I joked to my Facebook followers last week that I was on a mission to bring toutons to the world… and then I thought, “Maybe I am!”
Stuffed toutons, touton breakfast sandwiches, even brioche toutons with blueberry honey sauce have all made appearances on my blog, so it’s no surprise that another incarnation of the humble touton would eventually pop into my head.
This time it is a twist on the brunch classic, Eggs Benedict, using a touton as the base instead of a toasted English muffin. The traditional back bacon gets replaced by some fantastic Dijon and Demerara Sugar Glazed Ham I had leftover from a weekday supper a couple of days beforehand.
For most folks, the most worrisome component of Eggs Benedict is the Hollandaise Sauce but rather than the classic preparation, I use a shortcut version of this indulgent, creamy, butter and egg sauce that is quickly prepared in a blender and has never failed for me. This version also includes another little Newfoundland twist by adding just a little summer savoury to the sauce.
Although toutons are simply fried bread dough, they can be a little tricky to cook properly. In order to avoid a doughy center and ensure that your toutons are cooked through the middle, be sure to fry them over relatively low heat in about ¼ inch of oil so that they brown slowly; too high a heat setting can produce overly browned toutons that are practically raw in the middle.
Many supermarkets now sell touton dough, so if you are using ready-made dough from the refrigerator, be sure to form the toutons into 4 inch rounds that are about a ½ inch thick and let them warm up to room temperature and even rise a little before frying. These days I use a combination of canola oil with a little butter added to fry my toutons instead of the traditional fat pork but if your cardiologist doesn’t protest too much, crack on with the fatback.
I’ve borrowed some lightly fried tomatoes from an old-fashioned full English breakfast to serve with this brunch but not so much as a colorful garnish, as a delicious complement to the entire dish. Hearty, yet elegant and definitely delicious, try this one for your next weekend brunch and help the humble touton conquer the world… or at least your brunch table.
– Easy Summer Savoury Hollandaise Sauce
– 4 toutons
– 4 poached eggs
– 8 ounces thinly sliced and lightly fried ham
Easy Summer Savoury Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh or dried summer savoury
1/2 cup hot melted butter, this should be quite hot but browned
In a blender combine the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice for only a few seconds. With the blender on medium to medium-high speed, slowly pour in the hot butter in a thin stream. The sauce should thicken quite quickly. Pour into a bowl and keep the covered bowl warm in a warm water bath while preparing the other components of the Toutons Benedict.
Place the cooked ham on the warm toutons, top with a poached egg and finally the Hollandaise sauce. Serve with lightly fried tomato slices.
For more brunch ideas visit the chef’s blog Rock Recipes