Deconstructed Eggs Benedict

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A while back I heard of a cooking concept where by you take a dish and “deconstruct” it. Where you take a classic dish, break it down and present it in a new way while retaining the same flavor profile. This concept resurfaced as a result of a heated argument friendly debate between a friend and I. The topic: what is harder to learn? Culinary or music production. We unenthusiastically called it a draw. In the end, the only thing we proved was that we were overly passionate about our work and will find any reason to support it. In our little discussion, a point was brought up that the culinary arts lack creativity because cooks work from set formulas/principles and only make substitution in flavor profiles. I agree, but aside from flavor, a cook can make their art (food) shine via presentation. That is why the “deconstruction” of classics appeal to me the way it does. It is another means for cooks to express their creative side. At any rate, our talk led to blurred the lines between acquiring skills and creativity. We agreed that learning the basics will ultimately stunt creativity.

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Such a pointless debate. I listen to music when I cook and I’m sure she has eaten while composing. They are really not so different when you think about it. Cooks have ingredients, formulas and a skill set that leads to finished recipes. Musicians have instruments, music theory and a skill set that leads to finished pieces. Both require work to perfect but will never be perfect. This can be said about anything you do. It really comes down to pushing your limits. At the end of our discussion she stated that her goal was to win a Grammy, my lady wants an Oscar and all I want is to cook. I am not sure where my life will be years from now but I know it will be in a kitchen.

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Oh! Totally went on a rant. So this dish, it’s a deconstructed Eggs Benedict with asparagus. It is the classic we all know and love…with a few tweaks. Instead of the classic English muffin, I used toasted panko crumbs (the crunch is ah-maz-ing!). I replaced the Canadian bacon with crispy bacon bits (yes, more crunch). I stuck with the classic flavor profile and only changed the presentation. Next time, I will change the flavor profile but keep the presentation. This is just a fun way to show you how you can take a classic and make it new.

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Deconstructed Eggs Benedict
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 5 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 5 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Deconstructed Eggs Benedict
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 5 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 5 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Ingredients
Poached Egg
Hollandaise Sauce
Base
Servings: Servings
Instructions
Poaching The Eggs
  1. Bring 3 inches of water to a gentle simmer. Add the white wine vinegar (see notes). Drop the eggs in one at a time and simmer for 3-4 minutes. See notes for additional information.
  2. When the whites are set. Remove the eggs from the water and set aside. Leave the water simmering (you will need it to make the Hollandaise).
Hollandaise Sauce
  1. Melt the butter. I microwaved mine in 20 second intervals. You can also do this in a pan over low heat, just make sure the butter doesn't brown.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice and egg yolks.
  3. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water, make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't make contact with the water.
  4. Continuously whisk the mixture while slowly pouring in the melted butter ( About 3 minutes). You are done when the sauce thicken to a consistency that can coat the back of a spoon. Mix in the cayenne pepper and salt to taste at this point.
Assembly
  1. Prepare an ice bath (bowl of water and ice) and set aside. Prepare the asparagus: Cut off the dry chewy ends (bottom 1/3 of the spear). Then cut the spears in half on a bias.
  2. Over a large pot of salted boiling water (see notes), throw in your asparagus and cook for 10-20 seconds (test on one spear before you throw them all in). They should have a bite to them. Remove the cooked spears and submerge them in the ice bath.
  3. Over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon (see notes).
  4. Remove the bacon from the pan onto some paper towels and discard the bacon fat, leaving about 1 tbsp in the pan. Throw in the panko crumbs and garlc powder. Cook, continuously stiring for 3 minutes (or until the crumbs are golden brown). Salt to taste.
Recipe Notes

Here is an easier way to make the Hollandaise with a blender

If the Hollandaise "breaks" (if you see clumps of egg), add 1/2 - 1  tbsp of hot water and continue to whisk. Your sauce should come back together.

You will want to use 1 tbsp of vinegar for every quart of water when poaching the eggs.

This is how I poached my eggs

Salting the water used in blanching the asparagus: No set amount of salt but your water should taste like ocean water.

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