Daring Kitchen December - Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs and Gravlax

Mmm - so creamy, so delicious!  What a great challenge for this month and relatively easy on time, since we're all probably a little busy this month - thanks!  This challenge is month one year anniversary with Daring Kitchen!

This month Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

I am the only person in our house who likes poached eggs, or hollandaise, so I don't make it too often.  I have however, learned a version of hollandaise that I can scale down for just one person (it's below).  It is creamy, lemony, buttery and delicious.  I had some gravlax in the freezer, so this made a nice detour from my usual.

A couple of tips from me: 
1.  Use a glass bowl for your double boiler - I find the thinness of a stainless steel bowl can end up with me having scrambled eggs around the edges
2.  If your hollandaise goes too far (too thick), or has sat around too long - you can save it!  Just whisk in a few drops of water until the sauce is back where you want it.

Here is the recipe that was provided by our hosts:
4 eggs (size is your choice)
2 English muffins*
4 slices of Canadian bacon/back bacon (or plain bacon if you prefer)
Chives, for garnish
Splash of vinegar (for poaching)
For the hollandaise (makes 1.5 cups):
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. (5 ml) water

¼ tsp. (1 ¼ ml/1½ g) sugar
12 Tbl. (170 g/6 oz.) unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces º
½ tsp. (2 ½ ml/3 g) kosher salt
2 tsp. (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
* for gluten free, use gluten free English muffins or bread of your choice
º for dairy free, use a dairy free margarine

1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and set aside.
3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 tsp. (5 ml) water in a mixing bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without touching the water (or in top portion of a double boiler). Whisk for 1–2 minutes, until egg yolks lighten. Add the sugar and whisk 30 seconds more.
4. Place bowl on saucepan over simmering water and whisk steadily 3–5 minutes (it only took about 3 for me) until the yolks thicken to coat the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from heat (but let the water continue to simmer) and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Move the bowl to the pan again as needed to melt the butter, making sure to whisk constantly.

6. Once all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (if using).
7. Keep the hollandaise warm while you poach your eggs in a thermos, carafe, or bowl that you’ve preheated with warm water .
8. If the water simmering in your pan has gotten too low, add enough so that you have 2–3 inches of water and bring back to a simmer.
9. Add salt and a splash of vinegar (any kind will do). I added about a tablespoon of vinegar to my small saucepan (about 3 cups of water/720 ml of water), but you may need more if you’re using a larger pan with more water.

10. Crack eggs directly into the very gently simmering water (or crack first into a bowl and gently drop into the water), making sure they’re separated. Cook for 3 minutes for a viscous but still runny yolk.
11. While waiting for the eggs, quickly fry the Canadian/back bacon and toast your English muffin.
12. Top each half of English muffin with a piece of bacon. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise and chopped chives, and enjoy!

My recipe for a one-person hollandaise:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tb softened, unsalted butter
Salt to taste
A Pinch of cayenne pepper

Makes enough sauce for two eggs.  Follow the directions for the Hollandaise above and enjoy!


  1. Thank you so much for the 1 person Hollandaise sauce recipe that is very useful. And that first photograph says it all well done.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. Oh lovely post! Your eggs look perfect and I love that you were able to scale down the hollandaise.

  3. Delicious! Perfect eggs and I always have too much hollandaise so thanks for the scale-down.

  4. Challenge very successfully accomplished! Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the Hollandaise for one person.

  5. Delicious! I made the single yolk hollandaise too, and ate it all. Yours looks very decadent with the smoked salmon.

  6. We'll definitely be making use of your little hollandaise - thanks!

    Well done on a great result.

    Stay JOLLY!