After all of that toasting from New Year's Eve, how about some toast? Not just any toast – this rich and savory take on Eggs Benedict from South African celebrity chef Reuben Riffel will have you shipshape in no time. Reuben is the chef of eponymous, award-winning Reuben’s restaurant at One&Only Cape Town, the famed South Africa hotel.
Poached Eggs with Steamed Crayfish Tail, Sautéed English Spinach, and Light Hollandaise with Toasted Fennel Seeds
2 eggs, fresh
1 crayfish whole, fresh
2 cups baby spinach, washed
2 egg yolks
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
A dash of warm water
Fennel seeds, dry roasted in a pan
Well buttered toast
Cook the crayfish preferably in well-salted water (or seawater if it’s available!) for three minutes, switch of the heat and leave them for 2 minutes in the water. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Cut the crayfish in half lengthwise; remove all the grit and guts and pick out the meat, keep warm.
For the hollandaise, place the yolks in a metal bowl, add the lemon juice and the water. Place over a simmering pot of water without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Whisk slowly until the sauce starts to thicken slightly; add the butter in a thin stream, whisking continuously. To prevent the sauce from separating, always add a little water if it gets too thick. Also remove the sauce from the heat if it starts to get too hot. After all the butter has been added, season with salt.
Heat 2 cups of water in a small saucepot, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. When it reaches boiling point, reduce the heat and leave to simmer. Break the eggs one at a time into a cup or soup ladle and drop carefully into the water. Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off.
Quickly blanch the spinach in boiling water, remove, drain and serve topped with eggs, hollandaise, crayfish on the side, and sprinkled with toasted fennel. And a side of the well buttered toast.