Poached Eggs with Avocado & Cilantro Hollandaise, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Bacon
Avocadaise, also known as avocado hollandaise was relatively new to me. I came across it in the Bellini Kitchen Master recipe book and it got my attention right away. An eggs benny with avocado was nothing new, actually very standard in California, and the avocadaise played on that idea. It’s buttery quality made perfect sense and it can easily replace butter in some recipes.
Note: I still love butter and cream, but if I can get healthier without sacrificing flavour while trying something new and delicious, then sign me up.
My mind went savoury first, naturally matching it with poached eggs, but then I also wanted to use it on something sweet. Goat cheese stuffed coconut French toast with avocado hollandaise and toasted macadamia nuts crossed my mind, but my dear friend Brenda stuck to a classic. The following is her guest post.
I love a good Eggs Benedict with its rich buttery hollandaise sauce but avocado hollandaise is an entirely different animal; luxurious in its own way but without the heaviness. With its mild flavour and creamy soft texture, avocado is often used as a substitute for dairy. (Think chocolate avocado pudding and avocado milkshakes). Avocado hollandaise was something that I’d never tried before though so it was a good subject for experimenting with the Bellini Kitchen Master.
A quick internet search for Avocado Hollandaise yielded a number of similar recipes so I based my version on the one from Food and Wine magazine, but added cilantro and substituted lime juice for lemon. This gave the hollandaise a Mexican twist and a fresh herb flavour. (For those who don’t like cilantro, basil or parsley can be substituted since they pair well with tomatoes.)
I wanted to make an Eggs Benedict-style recipe but with lighter flavours to compliment the avocado. Local tomatoes are just coming into season at the Vancouver farmers markets but are not yet at their peak. To concentrate the flavour I slow roasted them in the oven with garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Incredibly simple but with a huge flavour payoff, and the smell of delicious roasting tomatoes filled the entire house.
A breakfast-style egg dish cries out for bacon (though this would be just fine for lunch or dinner). I wanted to use the bacon as a crispy garnish so the bacon was diced before being fried in the Bellini. Since the Bellini doesn’t get as hot as a stove top element, the bacon took longer to crisp. In my house, rendered bacon fat is often used to fry onions so the bacon bits were removed from the mixer bowl and replaced by diced onions. (This was also another way to add more vegetables to the dish!) I really liked how the onions sweetened and caramelized during cooking, and the Bellini’s stirring blade was handy for keeping them moving.
For the poached eggs, I used the method outlined in Michael Ruhlman’s recently published Egg cookbook but it’s also available on his website. A common technique for poaching eggs is to add vinegar to the water so that it coagulates the egg whites faster but Michael doesn’t like how this affects the taste of the eggs. Instead, he made a perforated spoon to drain off the very watery egg whites and gives the water a slow swirl before adding the egg. The swirl keeps the egg from sticking to the pot and will help give the egg a nice round shape. I really liked this method and it’s a fast, easy way to make poached eggs.
For the rest of the dish, slices of sourdough bread were toasted for the base and then rubbed with a clove of garlic (like a bruschetta). The roasted tomatoes were placed on the bread, followed by the cooked onions. Grated cheddar cheese was added on top and then melted under the broiler. This was topped by a poached egg and kept warm in the oven while the Avocado Hollandaise was made.
The Avocado Hollandaise came together quickly and easily in the Bellini: ripe avocado, lime juice, cilantro leaves, hot water, salt and pepper were blender together into a creamy smooth mixture. With the mixer running, a bit of olive oil was drizzled in and emulsified into the avocado mixture. Once the sauce was done, it was poured over the poached eggs and topped with the bacon pieces.
I loved the combination of the creamy avocado, tart lime, fresh cilantro, runny egg, sweet tomatoes, salty bacon, caramelized onions, melted cheese and crunchy bread. The dish was hearty but not heavy, and the avocado, tomato and herbs made it fresh and summery.
Poached Eggs with Avocado & Cilantro Hollandaise, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Bacon Recipe
- 4-8 eggs (1-2 per person)
- 4 slices of sourdough or French baguette
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 75g (½ cup) bacon, diced into ½” wide strips
- 125g (1 cup) onion, diced into ½” pieces
- 90g (1 cup) grated cheese
- Oven Roasted Tomatoes (see below)
- Avocado & Cilantro Hollandaise
- 1 very ripe medium Hass avocado (~200g), peeled and chopped
- 10g (½ cup) loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 160g (⅔ cup) hot water
- 15g (1 Tbsp) fresh lime juice
- 60g (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- 450g (6-8) small tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
- ¼ cup of very loosely packed basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper
Notes for success
- If cilantro is not preferred, then it can be omitted but basil or parsley would make a good substitute.
- The oven roasted tomatoes, bacon and onion can be made ahead and reheated.
- The timing of this dish is fairly easy to control. Once the tomatoes, bacon and onion are made, everything but the hollandaise can be assembled on bread and kept warm in the oven while the hollandaise is made.
- The Avocado & Cilantro Hollandaise should be made just before serving. Avocado will start to brown and oxidize once it’s exposed to air. The acidic lime juice helps to minimize this but the colour will slowly start to change.
- The texture of the hollandaise may separate slightly as it sits so if the sauce is not used immediately after blending, give it a quick stir before pouring over the eggs.
- While the Bellini heats to a maximum of 110C, a stove top element gets significantly hotter (over 200C). As a result, bacon cooks faster and crisper on the stovetop, and onions will caramelize more.
- The lid must be firmly locked into place before the Bellini mixer will function. If the lid is secured in place but the ‘bowl lid is open’ indicator is still on, firmly push the lid down onto the top of the handle. You may hear a slight clicking sound, and the indicator will disappear.
- It takes about a minute for the Bellini bowl to come up to temperature. Keep this in mind when using the supplied recipes. Err on the side of less cooking time and check on the food’s progress every so often, at least until you get a feel for how it performs relative to cooking the same thing on the stovetop.
- Removing the measuring cup/cap from the lid while ingredients cook allows steam and moisture to escape, and prevents the contents from getting too hot or pressurized.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- Heat the oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a shallow baking dish.
2. Use a small sharp paring knife to remove the top core of the tomato where the stem attaches. Slice the tomatoes in half horizontally and place them in a medium bowl. Add the garlic slices, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. If the basil leaves are large, tear them into 1” sized pieces before adding them to the bowl. Stir to evenly distribute the oil, herbs and seasoning with the tomatoes.
3. Place the tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet. If there are any juices and oil remaining in the bowl, drizzle it evenly over the tomatoes. Bake for 2 hours, rotating at the halfway point. The tomatoes should bake until they are softened, wrinkled, and most of the water has evaporated.
4. Remove the thyme sprigs and set the tomatoes aside until ready to use. The basil and garlic can be left on or removed according to preference. (I prefer more flavour so left them on.)
- To cook the bacon & onions in the Bellini:
a) Insert the Stirring Blade into the mixer bowl and fit it into the base.
b) Add the diced bacon and cook them at speed 1 at 100 C for 5 minutes. Stir the bacon, and cook it at speed 1 at 100 C for 5 more minutes. The bacon should be crisp/chewy but cook them for longer if you prefer crispy bacon.
c) Remove the bacon from the mixer bowl, leaving the bacon fat behind. Reserve the bacon in a small bowl until ready to use.
d) Add the diced onion to the mixer bowl and cook them at speed 1 at 100 C for 5 minutes. Stir the onions, and cook them at speed 1 at 100 C for 5 more minutes. They should be soft and slightly sweetened. Cook them for longer if you prefer more caramelized onions. Remove the onions and reserve separately from the bacon.
e) Wash the mixer bowl before making the Avocado & Cilantro Hollandaise.
2. To cook the bacon & onions on the stovetop:
a) Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until crispy. Remove the bacon and reserve in a small bowl until ready to use.
b) Leave the bacon fat in the pan and keep the pan on medium heat.
c) Add the diced onion to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. The onions should be soft and slightly caramelized. Remove the onions and reserve separately from the bacon.
3. If the tomatoes, bacon and onion have been made ahead of time and refrigerated, microwave them briefly, just enough to warm so that they can be plated.
4. Bring a large shallow pot of water to a simmer for the poached eggs.
5. While the water is coming up to temperature, get the eggs ready for poaching. Set out small ramekins or bowls and gently crack an egg into each one. (Crack the egg by tapping it on the counter, not the edge of the bowl. Cracking eggs on thin edges tends to shatter the shell and puncture the yolk.) Pour one of the eggs over a deep perforated spoon or slotted spoon (best done over the sink) and allow just the very watery whites to drain off. Place the drained egg back into its ramekin and repeat for the remaining eggs. Place the ramekins near the pot of water so that they’re ready to go.
6. Arrange an oven rack so that it is approximately 8-10” below the broiler element. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on the bread to avoid burning. Remove the bread when they are a light brown. Rub the clove of garlic over the toasted bread slices.
7. Top each bread slice with several roasted tomato halves. Divide the cooked onion evenly over the tomato halves and then sprinkle on the grated cheese. Broil the covered bread slices for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove the baking sheet from the oven but keep the bread slices on the sheet. Turn the broiler off to allow the oven to cool but still retain some of the heat.
8. Once the pot of water has reached the simmering point, remove it from the burner. Give the water a slow stir once around the sides of the pot, then pour one of the eggs into the middle of the swirling water. Let the egg poach for 2 minutes or until the egg white has completely congealed. Remove the egg with the slotted spoon, draining well, and gently press the yolk to check the doneness. Poach for longer if necessary. (A 2 minute egg will have a liquid yolk). If there is excess water on the surface of the egg, gently touch a paper towel to it to wick away the water.
9. Place each egg onto a toasted bread slice as it’s ready. When all of the eggs are poached, place the baking sheet back into the oven to keep the food warm.
10. For the Avocado & Cilantro Hollandaise:
a) Place the avocado pieces, cilantro leaves, lime juice, 1/3 cup of hot water, salt and pepper into the Bellini mixer bowl.
b) Set the blender to speed 3 for 0C and 2 minutes. Start the blender and slowly increase the speed until it reaches 7 and let it finish blending. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and blend for 1 minute at 0 C, starting at speed 3 and increasing to speed 7.
c) Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend for 2 minutes at 0 C, starting at speed 5. With the machine on, drizzle in the olive oil. Slowly increase the speed to 7 and allow the hollandaise to finish blending.
d) Taste the hollandaise and adjust the seasoning to taste if necessary.
11. Pour the hollandaise over poached eggs. Garnish each one with the bacon pieces and serve immediately.