Sunday, June 14, 2009

Eggs Benedict Caprese on Grilled French Bread (with Cheddar Bechamel)

(I'm no longer posting on this blog - enjoy the recipe but if you want to see what I'm up to, visit me here.)

I think I've mentioned before I'm not so hot when it comes to cooking breakfast. Most of the time the meal for me consists of greek yogurt and whole grain cereal or a bagel with veggie cream cheese. Maybe some steel cut oats if I have 20 minutes. Low maintenance and light workload. Frankly, I'm not awake enough in the morning to put together anything else. But on the rare occasion that I've gotten enough sleep and have some time to kill, I will try to make something special of the meal. It's not always successful, haha, but this particular one was.

I had some leftover french bread yesterday that I wanted to use up and when checking on my little plants outside, I saw that my basil and chives were thriving and I wanted to eat some right away. So the plan was to poach some eggs, grill the bread and top with tomatoes and basil and make a cheddar bechamel sauce. My first time poaching eggs actually! And they were much easier than I thought they'd be! My clumsy oxen-like movements didn't break the yolks so I think you could handle it too. This came out delicious and despite the bechamel sauce, is not nearly as high calorie as you think. The same type of meal at a breakfast restaurant would run you about 900 calories-mine is only going to cost you abou 580. Not saying that 580 is low calorie, haha, but it's a feat of amazment considering I'm covering the eggs with butter, cheese and milk. Now stop drooling and go make some yourself.

After eating it, J said "Shit, I guess I should marry you." Maybe I should change the name to "Marry me Eggs". He knows he has a good thing.

Serves 2 (but enough bechamel for 4)


For the grilled bread
8-10 inches of fresh french bread
olive oil (optional
kosher salt

4 large basil leaves
2 ripe roma tomatoes, sliced
olive oil (optional)

For the poached eggs

4 eggs
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
dash of kosher salt

For the Bechamel (makes about 1 cup)
2 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup 1% milk
couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce
couple pinches of dry mustard
kosher salt to taste

Heat a stove top grill pan over medium high heat. If you don't have one, you certainly can grill the bread on a gas or charcoal grill but I don't do well over open flame (yet!) so I can't give you directions there! Cut french bread in half, and then split each half as if it were a sandwich roll. When the pan is hot, place the four pieces of french bread on the grill, soft side down. Grill bread for 3-4 minutes and remove when desired color is achieved. Season with kosher salt and drizzle with a little olive oil (if desired).

While your bread is grilling, fill a saucepan half way with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar (the vinegar helps the egg to keep it's shape). Crack each egg separately into a small cup or bowl and then poach eggs one at a time by pouring them into the center of the simmering (not boiling) water. Use a wooden spoon to gently loosen the sides of the egg from the bottom of the pan if necessary but be careful not to nudge too much. They're very delicate. Cook each for 2-5 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs. If you're feeling nervous about whether you're doing it right, check out some video's on youtube on how to poach an egg. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. If you are making eggs for a large group and and your first eggs get cold, just drop them back into the hot water for a couple of seconds to reheat.

If you're a good multitasker, while your eggs are poaching away, melt the 1.5 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat. Add the tablespoon of flour and stir continuously to incorporate. Raise heat to medium and cook flour and butter until a golden brown (4 or 5 minutes). In a separate sauce pan or in the microwave in a large bowl, heat 1 cup of milk until hot but not boiling. Slowly add the hot milk to the butter and flour roux , whisking the entire time until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened (5 or 6 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in 2 oz of grated cheddar cheese (grate it yourself, don't buy pre-grated if you can), the Worcestershire sauce and a hearty pinch of dry mustard. Season with kosher salt.
Place two pieces of grilled bread on two plates, top each piece of bread with 1 large basil leaf, two slices of roma tomatoes (and a drizzle of olive oil if you want to be true to the caprese style) and a poached egg. Spoon about two tablespoons of bechamel onto each egg. Add a twist of freshly ground black pepper and chives to garnish (optional of course!).
Use the leftover bechamel for pasta or just to dip extra bread in. I'm so excited about how this came out! Expect to see more attempts at breakfast foods in the future. :)

All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley
Eggs Benedict on Foodista


Cookin' Canuck said...

Mmm, I love eggs benedict and this one looks particularly good! Good job on your first poaching attempt. It looks as though you mastered it already!

Diana Bauman said...


Beutiful! I have not yet poached an egg but you have inspired me with this recipe. Thanks so much for finding my blog and commenting. I'm so glad you did as I'm now following you. What a fun blog you have and the recipes are great!

So glad to connect on the blogosphere.

A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa

janet said...

Looks lovely! You can never go wrong with basil.

claireknightly said...

Yowza, this looks fantastic!!! I have yet to try poaching eggs, but maybe I'll have to give it a go.

MB said...

Yumm!! I've never actually tried poaching eggs either but I think after drooling over this one, I'm going to have to give it a shot!!

Correne Quigley-Faysal said...

This sounds really good and I am not a huge eggs benedict fan (but i don't really like to eat hollandaise). Thanks for commenting on my blog I appreciate it. I read your Nashville post- I had the exact same experience, and even ended one of my night there at Tootsies! Great blog!

AndreaQ said...

Thank you everyone! Poaching was much easier than I expected it to be but I did royally screw up the first one of the batch by poking it with my spoon too much. I guess the key is too leave the eggs alone! Let me know if any of you try it and how it goes!

Newyorkerbyheart said...

OMG it looks SO good - I love Eggs Benedict! - and I love NH. I have family in Andover, NH - it's a great state..... (I'm from Denmark, so unfortunately it's far away).

What a great blog you have here and the pictures are truely to die for :-)

My best,
Birthe from Denmark

Annaliese Wolf said...

Shit, he SHOULD!

Shelly said...

Damn this looks so naughty but sooooo good!