Sous Vide Eggs Benedict

Sous Vide Eggs Benedict

I've had the sous vide for some time now, and I use it a LOT. It's become a huge convenience for me, much in the way crock pots are for those who use them. But, for whatever reason, I've used it mainly for beef, with a vegetable or two thrown in here and there. I wanted to get more out of it. One of the most raved-about sous vide recipes is a soft poached egg. It's so easy, it's ridiculous. Heat the water, add the eggs, and set the timer. Ish. Sous vide cooking times have wide variances, and the food doesn't overcook, and so can sit in the water, maintaining it's perfect temperature, while the cooks whips up a fancy sauce. Or gets sidetracked cutting out pattern pieces for a dress. ; )

Cooking eggs in the sous vide generates different results, depending on the time and temperature. (I'll save the lecture on the temperatures proteins denature at, and the fact that an egg has two different proteins, cleverly color coded to white and yellow, and that they denature at different temperatures. But really, if you are interested, look it up. It explains a lot.) I was looking for a less runny white, and a yolk that was slightly thickened, almost custardy. So after browsing a few blogs that compare the results at different temperatures, I settled on 144 degrees F. I set three eggs in the bath, directly on the bottom grate, and set the timer for 75 minutes. And then I really did get sidetracked by cutting out dog jammies, and the timer was down to 16 minutes when I realized I still had to make a hollandaise sauce. I also threw some bacon in the oven, and toasted some english muffins I pulled out of the freezer, saved from the last batch I made. At 16 minutes, I turned off the timer, and set up the beginnings of eggs benedict - toasted muffins, topped with bacon, and set the finished sauce close by. With tongs, I gently pulled the eggs from the bath. I was, I will admit, excited the shells didn't crack in the water, filling the machine with gummy egg white gunk.

I cracked the first egg, unsure what would happen. I was waiting for watery egg white to come out, but it stayed together. I decided I wasn't brave enough to manhandle the shell, so I used a steak knife to crack the shell all of the way around. Holding it over one toasted english muffin half, I gently pulled the two shell halves apart. The softly poached egg held on to both sides at first, then slowly fell on to the english muffin. There was a little extra egg white that wasn't completely set, but not enough to be concerned with. The rest of the white was so softly poached, it was even more tender than a traditional poached egg. And the yolk was still perfectly round, I would have to wait to see what the texture was like. I opened the next egg, this time over a paper towel to catch the non-set whites, and put it on the other muffin half. It came out just as perfectly.

And then, I poured on the Hollandaise sauce:

And then, photographs taken, I could cut into a yolk to see how it came out:

Sous vide egg yolk, slightly thickened to a custard-like consistency. Magical.

The egg yolk wasn't runny like a traditional poached egg; instead, it thickened a bit, and was velvety and rich, and clung to the egg, the muffin, and the bacon. It was seriously magical.

The egg white was slightly less "cooked" than a traditional poached egg, and people who aren't fans of runny whites might not like the sous vide eggs at 144 degrees. I loved them, but I think next time I will experiment a bit with the temperature, and try a degree higher to see what the change is. But, these were the easiest poached eggs I have ever made, what an incredible labor and time saver! Two thumbs up! : )

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