Eggs Beatrice

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Here’s another recipe for my beloved Sparrow Grass–or perhaps I should say Spearage, which according to Kathleen Wall at Plimoth Plantation was a common 17th-century term for asparagus.

I’m not a big Eggs Benedict Girl—the consistency of the ham never seems to me to go with the rest of the ingredients—but alter the recipe a little and incorporate asparagus and I’m hooked. (You may of course add ham as well!)

I’m always a little cautious about poaching eggs, but I found a helpful new product at the Lamson & Goodnow retail store in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, that banishes my fears. It’s called an eggshell™ and comes in packages of two that look like little cracked eggs.

To use one of these silicone products, lightly grease the inside, pop your egg into it, and float the eggshell in boiling water. Cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes. Your poached egg pops easily out of the silicone and onto your English muffin.

Ingredients:

for the Hollandaise sauce (makes about 1 cup of sauce):

1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
3 egg yolks
the juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 tablespoons hot water
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of salt

for assembly (per person):

1/2 English muffin
butter as needed for the muffins
1 slice Prosciutto (optional)
3 spears cooked asparagus (either whole or cut up)
1 poached egg
a generous dollop of Hollandaise sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

First, make the Hollandaise sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. In the top of a double boiler over warm (but not boiling!) water, whisk the egg yolks until they are smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the butter in a thin stream.

Slowly stir in the hot water, cayenne, and salt, and cook for 1 minute more, whisking constantly. Set the sauce aside while you poach the eggs and cook the toast.

For each person, butter half of a toasted English muffin, and lay the Prosciutto on top if you want to use it. Depending on your preference, put the asparagus on next or the egg (my mother and I liked it both ways!).

Cover with a little Hollandaise sauce, and season to taste. Serve immediately. One recipe of Hollandaise makes enough sauce for 4 to 6 eggs.

The Eggshells

The Eggshells

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9 Responses to “Eggs Beatrice”

  1. Peter says:

    As one who has frequently (too frequently) succumbed to Eggs Benedict’s appearance on the brunch menu, I commend you for supplying a slightly healthier version – and quite possibly a far more tasty version. The name you’ve appended is, of course, as brilliant as the recipe, and perhaps you have accurately concluded that Eggs benedict is a marvelous to do about nothing.

    The best aspect of this posting? It has to be that you are the first cookery writer to launch into a step-by-step procedure for making hollandaise sauce without genuflecting; you convey the sense that even I could make hollandaise sauce without being overcome by fear that the whole thing will separate into curdled squalor. Lovely hollandaise sauce suddenly becomes accessible. For that alone I thank you.

  2. Raoul Montenegro says:

    Where on earth did you find such lovely plates? They look so inviting for delicate desserts, graceful salads and… eggs Beatrice! By the way I read your posts but my eye returns to your photographs.

  3. tinkyweisblat says:

    The plate in this picture was a gift from a dear friend and neighbor. Thanks, Raoul………..

    And in answer to Peter, I was going to mention the possibility that the sauce would curdle, but generally I don’t find that it does. If you havethis problem, just gently whisk in a bit more hot water (and be patient). All will be well!

  4. Grad says:

    Yum! P.S. The Greenies Pill Pockets are working like a charm. Amber likes the Salmon flavor. Many thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Jim Littrell says:

    When I was up in your part of the world last week, a friend in Northampton took me out for a morning walk, and after the walk, we stopped at a little homegrown place called the Look Restaurant on Rt 9 in Leeds for breakfast. They had as a special something I had never heard of: Asparagus on Toast. I ordered it…thick slices of homemade wheat toast topped with a pile of fresh asparagus topped with hollandaise sauce! WOW! My friend Ed said it was a staple in the Valley during asparagus season, one he had grown up with 70 years ago. He was once the state rep from Northampton, and he said every spring he would buy cases of asparagus and take them down and give this fresh asparagus away to his eastern colleagues. Made them very happy and agreeable, he said.

  6. Jean says:

    I have those silicone cups for poached eggs and love them. I too would avoid poaching eggs until I got these, and they allow for perfect poached eggs every time. Dishwasher safe too :-)

  7. tinkyweisblat says:

    Grad, I’m glad! Jim, I had a feeling this idea wasn’t original–just really, really good. And Jean, thanks for pointing out that they’re dishwasher safe. I love convenience!

  8. E. Sheppard says:

    A winner, as usual! I love your photos too. I would love to see an “In My Grandmother’s Kitchen Cookbook I” too. (Leaving room for #II, III, etc.)

    I am off to repost and advertise this. What a neat posting.

  9. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thanks,E. You’re always so supportive…..

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