This entry is part of 43 in the series Food Network
This week’s Comfort Food Feast for the Food Network is all about potatoes – my favorite. Nothing makes me happier or lightens a tough day. This gluten-free version of Eggs Benedict uses crispy hash brown patties in place of the traditional English muffins. I promise you won’t even miss the bread and everyone at your table will love the variety!
The Artist and I met on St. Patrick’s Day 20 years ago! We are celebrating with a whole week of Irish inspired recipes. One breakfast, one dinner, and two desserts – now that sounds like a celebration to me! Fried potatoes and onions for breakfast, what could be more Irish than that. Oh yeah, covering them with a beautiful poached egg and a creamy green-tinged sauce. This gluten-free version of Eggs Benedict uses crispy hash brown patties in place of the traditional English muffins. I promise, you won’t even miss the bread!
Uncooked potato patties ready for frying
I have always loved latkes and miss them because they are usually made with flour. By using frozen shredded hash browns (Ore-Ida is a nationally available brand that is gluten-free) you take most of the work out of making them. Adding a little shredded onion adds a lot of flavor and stirring in a beaten egg makes it really easy to form little potato patties that fry up beautifully.
The thought of making a hollandaise sauce can strike fear in the heart of the most experienced chefs. Basically you are trying to get oil and water to coexist happily in the same space without separating – yep, nearly impossible. And contrary to popular belief, I do make mistakes and this was one of them. When using the traditional method to make hollandaise my sauce broke, and none of the regular fixes worked. (http://www.finecooking.com/item/13898/how-to-fix-a-broken-hollandaise-sauce) I didn’t want to throw it out and start over, so I hit the Internet.
Poached eggs on top of ham and golden brown potato patties for a gluten-free Eggs Benedict; ready for the Basil Hollandaise
I went looking for some help and that’s when I found James Kenji Lopez-Alt’s miracle 2 minute hollandaise. He is the author of The Food Lab and a seriously talented man in the kitchen. He has a wonderful way of making hollandaise that is extremely easy and very nearly foolproof. Instead of heating the eggs and trying to maintain an emulsion, he reverses it, adding hot butter to cool egg yolks, reducing the possibility of breakage. Also, by using an immersion or stick blender, you can have the sauce made in about 2 minutes without any whisking! Alleluia!
Too bad I didn’t know this trick when I started today. I transferred my broken sauce to a small mixing cup I have, inserted the immersion blender and with some work, the powerful blending made an acceptable sauce. Not as silky as I like, but the flavor was fantastic. I’m sure if I had started with the immersion blender it would have been outstanding!
Comparing Michael Ruhlman’s Egg Spoon with a regular slotted spoon
Another fun tool I have is Michael Ruhlman’s Bad Ass Egg Spoon – yes folks, that is its actual name. It is an all-purpose perforated spoon for use in any number of recipes, but it was designed specifically to separate the more watery egg whites from the firmer ones and yolks. This gives you less floating whites in the water when you poach eggs and cleaner, prettier eggs. Take a look at this video where Michael explains and demonstrates how it works. I use this all the time for a wide variety of tasks and was excited when I got the same results with separating the two types of egg white proteins. If you look at the close ups you can see how neat the edges of the eggs are – this is without trimming like most professional kitchens do. Awesome tool!
I did add food coloring because I wanted the plate to be very festive. The color of your sauce will vary depending on the amount and freshness of your herbs. Dried herbs (other than Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried varieties) will not add any beautiful pop of green and nowhere near the amount of flavor.
If you want to thrill your children with a really fun St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, start their day with these eggs.
Erin Go Bragh!!
The colors of the Irish flag for a fun St. Patrick’s Day breakfast or brunch!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Make the potato patties ahead to cut down on the time required to get these on the table. The sauce can be made an hour or two early and kept warm on the back of the stove. Just make sure you have everything ready to go because once the eggs are done you need to move quickly.
Make sure that the brand of hash browns you buy are gluten-free to be safe. I use Ore-Ida brand, readily available in California and most of the country.
Irish Hash Browns Benedict with Basil Hollandaise (Gluten-Free)
© 2015 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook
Technique for making the Hollandaise adapted lightly from J.Kenji Lopez-Alt, writer of The Food Lab for Serious Eats
Yield: 4 to 6 servings; about 1-1/2 cups sauce
- Hash Brown Patties
- 4 cups shredded hash brown potatoes – a 16 oz bag will give you about 5 cups (Ore-Ida brand is gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup shredded onions
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 egg, beaten well
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
- Basil Hollandaise Sauce
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove pulp
- 2 tsp water
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 tsp chopped flat leaf parsley or Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
- 3 tsp chopped fresh basil or Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Basil
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- Green food coloring, optional
- 8 to 12 slices Canadian bacon, Irish bacon, or thin-sliced ham, kept warm in the oven; spritz with a little water to keep it from drying out
- 8 to 12 large eggs
- 2 tbsp very finely minced orange bell pepper, for garnish
- Fresh chives, for garnish, optional