When I came up with the idea for this dish, I knew from the start I wanted to call it Redneck Eggs Benedict. Why? Well because it just brought me back to my time living in the South, although I was concerned that the word "redneck" might offend some people. However, after speaking with many of my followers on Facebook and Twitter, and reflecting on my own experiences with the use of the word. I decided to go for it. I know in my mind, and the minds of the wonderful people I met in the South, redneck is not an insult, it is a way of life really. Rednecks work hard to provide for their families, they celebrate life, and put on no airs. They are who they are, plain and simple, take it or leave it. I respect that! I enjoyed my time in the South and honestly, life was much easier when you lived by those ideals.
I love Eggs Benedict It is probably one of my favorite breakfast foods right up there with frittatas, quiche, and a big plate of grits with cheese, bacon, and that yummy egg yolk from and over easy egg mixed in mmmmmm. I have had the "Seattle" version of Eggs Benedict with a salmon cake in place of the muffin, and I made salmon patties the other night, so my mind started mixing the two together. Salmon patties/cakes scream Southern to me, but I knew that I couldn't use them in an Eggs Benedict because that is just classic to the Pacific Northwest. So where do I go? My little mind started thinking and thinking of the things that would really bring back my Southern experience.
I decided to take the things I love about the South and then Eggs Benedict and BAM smoosh them together!
OK list it off Bobbi...
If I can't use salmon cakes then we will do potato cakes, yes yum.
Sausage or bacon? Well the traditional is Canadian bacon so lets use some nice thick cut smoky bacon, OK this is getting good.
Poached egg of course, nothing can beat a perfectly poached egg!
What to top it with? I though of gravy at first. but I adore Hollandaise sauce. Hhhmmm how do I make Hollandaise fit in with my vision of this dish? Ahhhh I have it......hot sauce!!!!
Most of the people I knew during my time in the South loved Tabasco on their eggs. It was something I had to learn and wasn't a real fan of at first. Now I adore hot sauce or salsa on my eggs. In fact you would be hard pressed to find an egg on my plate without some heat to go with it now. So it just seemed a perfect idea to make a Hot Sauce Hallandaise, ya? With that my Redneck Eggs Benedict was born!!
Redneck Eggs Benedict
For the Potato Cake:
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup flour (add more if needed to bind cakes)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, copped
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 green onions, greens only only chopped for garnish
For the Hot Hollandaise Sauce:
(using Eric Ripert's 5 minute Blender version of Hollandaise Sauce)
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), cubed
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
Kosher salt and black pepper
Hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot) to taste, I used 1 tablespoon
8 slices bacon
8 poached eggs (step by step instructions from Smitten Kitchen)
Paprika for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Rinse shredded potatoes in cold water and squeeze water out. Pat dry with paper towels. Place potatoes in a large bowl and add the onion, flour, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well.
Spray a large skillet with non stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Form patties with the potato mixture and carefully place them in the heated skillet. Press down with spatula to make sure the patty is firm. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the patty is golden brown. Carefully turn the potato cake with a wide spatula and continue to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the cakes and place them on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
Cook bacon in the same skillet just shy of crisp. Place in oven with potato cakes to keep warm.
Poach eggs, place on paper towel while you prepare the Hollandaise.
Fill blender with hot water, set aside. Melt butter over medium heat until foaming, remove from heat. Drain blender and dry very well. Put egg yolks and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in blender, cover and blend to combine. Working quickly remove insert, and with blender running, add the butter in a thin stream of droplets, discarding milk solids in the bottom of the pan. Blend until a creamy sauce forms. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste. Serve immediately.
To put the dish together, lay two potato cakes on a plate. Rip the bacon slices in half and place the halves criss crossed on potato cake (1slice of bacon per cake). Top bacon with a poached eggs, and pour Hollandaise sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of paprika.