Back in April, Mike went off to the state of the art butchery classroom at Francis Tuttle School of Culinary Arts, Oklahoma City to attend The French Pig: Farmstead Charcuterie Two-Day Workshop. (Mike will be writing about the whole experience soon, and if you are curious you can read more at the Kitchen at Camont website.)
One of the many pork items he came home with was ventrèche roulée, also known as French bacon.
Inspired by the French bacon, Mike decided he wanted to make gluten-free Eggs Benedict. In order to make them gluten-free, he could not use an English muffin as the base. Thinking of various options, he thought of using a thick slice of tomato, and from there he created the Benny BLT – Eggs Benedict meets the BLT, all without the bread so it is gluten-free.
For the base, he started with a thick cut slice of tomato from Revival Market. Revival was out of lettuce the day he was there, so instead he used parsnip tops as the “lettuce” in the BLT.
Next came the ventrèche roulée, the French bacon, which he cut in to lardons and cooked over medium heat until they were well seared and the fat was rendered out of them.
To prepare the Hollandaise sauce, he separated the yolks of two eggs. Mike prefers to do this by hand so that he makes sure he doesn’t break the yolk and so he can separate all the whites out. He discarded the egg whites along with the shells, which are in the bowl beneath his hands.
Preparing the Hollandaise sauce involves whisking so fast that it was hard for me to photograph it. You get the point though – if you want it to come together, whisk it quickly.
Mike then poached an egg to place on top of the BLT. Meanwhile, he arranged the base of the BLT on the plate, ready to add the egg and the sauce over the top.
- 1 thick slice of tomato
- 1 thick slice of ventreche (French bacon - you can substitute thick-cut bacon instead)
- 1 leaf of lettuce (Parsnip tops are substituted for the lettuce in the original recipe)
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1.5 Tbsp water
- 1 stick butter, softened
- lemon juice (at least 1 Tbsp; to taste)
- salt and white pepper
- Slice tomato and set aside.
- Wash, dry, and trim lettuce and set aside.
- Cut ventreche (or thick-cut bacon) into lardons and cook in pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When well seared and fat rendered, remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare Hollandaise sauce (below) and hold in gently warmed saucepan.
- Bring water to simmer in wide, shallow pan. Whirl water to create motion. Crack egg just at surface of water and drop gently into pot. Leave it alone for 4-5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to an ice bath to shock and stop the cooking.
- To serve: Place the tomato in the center of the plate. Place lettuce on tomato. Arrange ventreche on top. Rewarm poached egg in hot water for 30 seconds and perch on top. Spoon over hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chives.
- In a bain marie or double boiler (or a large bowl set over simmering water), whisk egg and water together until frothy. Keep going until egg thickens and tracks are evident in bottom of pan, but before egg has scrambled.
- Remove bowl from heat and whisk in butter in 1 Tbsp chunks. If the sauce cools too much to melt butter, return bowl to heat. Season, whisk in lemon juice, taste and adjust as desired.