Eggs Benedict for a Crowd
We are having approximately 12 people over for brunch on Sunday and wondered if anyone has ever had success in serving Eggs Benedict to a large group. My anxiety is primarily centered on the poached eggs; is it possible to cook and hold approximately 2 dozen eggs until serving time? Any hints?
I think it was Julia Child who recommended poaching the eggs and dropping them into a container of cold water. Refrigerate in the water if done a day ahead, or just set aside if you are using them soon. When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to place them into a pan of barely simmering water just to heat. If you use a wide pan, you can put in qute a few eggs at a time, and by the time the pan is full, begin removing them in the same order. Remember, the eggs don't have to be really hot, just warm. Don't let them cook any further.
I've done it for 8, and it's hard to keep all the eggs right. I use 2 water baths, starting one batch, and while plating those, adding the eggs to the second- but I usually employ an assistant to do one or the other- eggs are so finicky, and they don't rest well.
My thought is- you can't reasonably do it alone. You need a sous chef!
mazdee has it exactly right. Touch of acid in the water. Slightly underdo egg so it can be reheated. Have the ice bath ready and shock away. Do a few extra eggs.
Are you serving them individaully plated or on a platter or in a chafer?
OK....I've done this but cheated
brunch for 14 and a crazy friend insisted on eggs benedict- I baked the eggs (shirred style) in buttered ramekins - filled with 1/4 inch of milk...finished with a quick broil
slid them onto a plate to drain and used a slotted spoon to transfer to muffins...covered w/hollandaise it was nearly the same effect-