Eggs Benedict

Eggs BenedictEggs Benedict is  a  The classic brunch dish – something most people head to a restaurant for (including us most of the time) but we want you to know that making Eggs Benedict at home is not as hard as it may seem.

We’ve made a bit more work for ourselves by making the english muffins from scratch – because homemade english muffins happen to make a tremendous difference IMHO.  I realize that not everyone is interested in making their own bread, if you are however, we follow the recipe from the book Tartine Bread.  If you start the process on a Friday night (mixing the leaven and poolish) then you can be griddling fresh muffins to split and toast on Sunday morning.  The Tartine recipe makes about 16 muffins so it allows for plenty of extras to freeze for the week ahead. 

The intimidating part of Eggs Benedict is the combination of preparing Hollandaise sauce and poaching an egg.  While the former can be resolved with a good recipe (like the one we have included here courtesy of Carol – Thanks Carol!) the latter just takes a bit of practice.  

A tip I learned during this most recent batch of Hollandaise is to first clarify the butter that you will use to whip into the egg yolks.  Using clarified butter helps to prevent the mixture from splitting.  To clarify butter, melt it in a small saucepan, pour into a jar and allow to cool.  If you do this far enough in advance the butter will re-solidify into layers and the milk solids can then be easily scraped off the top.  When you re-melt the butter you will notice that it is clear or… you know… clarified.

We’ve cut the original recipe in half here so instead of serving four this version will make enough for two generous servings of hollandaise sauce.  

Enjoy!

Eggs Benedict

Ingredients / Ingredientes

Hollandaise / Salsa Holandesa

  • 2 egg yolks / yema de huevos
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice / cucharadas de jugo de limón
  • Pinch of ground white pepper / pizca de pimienta blanca
  • Dash of Worchestershire / pizca de salsa worchestershire (salsa inglesa)
  • 1/2 tbsp water / cucharadas de agua
  • 1/2 cup butter (clarified) / taza de mantequila
  • Pinch of salt /pizca de sal

Potatoes / Papas

  • 2 large russet potatoes / papas
  • Olive Oil /aceite de oliva
  • Salt and Pepper /sal y pimienta
  • Paprika / paprika (pimientón molido)
  • 4 eggs / huevos
  • 1 tsp white vinegar / cucharilla de vinagre
  • 4 pieces of back bacon (aka canadian bacon/peameal bacon) / tocino
  • 2 english muffins, split / panecillos ingleses (english muffins)

Instructions / Instrucciones

For the potatoes / Para las papas

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. / Calentar el horno a 400 grados y colocar papel aluminio a una bandeja para hornear
  • Wash and dry the potatoes and dice into cubes. / Lavar ,secar y cortar las papas en cuadritos.
  • Toss the cubed potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, a large pinch of salt and pepper and a shake of paprika (mostly for color) / Agregar a las papas un poco de aceite de oliva, pizca de sal, pimienta y paprika.
  • Pour onto the prepared pan, spray the potatoes with cooking spray and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until fork tender. / Colocar las papas a la bandeja para hornear y cocinarlas por 30 minutos hasta que estén blandas por dentro.

Oven fries - hashbrowns

  • To make the Hollandaise: Fill a saucepan part way with water and set over medium heat to bring to a simmer.  / Para la salsa holandesa: colocar una olla con un poco de agua a  fuego lento ( a punto de hervir).
  • In a metal bowl that fits inside that saucepan (without the bottom touching the water) whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, worchestershire and water. / En un recipiente de metal que va a caber en la olla agregar y batir las yemas, jugo de limón, pimienta blanca, salsa inglesa y agua.

Hollandaise

  • Set the bowl over the simmering water and continue to whisk.  Begin to pour the melted clarified butter into the yolk mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time – whisking constantly – and ensuring that the previous addition has been incorporated before adding more.  whisk and add more butter until all the butter has been mixed in.  / Colocar el recipiente encima de la olla (baño maria) y no pares de batir. Colocar la matequilla derretida en la mezcla de huevos, una cucharada a la vez, mezclando bien hasta que todo esté incorporado.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt, taste and adjust as necessary.  If the mixture is too thick, whisk in a couple tablespoons of warm water.  Place a large plate over the bowl to keep the mixture warm – Don’t keep over heat as too much heat will cause the emulsion to split and the sauce will be ruined. / Remover la salsa del fuego y colocar sal, adjustar el sabor si es necesario. Si la salsa esta muy espesa agregar y mezclar algunas cucharadas de agua tibia. Colocar un plato encima del recipiente para mantener la salsa caliente, no lo dejes en baño maria pues mucho vapor caliente puede arruinar la salsa.
  • To poach the eggs – Fill a saucepan with 3 inches of water and bring the water to a gentle simmer then add the vinegar – this will help keep the egg together as it cooks in its water bath. / Para cocinar los huevos: Llenar una olla con 3 pulgadas de agua a fuego lento hasta que esté a punto de hervir, colocar el vinagre.

Poaching an egg

  • Break the eggs into separate ramekins so that you can carefully add them to the water one at a time.  When the water is ready and the vinegar has been added, use a whisk to create a vortex in the saucepan then slide the egg into the center of the vortex.  The spinning water should help to keep the whites over the yolk and in one neat package. / Quebrar los huevos y colocarlos en una taza o recipiente para mejor resultado cuando los pongas al agua. Cuando el agua esté a punto de hervir y el vinagre esté incorporado, con una cuchara batir rápido el agua haciendo un agujero en el centro, en ese agujero colocarás cada huevo, esto ayudará a que la yema y la clara del huevo estén juntos.
  • Cook for 2 1/2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice water bath to halt the cooking process.  Continue to cook the remaining eggs, one at a time, placing into the ice water bath when ready. / Cocinar cada huevo por 2 1/2 minutos y gentilmente sacarlos del agua y colocarlos en un recipiente con agua helada (esto evitará que el huevo siga cocinando)
  • Lay the back bacon on a foil rimmed sheet and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until browned on the edges.  / Colocar el tocino sobre una bandeja de hornear a 400 grados hasta que esté dorado en las orillas.

Fresh english muffins

  • Put it all together / Colocar todo junto
  • Toast the english muffins and begin to build your eggs benedict.  We’ve made the classic with back bacon as well as a shrimp and avocado Benny.  With the water over medium heat at a simmer – add the poached eggs back into the simmering water for 45 seconds to 1 minute to just heat through, then remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate before placing on top of the prepared english muffins  /  Tostar los panecillos y colocar encima el tocino o camarones con palta . Para calentar los huevos tienes que sacarlos del agua helada y colocarlos por 45 segundos de nuevo al agua caliente que está a punto de hervir. Sacar los huevos del agua caliente y colocarlos sobre papel toalla para secarlos.

Eggs Benedict assembly

  • The second to last step is to add a large spoonful of hollandaise sauce over each poached egg.  The LAST step is to serve it to someone you love and enjoy! / Agregar los huevos encima del tocino, colocar encima la salsa holandesa y sevir. Provecho!

Eggs Benedict… Provecho!

 

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Silpancho

SilpanchoAs is customary in many Latin cultures, at noon during the week my family would get together for ‘almuerzo’ (lunch).  The almuerzo would be our main meal of the day, and we would all come home from school or work to share it together.  One of the dishes that was always welcome was Silpancho.  Silpancho is a popular Bolivian dish that comes from the Cochabamba region of the country.  While Silpancho is a regional specialty, you can easily find restaurants that serve Silpancho almost anywhere in Bolivia.  

Silpancho consists of rice, fried sliced potato, a fried piece of pounded steak, coated in breadcrumbs, a tomato salsa and is always finished with a fried egg.  A heavy meal by all accounts (and certainly not for carb watchers) but as it is generally eaten mid day we normally have all day to work it off.  

If you have the opportunity to visit Bolivia, you will see that the meat portion is so large that it will almost be spilling over the sides of the plate.  Since we were having ours for dinner we made a smaller portion as you can see.  Make the portions as large or as small as you like but you will find that even a little bit of meat will go a long way – as you pound it, you will notice that a simple steak grows fast, and can be used to serve several people dinner.  We hope you enjoy it.  

Ingredients / Ingredientes

For the meat / Para la carne

  • 2 Steaks, preferable thin cuts  / filetes de carne bien delgados
  • 150 grams bread crumbs / harina de pan
  • Salt and pepper to taste / sal y pimienta al gusto
  • 2 Tbs canola oil / cucharadas de aceite
  • 2 Eggs / huevos

Rice and potatoes / Arroz y papas

  • 1 Cup white rice / taza de arroz
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil / cucharada de aceite de oliva
  • 1 Garlic / ajo
  • 2 Cups of water / tazas de agua
  • Pinch of salt / pizca de sal
  • 1 Potato / papa
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil / taza de aceite

Salsa

  • 1 Tomato / tomate
  • 1/2 Red onion / cebolla
  • 1 Jalapeño / jalapeños o locotos picantes
  • 1/2 Tbs olive oil / cucharada de aceite de oliva
  • 1/2 Tbs white vinegar / cucharada de vinagre
  • Pinch of salt / pizca de sal

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • For the salsa that accompanies the Silpancho dice the tomato, onion and jalapeño, mix together in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar and pinch of salt.  Set aside in the fridge while preparing the rest of the meal. / Para la ensalada que va a estar encima del Silpancho tienes que cortar finamente el tomate, cebolla y jalapeño. Poner en un recipiente y mezclar agregando la sal, aceite de oliva y vinagre. Poner al refrigerador mientras preparas lo demás.

Silpancho, pounding the steak

  • Place a sheet of parchment paper over a flat surface and place the meat on top of the parchment. Cover the entire steak with some bread crumbs and salt and pepper.  Place another sheet of parchment paper over the meat and start pounding the steak as much as you can, you will want the meat the be as thin and large as possible. Turn the meat to the other side, add more bread crumbs and salt and pepper and keep pounding. this will take about 15 to 20 minutes. The bread crumbs will keep the meat from breaking apart so keep adding bread crumbs as you go.  When the steak is at your preferred thickness, set aside. / Colocar papel pergamino sobre una superficie plana y poner la carne encima con la harina de pan, sal y pimienta. Poner encima otro papel pergamino y comienza a golpear la carne hasta que esté bien delgada y haya crecido. Volcar la carne y agregar harina de pan, sal y pimienta y continuar golpeando la carne. En todo momento agregar más harina de pan ya que así la carne no se romperá en pedazos. Poner a un lado cuando esté listo.
  • To cook the rice add some olive oil to a pan over medium heat, once the oil is heated, add the minced garlic and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the rice and let it cook with the garlic and olive oil until it gets toasted – continue to stir the rice to avoid burning.  moving the rice around the pan should change the color to a light brown – this will take between 3 and 4 minutes.  Add the water and let it cook uncovered until done. / Para cocinar el arroz poner en la olla el aceite de oliva y cuando esté caliente agregar el ajo molido o cortado finamente y cocinar por 10 segundos. Poner el arroz y cocinarlo junto al aceite y ajo por 3 a 4 minutos, batiendolo constantemente para no quemarlo. Podrás ver que el arroz cambia de color, agregar el agua y dejar cocinar hasta que esté listo.

Silpancho, toasted rice, salsa

  • Peel the potato and boil it whole for 10 minutes, remove the potato from the boiling water and slice into pieces a quarter of an inch thick. You will see that the potato is not completely cooked through but don’t you worry because you will cook it more later. / Cortar la papa y ponerla a hervir por 10 minutos, sacarla del agua y cortarla en rebanadas, puedes ver que la papa aún está un poco cruda pero no te preocupes porque la cocinarás más luego.
  • Add the oil to a fry pan and set over medium heat, when hot add the potatoes and fry them until golden brown. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain excess oil / Freir las papas hasta que estén doradas y poner a un lado sobre toallas de papel.
  • To cook the meat you won’t need a lot of oil.  You can reuse some of the oil from the potatoes. I would say 2 Tbs oil of will be perfect but you can use less, as long as you can cook the meat with it. / Para cocinar el Silpancho no necesitas mucho aceite, puedes reutilizar el aceite en el cual freistes las papas y si es mucho puedes sacar y dejar sólo dos cucharadas de aceite.
  • Fry the Silpancho until golden brown. Don’t forget that it will cook fast, there’s not much meat and it is thin. When ready remove from the pan and place onto paper towels to drain any excess oil / Freir el Silpancho hasta que esté dorado. No te olvides de que cocinará super rápido debido a que la carne es delgada. Cuando esté listo colocar sobre papel toalla.
  • Fry the eggs over easy with a little bit of olive oil / Freir los huevos.
  • This recipe serves two people but if you will like to serve more people just add more steaks and eggs depending of the number of persons you are having. / Esta receta es para dos personas pero si quieres para más personas solo aumenta más carne y huevos a la receta.

Plating Silpancho

  • To serve your Silpancho, start the plate off with a mound of rice, add the sliced potatoes, the meat, the eggs and top it all off with a spoonful of the salsa. Serve immediately… and enjoy! /  Poner arroz en el plato, encima las papas, la carne el huevo y el ensalada . Servir caliente, Provecho!

Silpancho... provecho!

Papas a la Huancaína

If I had to narrow down my list of favourite Peruvian dishes, this simple salad would be right up there near the top. I first had this salad when I was in Peru a few years ago, staying with my friend Carolina. Just as soon as I finished my first bite I started asking about what this sauce was – how was it made? what was it called? what were the ingredients? and I knew I would have to learn how to make this myself. When Carolina listed off the ingredients for me I was surprised and a bit in disbelief when she mentioned crackers as one of them… but as I’ve learned, the soda crackers are an important component. The other two key parts of this recipe are the potato (Peru is famous for its hundreds of potato varieties and this recipe is typically made with the Peruvian yellow potato) and the yellow pepper (aji amarillo) a spicy pepper from the Andes and common in lots of Peruvian as well as Bolivian dishes.

The cheese that is normally used is called queso fresco, which is an unaged white cheese and is similar enough in taste to queso blanco which is a white cheese that you can easily make at home. We’ve had a hard time finding queso fresco and so we made the queso blanco ourselves and it worked really great. If you can not find queso fresco or blanco at your supermarket AND you don’t feel like making it yourself, you can just use a cheese like feta (but go easy on it as it is so salty) or ricotta.

This is a tremendously versatile sauce both in how it is served and how it is made. Many variations of this recipe are available online and, of course, in the memories and homes of Peruvians all over the world, and when this recipe is broken down it is basically a spicy cheese sauce, and while it is truly fantastic just like this over boiled potatoes, it also works well as a dip for veggies, and (as Fabio brilliantly discovered) for pizza! You can customize your huancaína sauce to be extra spicy, cheesy, or creamy as you like it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

First – this is how to make the queso blanco used in in the huancaína sauce. The recipe is adapted from Karen Solomon’s book Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

The Queso Blanco

The Ingredients

  • 8 cups homogenized milk (whole milk) / tazas de leche entera
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar / taza de vinagre de manzana
  • 2 teaspoons salt / cucharillas de sal

The Instructions

  • Clip a thermometer to the side of a saucepan, add milk and place over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the temperature reads 185 degrees F / Poner la leche en una olla con una termómetro y poner sobre fuego medio y calentar por 25 minutos batiendo ocasionalmente hasta que la temperature alcanze los 185 degrados F
  • Add the vinegar and stir just until incorporated throughout / Agregar el vinagre y batir hasta que este incorporado
  • Turn off the heat and let the milk sit for about 10 minutes / Apagar el fuego y dejar por diez minutos

  • At this point you will notice curds separating from the whey / a esta punto se puede notar la nat a la cual es el queso
  • Using a slotted spoon, scoop the curds into a mesh sieve that is sitting over another bowl and let drain / Usando una cuchara con agujeros sacar el queso y ponerlos en un colador fino sobre un recipiente y colar
  • Discard the whey that has drained into the bowl and then empty the drained curds into the empty bowl and toss together with the salt / Elimine el liquido que esta en la recipiente y poker el queso en el recipiente vacio y mezclar con la sal
  • Move the curds onto a clean kitchen towel, a cheese cloth or into a milk bag (a mesh bag used for almond/rice milk etc). Tie curds up in material and squeeze gently then hang over a bowl or the sink for about 45 minutes / Poner el queso sobre un pañuelo para queso y atar y presionar escurriendo, colgar sobre el grifo por 45 minutos

Queso Blanco

  • Transfer the drained cheese curds to a (makeshift) cheese press and weight it for 3-4 hours / Poner el queso en una lata vacia y presionar el queso por 3 o 4 horas
  • The cheese is ready to be used and can be kept in the refrigerator wrapped in wax paper for up to one week / El queso esta listo, y se puede quedar en el refrigerador por una semana

The Papas a la Huancaína

The Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes (yukon gold preferable) / papas
  • 4 eggs hard boiled / huevos duros
  • 3/4 cup queso blanco or feta / tazas de queso
  • 1 garlic clove crushed / ajo
  • 1 cup of milk / taza de leche
  • 2 to 3 tbsps of ají amarillo paste (depending how spicy to want it) / cucharadas de ají amarillo (si quiere más picante agrege más)
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil / cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • 1-2 tbsps lime juice / cucharadas de jugo de limón
  • 6 to 8 soda crackers (depending of the texture) / galletas de agua
  • black olives / aceitunas negras
  • lettuce / lechuga

The Instructions

  • Peel and boil the potatoes and then cut into thick slices / Pelar las papas y hervirlas, luego cortarlas en rodajas.
  • For the salsa Huancaína: In a blender or food processor add the cheese, garlic, ají amarillo paste and milk. Blend for 10-20 seconds then add a few crackers, the olive oil and lime juice / Para la salsa Huancaína: en una licuadora poner el queso, ajo, ají amarrillo y la leche y licuar. También agreagar las galletas de agua, aceite y jugo de limón.
Ají Amarillo
  • Check the consistency and taste – if the sauce needs more thickening add more crackers and blend a few more seconds / Pruebe y ponga sal y pimienta al gusto, si la salsa esta muy liquida ponga mas galletas ya que esto hará a espesar la salsa.

Papas a la Huancaína

  • To serve – place the lettuce on a plate and top with the sliced potatoes, the salsa a la huancaína should be poured over the potatoes covering them. To garnish add some black olives and wedges of the hard boiled eggs / Para servir ponga la lechuga en un plato y las papas encima, colocar la salsa sobre las papas cubiréndolas. Poner aceitunas negras y rebanadas de los huevos duros para la decoracion.