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Eggs Benedict for a Crowd

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smr33 Oct 26, 2007 06:23 PM

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?

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    MazDee RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 06:33 PM

    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.

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    1. re: MazDee
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      TDEL RE: MazDee Oct 27, 2007 08:43 AM

      MazDee what you said works beautifully, I have done this in a restaurant when we had eggs benedict special. you can make them the day before and put them into ice water to stop the cooking . The next day warm them in hot salted water and they come out perfect.

    2. c
      cheesemonger RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 06:38 PM

      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!

      1. coastie RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 07:08 PM

        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?

        1. rednyellow RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 07:43 PM

          I agree with all the egg posts. Also, you can keep hollendaise in a thermos bottle well

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            chef4hire RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 08:48 PM

            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-

            1. scuzzo RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 08:59 PM

              I hear you can make the hollandais, probably spelled wrong, and keep it in a thermos.

              1. alanbarnes RE: smr33 Oct 26, 2007 09:37 PM

                If your oven will cooperate (or if you have an immersion circulator), take a tip from Keller et al. and use low temperature water to keep the eggs perfect for a long time. Poach them until the whites are just set, then put them in a hotel pan (roasting pan, cake pan, deep pie plate) filled with water and hold them at 145-150 degrees until ready to serve.

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                1. re: alanbarnes
                  JayVaBeach RE: alanbarnes Oct 27, 2007 06:20 AM

                  Alan's tip here is exactly what we've done for larger groups in the past. This works well. Also, for your guests who don't do meat &/or pork, buy a small container of lump backfin crabmeat & use that in lieu of the traditional bacon. BACKFIN BENNIE'S are a Virginia Beach favorite !

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