I thrive on cooking challenges! Cooking challenges make me think, strategize, research, plan and cook….and cook…and perfect…and cook some more! It is such hard work but I gain through the experience. One reward comes as I take an idea for a dish and turn it into a delicious, well-balanced, photo worthy reality. My favorite reward is when friends and family take their first bite. As their faces light up with enjoyment and they begin to give raving reviews I glow inside!
I think my Reuben-Style Eggs Benedict with Creamy Garlic Mustard Hollandaise is one of the best recipes I have ever composed! Composed??? Yes, composed! One of the meanings of composed is to make or form by combining things, parts, or elements. As a recipe developer I choose each element to serve a purpose.
You may see a pretty dish but what is the story behind the crafted dish? How long did it take to brainstorm each element in the dish? Here are some of the specific elements I considered when designing my Reuben-Style Eggs Benedict.
*To bring smoky flavor and spiciness to the sauerkraut I used ground Serrano smoked pepper and Barhyte Total Domination Hatch Chili Wing Sauce. I tested different spices and methods of smoking the sauerkraut.
*To flavor my pickled red onions I used Saucy Mama Brat Mustard and Saucy Mama 4-Leaf Balsamic Dressing Fortunately, I have made pickled onions with this Saucy Mama combo so I didn’t have to test this element. YaY!
*To add a gentle mustard flavor to lemon hollandaise sauce I used Saucy Mama Creamy Garlic Mustard. I tested Saucy Mama Smoky Garlic Mustard and Saucy Mama Dijon but it is the Creamy Garlic Mustard’s mild flavor that won!
*Saucy Mama Smoky Garlic Mustard's richness and well balanced flavor was chosen for spreading over the marble rye bread ~ such a compliment to corned beef. I also tested Creamy Garlic Mustard and Jalapeno Mustard!
*Havarti cheese added a creamy gentle Swiss flavor without the offensive "Swiss Cheese" taste.
*Garlic oil was used when poaching the eggs for a touch of garlic.
On and on, until each tested ingredient is composed into an element that harmonizes with the dish. My goal is always to develop a delicious bite that creates a symphony of flavors.
I had 12 tasters try my Benedict before competing in WFC2016. Here are some of their reviews:
*best Eggs Benedict ever
*I don’t like Reuben’s but this dish is amazing
*I don’t care for runny eggs but the egg yolk mixes with the Hollandaise perfectly
*All the flavors work together so well
*I thought the sauerkraut and pickled red onions would be too strong but everything works together
After 6 weeks of recipe development my recipes were ready to go. I jump on an airplane with high hopes that the judges will love that one delicious bite! My flu bug fever had just broken 48 hours prior to leaving. In years past when I arrive at the World Food Championships I practice my dishes one more time with the local ingredients. I chose not to practice this year trying to conserve every bit of my trying-to-recover energy.
Competition day came and it was one of those cook-off experiences that I hope not to experience again. The electricity in my kitchen stall went off 5 times! The oven went on and off so many times the bacon burned, the Hollandaise did not set, and my scrambled eggs were thrown into a presentation skillet with 2 seconds left on the judges’ turn in clock. I knew by Top Ten announcement time that my name would not be called…my recipes that day did not deserve the honor.
Losing can be rewarding!
I got to spend more time with my sponsors. Colette and Suzi from Saucy Mama are always an encouragement and fun! Their support means so much to me. They pampered the Saucy Mama Team with a fancy delicious dinner and they hosted a lovely mustard martini happy hour! I am so grateful for their financial sponsorship which allowed me to compete at 2016 World Food Championships!
I enjoyed hosting a Leftovers Loser Brunch ~ we all had a blast feasting, chatting, and consoling one another!
I had time to enjoy the beauty of The Wharf at Orange Beach! Great venue!
My extra time spent with competitors and roommates touched my heart. I LOVE MY PEEPS! It was nice not to go into Top Ten frenzy mode like I had the past 3 years. Don’t get me wrong, I hope to go into Top Ten frenzy mode next year!
I spent enjoyable time with my son David (his first time as head chef), and my daughter Tiffany. Tiffany says she wants to compete next year! World Food Championships is a fantastic family event!
I walked away knowing that the WFC isn’t the only mark that a recipe is a winner! I walked away knowing my Reuben-Style Eggs Benedict is a symphony of flavors, a well thought out and delicious dish that friends and family claim as a winner. In fact, I am making Reuben-Style Eggs Benedict at my husband’s employee Christmas brunch!
Reuben-Style Eggs Benedict with Creamy Garlic Mustard Hollandaise
Pickled Red Onions:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic Dressing
1 tablespoon Saucy Mama Bratwurst Mustard
1 medium red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Lemon Garlic-Mustard Hollandaise:
3 large egg yolks
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup unsalted melted butter
1 scant tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Saucy Mama Creamy Garlic Mustard
1/4 scant teaspoon smoked ground Serrano pepper
Smoked Paprika Sauerkraut:
1 package (2 cups) Boar’s Head sauerkraut, rinse under water
1 teaspoon Barhyte Total Domination Hatch Chili Wing Sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
Alder or cedar plank board
Corned Beef, Toast, Poached Eggs:
12 ounces thinly sliced corned beef
1 tablespoon melted butter with 1 tablespoon garlic oil
8 (1-inch) thick slices marble rye bread cut in (2 3/4-inch) rounds
2 (1-inch) thick slice marble rye bread cut in just under 4-inch rounds
1/2 cup salted butter for bread, softened
20 (2 ½-inch) squared pieces of deli thin Havarti cheese
Saucy Mama Smoky Garlic Mustard for toasted bread
8 eggs for poaching plus garlic oil
Garnish: chopped chives
Heat oven to 400°F.
To make Pickled Onions: In a 3 quart saucepan, whisk ½ cup white sugar, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons balsamic dressing, 1 tablespoon bratwurst mustard. Bring to a boil; add red onions and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep until ready to use. Drain and chop in 1/4-inch pieces.
To make Chive Oil: In a small food processor, combine 1/4 cup chopped chives, and roughly chop. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 cup oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and blend until chives are small specks. Taste and adjust lemon, if needed. Set aside.
To make Lemon Garlic-Mustard Hollandaise: In a medium food processor, combine 3 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and blend 20 seconds. Add 1/4 scant teaspoon of ground smoked Serrano pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon Creamy Garlic Mustard. Slowly add half of the melted butter to egg mixture on high. Add lemon juice to butter mixture after half of the butter has been incorporated. Continue adding butter and blend 60 seconds. Set in metal bowl near hot oven top to warm. It will thicken as it sits. Do not reheat hollandaise sauce in the microwave. If needed, place in bowl and set in a pot of hot water and stir until warm through.
To make Smoky Sauerkraut: Rinse sauerkraut and pat extra dry with paper towels. Mix sauerkraut with 1 teaspoon hatch pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp granulated garlic. Place on a plank board and place on warm grill or in oven for about 12 minutes. The purpose is to dry out the sauerkraut.
To make Toast Marble Rye: Heat oven to 400°F. Place cookie sheet 2/3 down in oven. Arrange buttered bread rounds on hot cookie sheet and bake 4 minutes until golden brown. Turn bread over and bake about 2 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven and lightly spread smoky garlic mustard on bread. Arrange 2 slices of Havarti cheese over bread and place in oven until cheese has melted.
To make Poached Eggs: Pour 1/2 tablespoon garlic oil into each (10 prep) glass bowls. Fill each cup with one egg. Bring just enough water to come up to top edge of glass bowls (3-cups in an 11-inch skillet). Bring water to a boil, and carefully place glass bowls with eggs into the water. Cover and steam on low 3-4 minutes. Remove bowls with tongs, allowing water accumulation to fall back into pan. Let sit 1 minute. With tiny rubber spatula remove eggs directly on corned beef mound.
To make Corned Beef: Roughly chop corned beef. Heat 1-tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon garlic oil in small skillet. Over medium high heat melt butter. Put in meat and toss in the butter/garlic oil. Do not heat corned beef long or it will toughen. Cover with lid and turn off.
Assemble: Place toast rounds with melted cheese on individual serving plates. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon sauerkraut and 1 teaspoon pickled onion. Arrange corned beef on top of sauerkraut/pickled onion, and top with poached egg. Drizzle generous portion of Hollandaise. Drizzle with chive oil, and sprinkle with pickled onion and chopped chives.
Yields: 8 (3-inch) Eggs Benedicts
Saucy Mama Mustards and Dressings give a boost of flavor to so many dishes! Online ordering is easy to use, inexpensive shipping, and quick service!
Steam Poached Eggs in Garlic Olive Oil.
Season sauerkraut with smoked paprika, granulated garlic, and Total Domination Hatch Chili Wing Sauce, place on an Alder plank board and bake or grill for 12-15 minutes.
I think the mark of an excellent recipe is when you get so excited to make the dish no matter how many times you've made it and when your family always welcomes the dish!
My Reuben-Style Benedict will go down as a
Graham-Slam Classic Dish!