This is the third (and final) blog on our Carolina Style Eggs Benedict. I can hear what you are thinking: “This is the longest and most complicated recipe ever! Why would I want to do this? I can get it at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast!” Which is true. But consider this, each component can be made a day or two in advance and extras can be made which can be used in other meals. Some substitutions can make it easier as well. For example, you could use English muffins as the base if you didn’t want to go to the trouble of making Goat Cheese Grit Cakes.
One caveat: please do take the trouble to get a good quality goat cheese. People who say they don’t like goat cheese often find that it’s not all goat cheese they dislike, it is the cheaper commercial varieties. In my opinion, small creameries produce a product that is really tasty and much less sour and chalky. Here in Western North Carolina we have a lot of small creameries but even if you live far from the herds you should be able to find a good quality goat cheese somewhere!
GOAT CHEESE GRIT CAKES
Makes 8 3-inch Grit Cakes
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 cup Quick Grits
1/2 cup creamy goat cheese
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg plus 1 tsp water
1/4 cup butter plus 2 tbsps olive oil.
1. Put the water and milk into a large pot and bring to a boil. Slowly pour the grits into the boiling water. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring from time to time, 5-7 minutes until thickened.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the goat cheese and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Pour into a buttered baking pan. Spread the grits evenly in the pan, cover and refrigerate until firm. (I do this the night before)
4. Put the bread crumbs, seasoned flour, and egg and water in three separate bowls. Whisk the egg and water together.
5. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the grits into eight cakes. (If you don’t have a cookie cutter you can cut it into squares). Dip each grit cake carefully into the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs. Let rest for ten minutes on a rack.
6. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan until the butter “sings” in the pan. Fry the grit cakes gently turning once until browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on a side. Drain on an paper towel and keep warm until ready to serve.
And now, finally, put everything together (poached egg, roasted red peppers Provencal and the goat cheese grit cakes along with hollandaise sauce) to make
CAROLINA STYLE EGGS BENEDICT
For 4 People
A word about Hollandaise Sauce: it used to be that I would make this in advance and keep it warm in a thermos until I served it. You can do this if you want, using a recipe of your own or this one for Blender Hollandaise Sauce. But there is an even easier way if you are lucky enough have a Trader Joe’s near you. Trader Joe’s Hollandaise Sauce comes in a small container (found in the refrigerated section). It is ready to use, just heat it up in the microwave ten seconds at a time, stirring after every ten seconds until it is warm and smooth. The best thing is, you can use just as much as you want or need and put the rest back in the fridge for another time. There, now I have given away a trade secret!
Bring a pot of water to a low boil. While this is getting hot, warm the red peppers gently in a skillet or microwave. The grit cakes are keeping warm in the oven, right? When the water is ready, gently dropped the eggs into the water and maintain at a low boil one and a half minutes for a runny egg, two to three minutes for a harder yolk. While the eggs are cooking heat up the Hollandaise sauce.
Assemble the Eggs Benedict as follows: two grit cakes on a plate, topped with some red peppers and onion (it helps if you make a little nest for the eggs in them), place one egg on top of each grit cake then pour over Hollandaise sauce to your taste. Garnish with some chopped parsley. Enjoy!