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Eggs Pontchartrain

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Ingredients

  • TASSO HOLLANDAISE:
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 8 English muffin halves lightly toasted
  • 1 pound bacon fried until crisp, and strips broken in half
  • 1 cup finely-chopped tasso
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter - (2 sticks) melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
  • FRIED OYSTERS:
  • 1 pint fresh oysters drained
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Essence plus
  • 1 teaspoon Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • GARNISH:
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions green tops only
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Details

Servings 4

Preparation

Step 1

Pour cold water into a 10-inch saute pan to a depth of about 2 inches. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat so that the surface of the water barely shimmers. Add the vinegar.

Break four of the eggs into individual saucers, then gently slide them out one at a time into the water and, with a large spoon, lift the white over the yolk. Repeat the lifting once or twice to completely enclose each yolk. Poach until the whites are set and the yolks feel firm yet soft when touched gently, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and either serve immediately, or place in a shallow pan or large bowl of cold water.

Repeat with the remaining eggs, adding more water as needed to keep the depth at 2 inches, and bringing the water to a simmer before adding the eggs.

To serve, reheat the eggs as necessary by slipping them into simmering water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Place 2 toasted English muffin halves on each of 4 plates and lay 3 half strips of bacon on each. Place 1 poached egg on top of each muffin half and drizzle with the Tasso Hollandaise. Top with fried oysters, and garnish with the chopped green onions and parsley. Serve immediately.

Tasso Hollandaise: In a small skillet over medium-high heat, cook the tasso, stirring, until the fat is rendered. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels, reserving the fat

In the top of a double boiler, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, beat the egg yolks and lemon juice until pale and thick. Combine the butter and the rendered tasso fat, and whisking constantly, add to the egg mixture in a steady stream. Season with the salt and pepper and continue whisking until thick. Remove from the heat, fold in the tasso, and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Fried Oysters: In a bowl, combine the buttermilk with 1 tablespoon of the Essence. Add the oysters and marinate for 5 minutes. In a shallow dish, combine the masa harina and flour with 1 tablespoon of the Essence.

In a medium, heavy pot with high sides, heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Dredge the oysters in the flour mixture and shake the pieces in a strainer to remove any excess. Carefully add to the hot oil in batches, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove and drain on a paper towels. Season lightly with the remaining teaspoon of Essence.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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