Thanks to my intrepid readers, you have confirmed for me that what I’ve planted and now have in abundance is Swiss Chard. I’m also harboring a large population of Swiss chard loving critters. And since thousands of aphids can’t be wrong, I’ve concluded that the stuff must be delicious and should be used in lieu of spinach in our Benedict iteration.
I also made the English muffins. You can find my recipe here. But honestly, feel free to use store bought. Let me just say that once you make them yourself, you’ll never go back.
(SHEESH! Can't a chick mid lay have a little privacy?)
The poached eggs are this morning’s gifts from our number one ladies: Kiki, Bertie, Moussie and Helga. The fresher the egg, the better the poach. The yolk is more pert and the whites stay close to the yolk, so when you poach, the whites naturally encase the yolk. When the egg is old, the whites will “scatter” in the water, abandoning the yolk. Not what you want in a beautifully poached egg.
For the sautéed Swiss chard
4 large leaves of swiss chard, julienned
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
½ a medium onion, finely sliced
sea salt to taste
zest of one organic lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
•Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add onion and garlic. Sauté over law heat until the onion and garlic become transluscent. Add Swiss chard and sauté for one minute until the chard has wilted but still maintains its brightness. Add zest and season with salt to taste. Set aside
To poach the eggs
You’ll need: 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt, a slotted spoon and a small cup with a handle.
•Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a very low simmer.
•Crack the eggs into a small cup. Gently slide one egg into the simmering water, lowering the cup as close to the water as possible so that the egg slips in without much fanfare.
•You can use a small spoon to manipulate the whites to encase the yolks when it’s first submerged. Poach for 5 minutes, until the whites are opaque.
•Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and allow any excess water to drip back into the pot.
•Repeat with remaining eggs
For the hollandaise
I use a blender. Yes, it’s lame and a cop out but it’s never failed. I never use my food processor as it’s too large to successfully emulsify the hollandaise. The blender provides a snugger enclosure that insure the yolks are being beautifully whipped as I pour in the butter.
2 sticks butter melted
6 egg yolks
4 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch white pepper
Place the yolks, salt, lemon juice and pinch of white pepper in the blender. Put on the lid. Turn the blender on and slowly pour in the butter. Blend until the hollandaise has emulsified, about 30 seconds
Split open the English muffin and place a generous spoonful of sautéed chard on each half. Gently transfer a poached egg to each half and spoon hollandaise gently onto the egg. Season with a few grains of sea salt. Tuck in.