Eggs Benedict & Best Friends
So my best friend, since forever, just left to go back home to Italy. (Sad face) She’s not Italian, she’s from Chicago originally, but now lives in Rome…after living in Washington DC…and Sri Lanka…and Singapore, she decided to settle herself in Rome. I know, right? (I got married in Rome, so personally, I am thrilled to know someone who lives there. It’s a perfect excuse to go visit my favorite city in the world…wink, wink, if you are reading this Sandra. And yet another good reason to learn more Italian.)
We went to parochial school together through junior high. And though we went to different all-girl catholic high schools, we still hung out every weekend at the mall, at Musicland, buying cassette tapes (we were hip, before hipsters). We were also college roommates during the time of plaid flannel and ripped jeans. I’m not sure we knew how to dress ourselves when we got to college. We lived our whole lives in plaid school uniforms. You would have thought we would have given up the plaid in college. But why mess with a good thing? Plaid forever!
Funny side story: In grade school we used to pass notes to each other on Hello Kitty or Little Twin Stars stationary (remember Little Twin Stars?) and she would always sign her notes “Sandy Stajamzyson“. No, Stajamzyson was not her last name, but an amalgamation of 4 celebrities our pre-teen selves thought were hot at the time. We loved Stallone because of Rocky IV and Rambo II. I would actually sit there and do the math in my head to figure out if my 12-year-old self was too young to marry him when I grew up. True story. Ha!
Sandy was obsessed with John James, the actor that played Jack Colby on Dynasty. Me, not so much, I don’t like suits. But we watched Dynasty and the Colby’s spin-off religiously. Where are you now Joan Collins? I remember I wanted Fallon’s hair.
And then there was Patrick Swayze. Most people loved him because of Dirty Dancing…but we were in love with him way before anyone tried to put Baby in a corner. We were the biggest fans of the “North and South” mini-series and we swooned over Orry Main because, southern gentleman.
Finally, Don Jonson from Miami Vice. What? What’s wrong with white suits? I know, I know. All together, Sandy combined their last names and renamed herself “Sandy Stajamzyson”. If she is reading this right now, I am sure she is
giggling silently to herself probably doubled over from laughing so hard but no sound is coming out? Yeah, that’s her right now.
Who were your pre-teen crushes?
But we grew up. I stayed local and she got this super cool awesome job that took her abroad. I have been traveling vicariously through her Facebook posts and pictures. And I love hearing all about her adventures when she comes back home. She really has been everywhere! Even places no one wants to really go to. She has the most exotic exciting life, has seen the most amazing things and tried the most amazing foods.
And what happens when she comes back stateside? All she wants are eggs Benedict. Eggs Benedict!!! America has exported blue jeans and rock and roll. How have eggs Benedict escaped export? Are we the only ones who know about this? How can this be? Yay for America! Yay for eggs Benedict? But didn’t the French create le sauce Hollandaise? Le sigh…
So here we go…
4 slices Canadian bacon
2 large slices good crusty bread cut in half (no English muffins here …these are American eggs)
butter (for the bread)
Le Sauce Hollandaise (made in a food processor, yes! it’s true)
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Habanero & Mango Aioli (or mustard plus a dash of tabasco)
1 & 1/4 sticks butter (I know, I know)
Begin by toasting your crusty bread. While the bread is toasting, fry up the Canadian bacon until browned and bring a pan of water (1 & 1/2 inches deep) to a simmer. I know there is a lot going on at the same time. Whoa!
The water should reach a simmer at 190 degrees before starting to poach your eggs. When the water has reached 190 degrees, crack your egg in a small ramekin and then slowly add your eggs one at a time into the water and turn off the heat. Let poach for 5 minutes for perfectly runny yolks. Alton Brown’s egg poaching video should help.
In the meantime, begin your hollandaise sauce. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. In a food processor place the 3 egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and aioli or mustard and blend well (yes! I promise you don’t have to stress yourself out whisking over a double broiler). Once your butter is melted, very slowly drizzle the butter into the food processor while mixing on high. It will begin to emulsify into a perfect hollandaise sauce. Adjust with a little more salt or lemon juice per your taste preferences and…
Butter your toasted bread, place a slice of Canadian Bacon on top, then a perfectly poached egg and top with a generous spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Now break that yolk!