Yes, you read that right. Tater Tot freaking Eggs Benedict!
I try not to eat tater tots too often because they quickly escalate to an obsession for me. Once I fall off the tot wagon, I binge eat the little buggers for weeks.
Some people like the narcotics, but crispy deep fried potato bits are my drug of choice.
Since Robyn won’t allow me to have a deep fryer at home, I have to settle for oven tots. That’s not so bad though, because the folks at the tot factory have already deep fried the heck out of them, so there’s still plenty of residual oil left to make these acceptable baked. If I had a fryer though…. well, you know pretty much everything would go in that thing. Which, come to think of it, might be why the “no fryer rule” was instituted.
I wanted to keep it simple, since part of the point of using tots is that they take a lot of the workload off you. I fried up a little bacon to mix with the tots, and topped Mount Bacon Tot with a nice soft poached egg. The next step however is one where I will not accept a shortcut or substitute.
If you have one of those ridiculous packages of powdered hollandaise in your pantry I want you to go throw it out right now. Promise me you’ll never buy another. The real thing is so easy, and uses stuff most of us always have on hand.
The secret ingredient in a great hollandaise, truth be told, is patience. Get impatient and turn up the heat, or get distracted trying to multi-task and you’ll surely end up with a separated, clumpy mess of scrambled egg. Take your time and do things properly, and you’ll be rewarded with a rich and velvety smooth sauce that will impress even the most cantankerous of critics.
Here’s how you do it.
Tater Tot Eggs Benedict- serves 4
Approx. 1/2 bag of frozen tater tots
1 lb bacon- diced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp creole spice (you can always skip this and just salt to taste, but it’s delicious)
1 tbsp vinegar
Get the frozen tots cooking on a baking sheet according to package directions.
Fry the diced bacon until crispy. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, put a small pot 1/3 filled with water on the stove over med/low heat to use as a double boiler. When simmering, add 4 egg yolks and 1 tbsp lemon juice to a heat safe bowl and place over the pot.
This is where its important to not get distracted. Whisk constantly for approximately 3 minutes until the yolks have become glossy and have started to thicken slightly.
Begin adding the melted butter very slowly while continuing to whisk. If you’re exceptionally clumsy you may want a helper. If you pour too fast your hollandaise will break. If you stop whisking for too long your hollandaise will break. If your heat is up too high your hollandaise will break. Get it? Invest the 10 minutes required here and it’ll work every time.
As a rule, the more butter you have successfully incorporated, the faster you can begin to pour. I generally keep adding quite slowly anyways, because if you’ve ever broken a sauce once you never want to do it again. (There are ways to save it, but it’s not easy)
You’ll notice the sauce becoming quite thick, but as long as it hasn’t separated it’s all good. When you’ve got all the butter incorporated, stir in the creole spice and remove from the heat.
Now to poach your eggs:
Add some water to your already hot pot to bring it up to about half full.
Add a drop of vinegar to the water, and when just under a simmer, swirl the water a bit and crack an egg into it.
I just leave it alone at this stage, as poking around in the water only makes things worse. After 2.5 minutes, remove your egg and drain on a paper towel.
Repeat for the other 3 eggs, or if you’re brave you can do 2 in a single pan at the same time.
Mix the tots with the bacon on each of the 4 plates, and season with salt and pepper if you haven’t already.
Top with a poached egg, and a spoonful or 2 (or 3) of hollandaise. If your hollandaise has thickened up off the heat too much, just spoon a tbsp of the hot poaching water into the sauce to revive it.
Your breakfasts will never be the same.