Saturday, March 28, 2009

Inaugural of The Great Cooking Magazine Challenge

I adore cooking magazines. I subscribe to a couple and used to subscribe to a lot more. I love to see a new one in my mailbox..I rip off the plastic and flip through the pages and ooh and ahh. I pick out recipes in my mind that I'd love to try. Sometimes I even foldover the corners or put a little book marker in the pages I want to revisit. Then inevitably within a week or so it gets lost in the stack of all my hundreds of other cooking magazines and I never see it again. I have vowed many times to change myself challenges to make at least one recipe from each of my magazines a week..or maybe 3 a month..ya..maybe that will work... But the stacks still grow!! So I am giving myself a new challenge and maybe if I do it in public here on my blog I will stick to it! From here on out when I get a new cooking magazine I will do a recipe within a week from it and post it here. I've got to give this challenge a name and even a little logo to make it official and more binding lol. How about The Great Cooking Magazine Challenge! Very original huh?

I am cheating a little since I am starting this challenge when I know I will succeed at least the first time. I got a new Taste of Home in the mail this week and there are some great recipes I want to try. They had a brunch contest and there were 12 wonderful recipes that made the cut. I really would love to try each and every one of them, but because I had all of the ingredients for Benedict Eggs in Pastry it made my cut! Here is the photo from the magazine that inspired me...both to cook it and to take this challenge. I have to add that now that I have a blog not only do I want to try new recipes for how I think they will taste also I now try and improve my photography skills by taking cues from their photos. So maybe this challenge will have a dual purpose.

They really do have great photos in their magazine. Mostly served in everyday dishes, but great lighting and with a very real-life presentation.

Here is my interpretation. Not a total copy cat, but I did like the orange juice and strawberries they used.

The recipe itself had a tasty result. I would absolutely skip the hollandaise step next time and use a packet. I failed miserably with the consistency of mine, although the taste was there. That is why mine doesn't have the sauce drizzled on top. It broke apart...drizzling would not have been pretty. Chunky yes..pretty no.

Benedict Eggs in Pastry

2 eggs yolks (reserve egg whites for wash)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup melted butter
Dash cayenne pepper
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
6 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Yikes..just realized I forgot the cheese! I never missed it)
1 Tbsp water
Minced tarragon, optional (I used more green onions)


In a double boiler over simmer water or in a small heavy saucepan constantly whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard until mexutre begins to thicken and reaches 160°. Reduce heat to low. Slowly drizzle in warm melted butter, whisking constantly. Whisk in cayenne.

Transfer to a small bowl if necessary. Place bowl in a larger bowl of arm water. Keep warm, stirring occasionally, until ready to use.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir ham and onions in butter until onions are tender. In a large bowl, whisk six eggs and milk. Add egg mixture to the pan; cook and stir until set. Remove from heat; stir in 1/3 cup reserved hollandaise sauce. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry. Roll each sheet into a 12x9 inch rectangle; cut each in half widthwise. Place approx 1 cup egg mixture on half of each rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese. (I used my rolling lattice cutter on half of the pastry rectangles and folded the latticed part over the eggs.)

Mix water and reserved egg white. Brush over pastry edges. Fold pastry over and pinch seams to seal. Transfer to a greased baking sheet or use your silicone liner (I LOVE mine). Brush pastries with more wash. Bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with tarragon or chopped green onions if desired.

So is anyone else up for the challenge? No need to commit to anything...just use the the logo and link back to me if you try a new recipe from your stacks of cooking magazines....I KNOW that many of you reading this have them too!!!!


SusanQ said...

Suzy, that looks beautiful! The lattice-cut pastry is lovely and I think your presentation, even though you used their photo as inspiration, turned out wonderfully.

I love your new challenge and look forward to all the interesting recipes you are going to make and share with us!

Dishesdone said...

I think you made their recipe your own, it looks fantastic! and I love your idea of a magazine challenge! I have a similar pile I've been going through myself today! Great idea! Love the logo :)

Cynthia said...

Suzy, I love the challenge you've created for yourself. And what a nice logo.

I think your take on the Benedict Eggs in Pastry is better looking than the original. ... Love the sliced strawberries and latticed pastry.

What a wonderful photo ... so bright and cheery! Definitely a winner!

I've had my share a problems with hollandaise and bearnaise. I read a tip that if it separates you can save it by putting it in the blender. I tried blending my last bearnaise fiasco and it worked.

Jayne said...

Suzy, now I know where you've been all day! Great challenge... and yes, I have my fair share! I'll join in sometimes...not sure how often, but I will. Any magazine or only cooking magazines?

Now, your brunch... it's beautiful and sounds delicious! You did a wonderful job on the set-up and pic. Did Randy like it?

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

Kathleen said...

Great idea! I am guilty of the same thing....I actually did make the Scones from Everyday Cooking!
I will try to join you in your challenge vewy, vewy soon!(yes, I meant to spell it that way..:) )

Your eggs look great and a good way to use our little tool!

Debbie at Mountain Breaths said...

Suzy, we will all benefit for your challenge! I am loving it already, and since I have the tool, there is no reason for me not to try this. If I had the time, I would play with my camera all day long! Can't wait to see what you make next.

Foley said...

Great challenge - and for you I know it will be a success..more so than some challenges I have heard of in the past! I will attempt to join you since I just ripped out about 8 pages of recipes of my various magazines to try...
Good for you in keeping us on our toes..
Your brunch looked delicious and is one I will want to try myself... I will haveto invest in a lattice cutter since I love the look it gives to the dish and others I've seen..
Photos are very crisp and good!!

Marsha said...

What a great challenge... I might have to join in a few times... I seem to do the same thing.

In this first challenge, I actually like your photos better than the ones from the magazine! The pastry roller "makes" such a special presentation.

Great job - Suzy!

Mimi said...

Oh my goodness, Suzy...yours has more eye appeal to me than the one in the magazine. Great job!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

Anonymous said...


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