Recipe: Mushroom Benedict

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4D

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

Savory and rich-tasting, this makes a good breakfast-for-dinner candidate.

You'll need a small cup for transferring the eggs to the poaching water. From New York food writer Regina Schrambling.

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs:

4 large eggs, as fresh as possible, straight from the refrigerator

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar

2 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered

Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)

For mushrooms and sauce:

7 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium or large shallot, minced (3 to 4 tablespoons)

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon tamari (may substitute low- sodium soy sauce)

Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

Salt (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced (homemade or store-bought)

INSTRUCTIONS

For the eggs:

Line a wide bowl with a few layers of paper towels. Fill a saucepan or skillet with about 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the water is barely bubbling at the edges.

Working in batches as needed, gently break the eggs into individual teacups, custard cups or ramekins.

Use a spatula or spoon to swirl the water a few times. Hold the side of the egg container as close as possible to the surface of the water and slide each egg in. Use the spatula or spoon to "shape" the white around the yolk as needed. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the lined bowl.

Trim off any "threads" if necessary before serving.

For mushrooms and sauce: Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water, and heat over medium heat or until the water is barely bubbling at the edges. Adjust the heat to medium-low if needed. Place a metal bowl on the saucepan (to create a double boiler).

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is just trans- lucent, then increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms, stirring to coat. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the mushrooms release their moisture and brown. Stir in the tamari (to taste), then season with black pepper to taste.

Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over low heat.

Combine the lemon juice and egg yolk in the metal bowl and whisk to blend. Set over the simmering water and continue whisking until the eggs start to set. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted butter, a tablespoon or so at a time, until the sauce emulsifies. Stir in the roasted pepper bits. Season with salt if needed and hold in a warm spot. The yield is about 1/3 cup.

To assemble, lay the toasted, buttered English muffin halves on warmed plates and top with the shiitake mixture. Place a poached egg on each muffin half, then spoon the hollandaise over each portion. Garnish with chives, if desired. Serve right away.

Per serving: 740 calories, 23 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 56 g fat, 31 g saturated fat, 640 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar

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