This recipe was really, really interesting! We had it for brunch last Sunday (I know, I’m really behind on blogging), and it came from Fine Cooking Magazine, the April/May 2010 issue. The recipe itself was submitted by Scott Conant, who you may have seen as a guest judge on past seasons of Top Chef, and he’s also a judge on Food Network’s Chopped. This is a riff on Eggs Benedict, using all the same ingredients but really shaking it up a bit. It sounds intimidating, and I guess it was a little, but it’s much easier than you think it will be. Most importantly, it’s delicious!
BACON AND EGGS:
6 slices of bacon
Olive oil cooking spray
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup EVOO
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
2 English muffins, split
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 small head of frisee lettuce, or other kind of lettuce, your preference
To cook the bacon and eggs: bring a 6 quart pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the bacon your preferred method until crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Once cooled, chop or crumble into pieces.
Line 4 (4 oz.) ramekins with plastic wrap. Spray the wrap with cooking spray. Make sure there is plastic wrap hanging over the sides. Sprinkle the parley and bacon onto the plastic wrap. Crack one egg into each cup and season each egg with a little salt (and black pepper if you wish). Gather up the loose ends of the plastic wrap, pushing out as much air as possible. Twist the plastic wrap a few times to create a ball shape. Tie each pouch closed with kitchen string.
Put the plastic wrap pouches into the boiling water and cook until the egg whites are firmly set but the yolk is still runny, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Chill in the refrigerator until cool, at least 30 minutes.
Make the vinaigrette: Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Prepare an ice bath. Transfer eggs to the ice bath and let cool completely. When cool, peel them and grate on a coarse box grater. In a medium bowl, combine grated eggs, oil, lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, and anchovy. Season to taste with salt (but remember the anchovy is already pretty salty).
Make the crust: Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the oven to 200 F. Arrange the muffins in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Dry them out in the oven for 1 hour. Then toast under the broiler until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Let cool completely.
In a food processor, pulse the muffins until they are mostly fine crumbs. Season with a pinch of salt and transfer to a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, add the flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt. Beat the eggs in yet another shallow bowl with another pinch of salt.
Pour vegetable oil into a 4 quart pot to 2 inches. Heat it to 350 F over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, remove the plastic wrap from the egg pouches (use kitchen shears). Dredge each egg in the flour, then the egg wash, then the muffin crumbs. Fry in the oil for about 90 seconds, more if you like your yolks well done. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
To serve, divide the lettuce onto four plates. Top with a fried egg and spoon some vinaigrette over each egg. Enjoy!!