You guys. I just poached eggs for the first time. I was pretty nervous because I had never done it before, and was envisioning broken yolks and disaster…not so! Poaching eggs, it turns out, is really pretty easy. You just have to make sure that your water is simmering but not boiling so as not to disturb the eggs as they cook.
I am really excited about this Eggs Benedict. I have been on a North African food kick, and have been mulling over ideas for a French Algerian inspired Eggs Benny for a few weeks now. I wanted to make a vegetarian version, but how to replace the Canadian bacon ingredient sandwiched between the English muffin and egg? When I happened upon some fresh dates at the market, I knew exactly what I would do.
The “date spread” is really just pitted dates pureed in a food processor. Nice and simple. I didn’t find it necessary to add anything to it as it’s really perfect as it is. I am absolutely crazy about the flavor combo of the naturally sweet dates with the Ras el Hanout spiced Hollandaise. It’s really to die for. Pair that with a crunchy toasted English muffin and runny poached egg, and you’ve gone to Brunch Heaven. My recipe for the ras el hanout spice blend can be found through the link.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice blend
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 egg yolks
- 8 fresh dates, pitted
- 4 large eggs, poached
- oregano for garnish
- ras el hanout for garnish
- 4 English muffin halves, toasted
- Puree approximately 8 pitted dates in a blender or food processor, set aside.
- Bring a large pot about 3/4 filled with water to a boil, and turn down to a gentle simmer. The eggs will be poached in this pot later.
- Melt 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan. While the butter melts, separate 3 eggs and place the yolks in a medium mixing bowl. You can discard the whites. To the egg yolks, add the salt, lemon, and ras el hanout. Whisk until smooth. Once the butter is melted, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you go to prevent the yolks from cooking. Adjust the spices according to taste, and set aside to cool.
- Crack an egg into a small dish or mug, and carefully slip into the gently simmering water. Once the whites solidify, you can add the next egg. Repeat until all of the eggs are submerged, and remove the pot from the heat. Place a lid on the pot, and let the eggs poach for 4 minutes. To retrieve the poached eggs, remove with a slotted spoon one by one and set on a plate.
- Once the eggs have gone in, you'll have 4 minutes to toast the English muffins. If the eggs are done poaching before the muffins are toasted, remove carefully to a plate.
- Spread a toasted English muffin generously with the date spread, and set the poached egg on top. Drizzle with the hollandaise, and top with fresh chopped oregano and ras el hanout.
- Basic hollandaise recipe adapted from simplyrecipes.com