Saturday, March 1, 2014

Savory oatmeal and eggs hollandaise

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is being able to cook up a delicious, hearty breakfast. It's a great way to start the day, and I enjoy taking the time to make something special, particularly since my weekday breakfasts are often yogurt or cottage cheese. I absolutely love me some eggs for breakfast. And steel-cut oatmeal, which has the texture of a hearty risotto with some extra bite to it (plus it's incredibly healthy for you).

So why not throw them together and top with my absolute favorite Hollandaise sauce?!

This was my first time poaching eggs, and they cooked just a tad more than I wanted (I love the yolk pretty runny). But it was quite easy, and I look forward to experimenting more to really get the technique down.

And the Hollandaise--oh my! Apparently there are many different ways to make this classic sauce, but for my first time I used a recipe from Martha Stewart (yolks over double boiler + cubed butter + lemon juice). Next time I'd like to try a more classic method, where the yolks are blended with the lemon juice first, then melted butter is drizzled in. (This one from Tyler Florence sounds pretty perfect.)

With a drizzle of my best olive oil on the oatmeal and a spoonfull of the sauce over the eggs, it beat out any English muffin versions out there!

But if you're not really interested in experimenting with the sauce or the poached eggs, just fry up some eggs like you would and place them over the steel-cut oatmeal. Cooks Illustrated has the perfect technique, which I'll share with you below.

Just make sure you don't forget about the olive oil. Use a drizzle of your most potent-flavored stuff and your taste buds will thank you!

Yours in taking the time to start off her weekend right,

All the recipes I used are provided below. Feel free to mix/match them as you see fit!

Steel-cut oatmeal
I just follow the recipe off the container. Here's a great step-by-step process. But it's really quite simple. When I'm searing it savory, I like to add salt, pepper, and drizzle it with a healthy serving of my best olive oil. Perfection!

First, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
Add 1 cup of oats + 1/8 tsp salt, stir, and bring it all back to a boil.
Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to low and keep the oatmeal (uncovered) on a simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, or until its as tender as you like.

Poached eggs, from Simply Recipes
I'm far from an expert on this, but this is the technique I used. Check out the website for some great photos. Sounds like another trick is placing the egg in a ladle and lowering the ladle into the water, holding it there for a 30+ seconds, and gently removing the ladle when the egg whites have firmed up a bit.  

Tips: Fresh eggs will be easier to poach (they'll hold together better) than older eggs. Vinegar is optional, but it will help the eggs hold together.
  • Bring water in a saucepan to almost boiling. (If the water is already boiling, lower the heat until it is no longer boiling.)
  • Add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water. 
  • Working with the eggs one by one, crack an egg into a small cup or ramekin, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the egg whites closer to their yolks. This will help the egg whites hold together.
  • Turn off the heat. Cover. Let sit for 4 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked. 
  • Lift eggs out of pan with a slotted spoon.
A trip she recommends, which I didn't try, is to take a ring from a mason jar and place it in the pan (with the side edges facing upward). Drop the egg over the mason jar ring and let it settle in the ring, then turn off the heat and cover.

Fried eggs, from Cooks Illustrated

CI notes: When checking the eggs for doneness, lift the lid just a crack to prevent loss of steam should they need further cooking. When cooked, the thin layer of white surrounding the yolk will turn opaque, but the yolk should remain runny. To cook two eggs, use an 8- or 9-inch nonstick skillet and halve the amounts of oil and butter. 

Jackie notes: I actually do this all with olive oil for a healthier option. But wanted to provide you with the full recipe from CI.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled (or just more olive

  • Heat oil in 12- or 14-inch nonstick skillet over low heat for 5 minutes (I use a 10" one and it works fine). 
  • While pan is heating up, crack 2 eggs into small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs and second small bowl.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and heat until oil is shimmering. Add butter to skillet and quickly swirl to coat pan. 
  • Working quickly, pour 1 bowl of eggs in 1 side of pan and second bowl of eggs in other side. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Remove skillet from burner and let stand, covered, 15 to 45 seconds for runny yolks (white around edge of yolk will be barely opaque), 45 to 60 seconds for soft but set yolks, and about 2 minutes for medium-set yolks. 
  • Slide eggs onto plates and serve.

Hollandaise sauce, from Martha Stewart

Next time I'm trying this recipe to compare the two methods.

3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

  • Create your double boiler: fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so water is barely simmering.
  • In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Then place over your simmer water double boiler, and while whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is pale and thick enough to hold a trail from the whisk (eg, it begins to hold its shape when drizzled from the whisk) about 3 minutes.
  • Whisking constantly, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until each addition is incorporated completely before adding the next. 
  • When all the butter has been added, season with lemon juice, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. The sauce should be thick but still able to drizzle from a spoon (and it should form a pool, not a mound). If it is too thick, thin it with a little water.
  • The sauce is best if used immediately but can sit for about an hour over hot water in a bain-marie or in a Thermos.


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