it will spin around and hopefully coat the yolk all around in a nice little ball of the egg white as it hardens. You can do a couple of eggs at a time if you’re feeling adventurous, but I normally stick to one to make sure i’m not going to mash one up while I’m spinning the water again.

This method needs only a minute or two in the boiling water for the egg to be ready, with the yolk still at a nice thick but runny consistency (which is exactly how I like it), having been sheilded from the heat, snug in the wooley cotton brains of infancy (sorry, Jim Morrison flashback).

So if you’re a self confessed egg lover, yet to experience the glorious highs of true yolk appreciation… give this method a try and let me know what you think.

Poached Duck Eggs Prick me, do I not exude yolk Nectar of the birds

Poached Salmon on Scrambled Eggs

Poached Salmon & Scrambled Eggs

This is another in a series of faux spiceblog posts that I seem to keep arriving at. What can I say, the man is good.

So it lazy Saturday morning, but for once i wasn’t going to be satisfied with weetbix, toast, or even (shock horror) bacon and eggs. (Although that was mainly because I didn’t have any bacon).

Realising that I still had a lovely piece of salmon left over from last week, I remembered Anthony’s recipe and thought i’d give it a try.

It turned out really nice, and i did my normal routine of substituting in things I have for things I don’t, which always seems to work out ever so nicely.

Cherry/Grape Tomatoes are officially my favourite egg accompaniment.


  • 6 eggs
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salmon fillets
  • White wine
  • bay leaf
  • Pepper corns, and cracked peppercorns
  • Baby Spinach
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slice Field/Button Mushrooms
  • Cream

This is really a very simple dish, and personally I think it’s hard to cook salmon badly (although a lot of restuarants seem to try).

I like it pretty pink on the inside, so it was just a case of poaching the fillet very slowly in the white wine with bay leaf and peppercorns.

Turn the heat right down so it doesnt bubble away furiously, and you’ll soon see it start to turn a darker shade of pink, and it should be cooked in about 5 minutes or so.

The scrambled eggs were dead simple too. Slice up your mushrooms and half the cherry tomatoes, then beat your eggs together with a tablespoon or two of cream (I used double cream as thats all that was on hand). Add a dash of white wine vinegar (not sure why but eggs seem to like it), and a healthy crackling of black pepper and some sea salt. You can add whatever you like to scrambled eggs of course… but these were basically what was left in the fridge on a Saturday morning before the weekly shopping routine.

Then get the scrambled eggs cooking in a hot pan, and just before they’re done, through in a good few handfuls of fresh baby spinach and let it wilt a little.

Then serve it up and lay your poached salmon fillet across the top. Add some more cracked pepper, and perhaps a great cup of coffee, and you have the makings of a great start to the day :)