Sunday, 2 August 2009

Poached Eggs in Creamy Cheese Sauce on Homemade English Muffins

I know that you have been good all week. Eating your whole grain cereal with your low-fat milk and healthy berries. But once in a while you need to succumb to decadence. Sundays and holidays are the perfect time to linger over that second cup of coffee and whip up a sensual and rich brunch like poached eggs on English muffins with a gloriously velvety cheese sauce. Don't forget the bacon!
I baked the English muffins from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice, click here for the recipe.
I made mine with half whole wheat flour and half unbleached all purpose flour. Once you try making your own, I guarantee you will never buy English muffins again! They are made on a griddle, and these ones are heated in the oven for a few minutes after griddling to make sure the insides are nicely cooked through.
These English muffins have been Yeastspotted!

In choosing a sammie to make out of my English muffins, I wanted a breakfast treasure. A cheese sauce is easy to make, just throw some good, sharp, cheddar into a delicious bechamel sauce and season it. This can be made a little ahead of time and gently reheated. Toast your muffins, poach a few eggs, top with the cheese sauce and serve with tomatoes, basil and bacon.
Beautiful brunch sammies for Souper Sunday!

Epicurious September 1996
Marion Cunningham - The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
This used to be one of the first lessons in home economics classes; invariably white and pasty, it coated many a bland dish. When well made, however, it has a proper place in homey, creamed dishes, often making leftovers stretch or giving cooked foods new life. And it is important as a base for souffl├ęs. The French term for this medium-thick white sauce is b├ęchamel. The foolproof way to attain a perfectly smooth sauce is to have the milk hot when added to the butter and flour. It uses an extra pot, but as you become more proficient, this cautionary measure may not be necessary.
Yield: Makes about 1 cup

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.
Cheese Sauce.
Stir in 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese (I used a Canadian white cheddar) during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper. (I used smoked sweet paprika)
How hot should the milk be?
Warm the milk on low heat just until little bubbles begin to form at the edges. Then remove from heat.
Source: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham.
I have to admit, I don't even look at a recipe anymore, nor do I heat the milk. But it is a good way to start until you are comfortable and familiar with making bechamel. I also add more cheese!