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Pimiento Mac n’ Cheese

Wednesday, July 8

Pimiento Mac n’ Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Special Tools: a grater, and a large baking dish will help

Feeds: a small army or one very hungry guy!

 

1 ea.                4oz. jar diced pimientos, liquid drained

¼ cup             butter

¼ cup             flour

1 ea.                jalapeno, seeds removed and diced

1 tbsp.             garlic, minced

1 lt.                  homogenized milk

250 gr.             cream cheese

500 gr.             medium orange cheddar, grated

500 ml.           heavy cream

TT                   S&P

2 lbs.               shell pasta

2 cups             crushed BBQ chips

 

  • Place a large pot of water on to boil, salt it
  • Meanwhile, place a heavy bottom sauce pot on medium high heat
  • Add the butter, melt, then add diced jalapenos, and garlic
  • Let sweat 1 minute or so
  • Then add the flour and stir with a spoon to combine, let toast lightly, but not brown too much
  • Then add the milk and whisk to combine
  • Let the sauce slowly come to a simmer, stirring VERY regularly, as it will want to burn to the bottom
  • Add the pimientos, and the heavy cream, let simmer slowly, another 5-6 minutes, or under the sauce has thickened and the chalky taste of flour has cooked out
  • Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth
  • Preheat the oven to 450F
  • Cook the pasta in the pot of water until desired consistency, about 8 minutes, but it will depend on size
  • Add the grated cheese to the sauce and whisk until melted, season to your liking
  • Now, drain the pasta and pour into the sauce, stirring well to combine
  • Once combined, place in a large baking dish and top with crushed BBQ chips
  • Bake in the oven until the top browns slightly and the sauce thickens up a little further
  • Enjoy!

 

Who’s hungry?

Braised Lamb Shank w/ Creamy Polenta

Friday, March 20

Braised Lamb Shanks with Creamy Polenta

 

4 ea.              lamb shanks

¼ cup           canola oil


TT                 S&P

1 ea.             large onion, peeled, large dice


1 ea.             large carrot, peeled, large dice


2 ea.             celery stalks, leaves removed, large dice


4 cloves       garlic


½ cup          tomato paste

1 cup           red wine


3 lt.              veal stock (beef stock can be substituted)


2-3 pc.          bay leaves


1 tbsp.          peppercorns


4 sprigs        fresh rosemary
  

6 sprigs        fresh thyme

  • Preheat the oven to 300F
  • Place a pan on high heat
  • Drizzle oil in hot pan, then sear the shanks until golden brown on all sides, set aside
  • In a 6 lt. pot, saute the onions, carrots celery & garlic, until you can smell the aroma, 1-2 min
  • Add tomato paste and brown slightly
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and reduce
  • Once reduced, place the mixture in the bottom of a roasting pan big enough to fit the shanks, then top the mixture with the shanks
  • Using the same pot, heat enough veal stock to easily cover the shanks, bring to a simmer, flavour with remaining spices, then pour over the shanks to cover completely
  • Cover with aluminum foil and place in the place
  • Braise the shanks until they are fork tender, about 2-3 hours depending on thickness etc.
  • Once braised, remove shanks, and strain sauce, skim the fat from the surface

 

For the creamy polenta:

 

2 tbsp.          butter

2 tbsp.          shallots, minced

1 tbsp.          garlic, minced

1 cup             cornmeal

2 cups           chicken stock

2 cups           milk

1 tbsp.          butter (for finishing)

¼ cup           parmesan, grated

TT                  S&P

 

  • In a medium, thick bottomed pot, melt the butter
  • Add the minced shallots and garlic and sauté one minute, do not brown
  • Quickly add the milk and the chicken stock, bring to a simmer
  • Using a whisk, slowly add the cornmeal while whisking to combine, this will thicken quite quickly, but this does not mean it is ready
  • Once it begins to thicken, turn the temperature to low and continue to slowly simmer, slowly every few minutes until it is nice and creamy and the starch is cooked out, about 25-30 minutes
  • If your polenta is thickening too much, add a little extra stock or milk to maintain a nice creamy consistency
  • When the polenta is just about finished add the final tablespoon of butter and the parmesan cheese, stir to combine, this can be made up to 30 minutes in advance if necessary
  • Enjoy this hearty and rich braised dish as the weather
  • turns colder. Sooooo good!

Carrot Cake Pancakes w/ Cream Cheese Icing

Wednesday, March 11

Carrot Cake Pancakes w/ Cream Cheese Icing

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Special Tools: a griddle or non-stick pan is ideal, but not necessary, a mixer

Makes: about 10-12 pancakes

 

 

For the pancakes:

1 cup              AP flour

¾ tbsp.          baking powder

1 tbsp.            almonds, chopped fine

1 tbsp.            brown sugar

1 tbsp.            sugar

¼ tsp.             cinnamon

¼ tsp.             nutmeg

2 ea.                eggs

¾ cup             buttermilk

2 cups             carrots, fine grated

½ cup             raisins

1 tbsp.            lemon zest

3-4 tbsp.        melted butter for cooking

 

For the cream cheese icing:

1 stick            cream cheese

¼ cup             icing sugar

2 tsp.              cinnamon

1 tsp.              vanilla

1 cup              whipping cream

 

For eating:

Some good quality Quebec maple syrup

 

  • Start with preparing the cream cheese spread
  • In a bowl or the bowl of a Kitchen Aid, cream together the cream cheese and the icing sugar until smooth
  • Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and the cream
  • Slowly blend the cream in to combine, but don’t overmix, as it will become grainy
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve, now for the pancakes!
  • Begin by sifting the flour into a large bowl
  • Then add the baking powder, brown sugar, sugar, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • Using a whisk, stir the dry ingredients to combine
  • In a separate bowl combine the eggs, and buttermilk
  • Whisk until combined
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined
  • Lastly, fold in the carrots, raisins, and lemon zest
  • Let stand for about 10 minutes for the ingredients to come together
  • This recipe may require an additional couple of tablespoons of buttermilk, or even milk to attain the right consistency, it should not be thin and runny, but it also should be able to pour fairly well with a ladle, adjust accordingly, if necessary
  • Once the batter is ready, heat a medium sized pan to medium heat
  • Add a little bit of melted butter and swirl to coat the bottom
  • Then quickly add the batter, enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not too much, swirl the batter around the pan to cover evenly
  • Let cook until it begins to brown slightly around the outside, and begins to bubble in the centre, about 2-3 minutes
  • Flip the pancake over and repeat cooking on the other side
  • If the pancake is too browned on the outside before it is cooked in the centre turn the heat down slightly, if the pancake is cooked through, without browning at all turn the heat up slightly
  • Repeat with the remaining batter until all of the pancakes are cooked
  • You don’t need to make your pancakes look the way that mine do, they will taste just as good even if you don’t present them quite the same, just smear them with the cream cheese, drizzle them with maple syrup and the kids will be in heaven!

 

Who’s hungry?

 

Classic Hot Wings

Friday, January 30

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Feeds: 4-8 people

Special Tools: A deep fryer is a VERY good idea!, mesh strainer

 

4 lbs.              fresh chicken wings

 

for the dredge:

1 lb.                AP flour

1.5 tbsp.        mustard powder

1.5 tbsp.        garlic powder

1.5 tbsp.        onion powder

1.5 tbsp.        kosher salt

1.5 tbsp.        paprika

1.5 tbsp.        dried thyme

½ tbsp.          white pepper

½ tbsp.          cayenne

 

for the sauce:

1 cup              Frank Red Hot sauce

1 cup              sambal oelek

½  cup           melted butter

 

TT                   S&P

 

  • Preheat your deep fryer to 300F
  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients for the dredge and mix together well
  • Now, 10-12 pieces at a time and using a mesh strainer, place the wings in the dredge and coat the wings evenly, but not overly thick
  • From there, shake off all excess flour and place the wings straight into the fryer
  • Cook the wings until cooked through, but not yet crispy, about 4 minutes, if using wings and drums, it’s a good idea to separate them, cooking the wings about 3 minutes, and the drums about 4 minutes
  • Repeat the process until all of the wings are blanched
  • This step can be done up to a few hours in advance if need be, if doing so, place them in the refrigerator to cool
  • Meanwhile, place the ingredients for the sauce in a small pot and heat only to combine, about 2-3 minutes
  • When ready to serve the wings, increase the heat of your deep fryer to 350F
  • Return the blanched wings to the deep fryer and cook until heated through, golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes
  • Remove from the fat, drain off the excess, season immediately with salt and pepper
  • Then, in a large bowl, toss the wings in your desired amount of hot sauce, serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Who’s hungry?

Chickity Chinese Chicken Wings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Special Tools: Deep fryer

Makes: 2 dozen wings

 

This recipe is pretty simple to put together and make. Try it once, and if you like it, double, or even triple the sauce recipe and refrigerate it until you need it again. This will last in the fridge easily for a month or more, and can be used to flavor stir-fry’s and anything else you want to give a little Chinese kick to.

 

2 dz.               chicken wings (I prefer the lollipop drums, but it’s up to you)

 

for the dredging:

1 cup              cornstarch (a little more or less)

2 tbsp.            Chinese five spice

1 tsp.              salt

1 tsp.              pepper

 

for the sauce:

½ cup             rice vinegar

½ cup             soy sauce

½ cup             brown sugar

¼ cup             mirin

¼ cup             oyster sauce

1 oz.               fresh ginger, peeled, sliced thin

3 cloves         star anise

1 ea.               cinnamon stick

1 ea.                sezchuan pepper (or find one you like, watch the heat though!)

 

  • First, let’s start by preparing the sauce
  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a simmer
  • Once simmering, lower the heat slightly and let simmer gently until the sauce is reduced to about 75% of its original volume, this will heat from 7-10 minutes
  • Once reduced, remove from the heat and begin to cool
  • Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove the large pieces of ginger and the pepper
  • Set aside and cool until ready to use
  • Now, preheat the deep fryer to 300F (or low if you don’t have temperature control)
  • Likely you will only be able to cook about a dozen wings in your fryer at a time, if that’s the case, dredge the wings a dozen at a time
  • In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, five spice and seasoning, mix to combine
  • Place the chicken wings in the bowl and toss to evenly coat
  • Now, using your fryer basket, place the dredged wings in the basket and shake off the excess cornstarch back into the bowl
  • Place the wings in the fryer and proceed to blanch, 3 minutes if they are wings and 4 minutes of they are drums
  • Once blanched, remove, drain the fat and set aside to cool, repeat
  • When ready to serve increase the heat to 340-350F and begin to fry the wings to finish their cooking, they should brown up and crisp nicely, this will take about 3 minutes
  • Once cooked, place the wings in a large bowl and toss generously with the sauce, do this quickly as the wings are still very hot
  • Once the wings are evenly coated eat and enjoy!

 

Who’s hungry?

After Eight Martini

Saturday, December 13

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Makes: 1 martini

Special Tools: Martini shaker

 

1 oz.               vodka

1 oz.               crème de menthe

1 oz.               crème de cacao

2 tbsp.            chocolate shavings (optional)

1 sprig           fresh mint (optional)

                        ice

 

  • Place a generous scoop of ice in your martini glass to chill it
  • If you want to take this martini up a notch, dump the ice from your martini glass, lay your chocolate shavings out on a small plate and dip your martini rim in the chocolate shavings to rim the glass, this is completely optional, but a nice touch
  • Place another generous scoop of ice in your shaker
  • Now, add 1 oz. each, vodka, crème de menthe, crème de cacao to the shaker
  • Place the top on the shaker and shake vigorously for about a minute or so
  • Strain the cocktail into the martini glass, leaving the ice behind
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint floating in the glass, again, this is optional

Enjoy!

Cranberry Ginger Holiday Punch

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Makes: about 12 glasses

Special Tools: a punch bowl wouldn’t hurt

 

This punch plays on the classic holiday serving of cranberries complimented with a little bit of orange in the vodka and ginger. It’s simple to make, and can easily be kept family friendly if you’d rather.

 

1 lt.                 cranberry juice

1 lt.                 ginger ale

1 bottle          sparkling cider, keep it non-alcoholic if serving to the kids!

3 cup              frozen cranberries

¼ cup             fresh lime juice

12 oz.             Absolut Mandarin vodka (optional)

 

  • In a large punchbowl combine the cranberry juice, ginger ale, cider and mandarin vodka
  • Add the fresh squeezed lime juice and stir to combine
  • Finish the drink with the frozen cranberries when ready to serve, this will act as your ice cubes for the evening! 

Candy Cane Martini

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 martini

Special Tools: Martini shaker

 

1 ea.                candy cane, crushed into pieces

2 oz.               strawberry vodka

1 tsp.              crème de menthe

3 oz.               cranberry juice

                        ice

 

  • Place a generous scoop of ice in your martini glass to chill it
  • Place the crushed candy cane onto a large plate
  • Drain the ice from the martini glass and lightly wet the rim
  • Dip the rim into the crushed candy cane to line it
  • Now, place a generous scoop of ice into the martini shaker
  • Add the vodka, crème de menthe and cranberry juice
  • Place the lid on the shaker and then shake vigorously for one minute
  • Pour the drink into the candy cane lined martini glass, straining off the ice as you go

Enjoy!

Hot Buttered Rum

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 drink
Special Tools: N/A

This drink might be a little less for the wild nights of entertaining, but it is a wonderful soothing drink to enjoy while relaxing by the fire on one of our cold winter nights.

2 ea.      sugar cubes
1 tbsp.   hot water
2 oz.     dark rum
1 tsp.    unsalted butter
1 cup    about, hot water
dash      nutmeg

• In a mug, place the sugar cubes and tablespoon of hot water
• Using a spoon work to dissolve the sugar
• Add the dark rum, butter, and then fill the mug with hot water
• Stir to combine and dissolve the butter
• Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg
• Enjoy!

Bacon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Sunday, October 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Special Tools: nothing

Feeds: 6 to 8 people

 

1 lb.                 brussel sprouts

4 slices.           bacon

1 tsp.               brown sugar

¼ cup             chopped pecans (optional)

TT                   S&P

 

  • Place a pot of water on to boil, season with salt
  • Using a paring knife, remove any wilted or damaged outer leaves of the brussel sprouts, then score the core to help it cook faster
  • Place the burssel sprouts in the water and cook until firm, but fork tender, 7-8 minutes, when ready, drain
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pan to medium heat
  • Then add the bacon to the pan, cook until starting to soften, but not brown, about 2-3 minutes
  • Drain the brussel sprouts and then add to the pan, sauté until the bacon crisps and the sprouts begin to brown, add the brown sugar
  • Adjust the seasoning, top with pecans if you like, and serve!

 

Who’s hungry?

Butternut Squash Hash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Special Tools: nothing

Feeds: 6 to 8 people

 

1 ea.                butternut squash

1 ea.                red pepper

½  ea.              red onion

1 ea.                corn

1 tsp.               brown sugar

4 tbsp.                        canola oil

1 tsp.               nutmeg

1 tbsp.                        fresh chopped sage

TT                   S&P

 

  • Place a pot of water on to boil, season with salt
  • Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds from the cavity
  • Cube the squash into roughly equal ½ inch cubes
  • Peel and chop the onion into medium dice
  • Core and chop the red pepper into medium dice
  • Husk the corn, then carefully cut away the kernels, I like to cut the corn in half first so it stands flat and is more manageable
  • Place the squash in the water and cook until firm, but fork tender, 4-5 minutes, when ready, drain
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pan to high heat, add the oil
  • Then sauté the chopped onions, about 1 minute, then add the red peppers, followed by the corn and finally the squash
  • Saute until the squash lightly browns, then add the brown sugar, nutmeg, and the sage
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve!

 

Who’s hungry?

Curd Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Saturday, October 11

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Special Tools: food processor & ricer (both optional)

Feeds: 6 to 8 people

 

3 lbs.               potatoes

1.5 lbs.            fresh curd cheese

1 bulb             garlic

2 tbsp.            olive oil

½ tsp.             peppercorns

1 cup              heavy cream

1 cup              butter

1 tsp.               nutmeg

TT                   S&P

 

  • Perhaps the most difficult part of making these potatoes is roasting the garlic. To start that process take the whole bulb of garlic and cut the top off
  • Preheat an oven to 375F
  • Place the bulb in a small pan, drizzle with oil, add the peppercorns and top with aluminum foil, place in oven and bake until roasted, 30-40 minutes
  • While the garlic is roasting, peel the potatoes and cut into quarters
  • Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water, season with salt, and bring to a boil, simmer until cooked, about 20 minutes
  • While the potatoes are cooking, use your food processor to grate the curd cheese, it will help it melt faster
  • Drain the potatoes
  • Once the garlic is roasted squeeze the cloves out of the bulb and into a pot
  • Add the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and butter to the pot and bring to a simmer
  • Using the ricer, puree the potatoes and place in the pot of cream
  • Stir to combine, then add the curd cheese and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until the potatoes are rich and creamy
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve!

 

Who’s hungry?

Tasty Popsicles & Poptails

Friday, June 27

Before we get into them, there are a few pointers to consider. You will need a decent blender for all of these. You will obviously need some popsicle molds to pour the liquids into as well. They are very easy to find at most big box stores and are quite cheap. Alternatively you can use a paper cup and a popsicle stick, although I actually found it cheaper and easier to find the molds than it was to find popsicle sticks anymore. Once you nail these down you will realize that you can pretty much make any of your favorite drinks into popsicles. The key is to remember that they require a little bit of sugar to ensure they are a little soft, rather than simply ice cubes. That doesn’t always mean refined white sugar, it can be natural sugars found in fruit, or even honey, jam, cane sugar, or simple syrup. Follow these ideas to start, and then create your own favorites! All of the popsicles will take at least 4-6 hours to freeze. To pop them out, run the mold under a little hot water until it slides out.

 

Berry-Coconut Yoghurt Popsicles

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooling Time: 4-6 hours at least

Makes: about 8

 

8 oz.               fresh mixed berries (choose your favorite!)

1 ea.                lime, juice only

1 tbsp.            honey

1.5 cups         honey yoghurt

½ cup            coconut milk

pinch              salt

 

  • In a bowl combine berries, lime juice and honey, let stand 10 minutes
  • Roughly smash the berries to soften up
  • In a separate bowl combine the yoghurt, coconut milk
  • Then fold in the berries, being sure to leave behind streaks, rather than working it in completely
  • Place in the molds and freeze at least 4-6 hours

 

Nutella Fudgesicles

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooling Time: 4-6 hours

Makes: about 8 popsicles                                            

 

3 ea.                bananas, over ripe, frozen

½ cup            Nutella

1 tbsp.            cocoa powder

½ cup             milk

½ tsp.             vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract

¼ cup             hazelnuts, chopped

 

  • Peel the bananas and slice into chunks
  • Place bananas, nutella, milk, cocoa powder, and vanilla in blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Fold in the chopped hazelnuts for some texture inside the popsicle
  • Place in the popsicle molds and freeze at least 4-6 hours

 

 

Grapefruit & Strawberry Greyhound  Poptails (not kid friendly)

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooling Time: 4-6 hours, at least

Makes: about 8 popsicles

 

8 oz.               ruby red grapefruit juice (fresh, if you can)

12-15 ea.       medium strawberries

2 tbsp.            honey (optional, depending on how ripe your berries are)

5 oz.               vodka

 

  • Trim the stems off of the strawberries
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour into molds and freeze at least 4-6 hours

 

 

 

 

Blackberry-Pinot Poptails (not kid friendly)

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooling Time: 6 hours or more

Makes: about 8 pops

 

¼ cup             cane sugar (you can sub honey or regular old sugar if you must)

3 tbsp.            water

5 cups                        blackberries

1 cup              pinot noir

 

  • Combine cane sugar and water in a small pan, bring to a simmer to dissolve sugar
  • Remove from heat and cool
  • Once cool combine the berries and sugar in the blender, blend, slowly adding the wine
  • Take the concoction, if you like a little more wine in there I’m not going to judge!
  • Pour into your molds and freeze for at least 6 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Cuban Sandwich

Wednesday, June 4

Classic Cuban Sandwich

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Special Tools: A Panini press would help, but isn’t necessary

Feeds: 4 people 

This is the perfect simple sandwich to put together and enjoy on the deck on a nice sunny day with a cold beer. A true Cuban sandwich usually only has mustard, but I like the addition of a little bit of mayo to help mellow out the mustard and provide even a little more richness.

4 ea.              French sub buns, or Cuban loaves, but they’re hard to find

12 slices        ham, I like black forest, but it’s not necessary

12 slices        roast pork

12 slices        Swiss cheese

4 ea.               large dill pickles

½ cup             regular mustard

¼ cup             mayonnaise

TT                   S&P

                        Butter, don’t be shy!

 

  • Remove the butter from the fridge to ensure it is soft
  • If using the Panini press, plug it in and warm it up
  • In a small bowl combine the mayo and mustard
  • Using a knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the pickles into medallions
  • Using a serated knife, slit your buns in half lengthwise
  • Smear a tablespoon or so of the mayo mix on each side of all of the buns
  • Now, lay the sliced pickles down, splitting them up evenly between all of the buns
  • Place 3 slices of Swiss on each sandwich, followed by 3 slices of the ham and the roast pork
  • If using a frying pan, place it on medium heat now
  • Close the sandwiches and then smear the top generously with softened butter
  • Place the buttered side down in the pan or on the Panini press
  • Butter the top side generously
  • If using the Panini press, press down the top and allow the bun to crisp up and brown nicely
  • If using a frying pan, use a spatula to press down the sandwich and let the bun crisp up, it should take 2-3 minutes brown on either side
  • If your timing is right the bun will be nicely browned while the meat is heated through and the Swiss cheese is nicely melted

 

Enjoy this sandwich with some plantain or Yuca chips and a cold frosty and it will be sure to hit the spot.

 

Who’s hungry?

Classic Eggs Benedict

Friday, May 9

Eggs Benedict

 

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Feeds: 4 people

Tools: Medium metal bowl, whisk, medium pot, slotted spoon, fine mesh strainer, coffee filter, toaster

 

The dish that we are preparing is classic eggs benedict, but once you master this, you can easily change it up. The image included is a delicious lobster and arugula eggs benedict. I have done steak and eggs benedict, crab and avocado, and countless others. It really comes down to thinking about what your special someone really enjoys.

 

4 ea.                English muffins

8 ea.                eggs

8 slices          back bacon

 

for the hollandaise:

4 ea.                egg yolks

1 lb.                butter

1 cup              white wine

1 tbsp.            minced shallots

½ tsp.                        whole peppercorns

1 ea.                bay leaf

1 tbsp.            vinegar

1 wedge         lemon, juice only

TT                   Lea & Perrins

TT                   Tabasco

TT                   S&P

 

To poach the eggs:

1 tbsp.            vinegar

 

  • The first step in making eggs benedict is preparing for the hollandaise, and that begins with clarifying the butter
  • To make clarified butter slice the pound of butter into 4-5 chunks and place in deep pot, in medium heat
  • While it is melting, set up the fine mesh strainer with the coffee filter inside,  place over the top of a heat proof  1 lt. container
  • The butter is first going to melt, and then begin to separate, with the water steaming off, the milk solids sinking to the bottom, leaving the fat to clarify, this will take about 10-15 minutes, depending on how high you are cooking it, look for the butter to foam twice, the first time as it simmers, the second time as the milk solids begin to brown slightly and separate, when you see that foam the second time, and a slight browning around the outside of the pot that’s a sign that your butter is clarified, now you must move quickly
  • Quickly and carefully pour the butter through the filter into the container, letting gravity drain the fat, while keeping the milk solids trapped in the filter, set aside clarified butter, discard milk solids
  • Now it’s time to prepare the wine reduction for the hollandaise
  • In a small pot place the white wine, minced shallots, bay leaf, and vinegar
  • Bring the white wine mixture to a simmer and let simmer until reduced to about ¼ of it’s original volume
  • Once reduced, strain through a fine strainer
  • The clarified butter and the white wine reduction can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until needed
  • When ready to make the hollandaise place a medium pot with water on the stove, about half full (this can also be your egg poaching pot!)
  • Ensure your clarified butter is warm, at least body temperature
  • Place the egg yolks in the stainless steel bowl and add the white wine reduction
  • Whisk the egg yolks with the reduction, place over the pot of hot water and continue to whisk vigorously, you are to cook the mixture by slowly bringing up the temperature, without scrambling the eggs, keep whisking! Once the mixture thickens like a light custard remove from heat
  • Using some help, or steadying your bowl, very slowly add the warm clarified butter to the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. You are creating an emulsion and must whisk to combine
  • Continue to whisk in all of  the butter as the hollandaise begins to take shape
  • Once hollandaise is thickened, it’s time to adjust the flavoring
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon wedge in, followed by a splash of Lea & Perrins and Tabasco.  Finish with salt and pepper and keep in a warm environment, until ready to serve this must be served quickly, *hollandaise should be prepared to order, and not be stored for any longer than one hour
  • Time to finish off your eggs benedict
  • Slice the English muffins in half and toast in toaster
  • Heat your 8 slices of back bacon (or lobster, or meat of choice)
  • Now, place 1 tbsp. of vinegar in your pot of boiling water
  • Using your slotted stir the water slightly
  • One by one, crack the eggs into the pot gently
  • Cook the eggs to your desired liking, generally about 2-3 minutes for soft, 3-4 for medium, and 5+ for hard
  • Lay the English muffins down side by side, top with back bacon,  use the slotted spoon to remove the eggs and place on top of the back bacon
  • Cover the eggs generously with your delicious hollandaise and serve with your wife’s favorite sides and hot cup of coffee

 

Most importantly, clean up after yourself and do the dishes! Nothing spoils the surprise more than having to clean up after your messy husband.