Nothing says "special breakfast" like eggs Benedict. Here, the classic is given a southern treatment, with paper-thin slices of Virginia ham and a velvety hollandaise spooned atop rounds of freshly baked corn bread. For best results, use only the freshest eggs for poaching.
- For the Corn Bread:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 2/3 cup corn kernels
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- For the Hollandaise Sauce:
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups clarified butter
- For the Eggs:
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 8 eggs
- 6 ounces Virginia ham, thinly sliced
- Fresh chives
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking pan. Dust the bottom and sides with flour, tapping out the excess.
FOR THE CORN BREAD:
In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in the shortening until crumbly. Add the corn kernels, buttermilk and eggs and stir with a whisk until smooth. Transfer to the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is a golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool briefly, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a round cutter 3 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out 4 rounds. Slice each round in 1/2 horizontally. Set aside. Leave the oven set at 350 degrees F.
FOR THE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE:
In a stainless-steel bowl, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, shallot, vinegar and salt. Place over (not touching) simmering water in a pan and whisk together continuously until the mixture is a pale lemon yellow and falls in thick ribbons when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the water and cayenne. Then, while whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the clarified butter until all of it has been used and a thick emulsion has formed. Cover and keep warm.
FOR THE EGGS:
Pour water into a large frying pan to a depth of 3 inches and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water is just below the boiling point. Add the salt and vinegar. One at a time, crack the eggs into a small ramekin or tea cup and gently lower into the water. Work as quickly as possible so that all the eggs will cook in about the same amount of time. Cook until the whites are firm but the yolks are still soft, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a paper towel-lined platter to drain. Trim away any straggly strands of egg.
Place 2 corn bread rounds, cut-sides up, on each warmed individual plate. Top each round with an equal amount of the ham and a poached egg. Spoon the hollandaise over the top, garnish with the chives and serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
1634 calories; 113g total fat; 957mg cholesterol; 3864mg sodium; 113g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 44g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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