It seems strange that binge-eating college students would willingly pass up an opportunity to pig out on food they already paid for. But plenty of Yalies do it every morning when they skip breakfast to catch up on sleep or do silly things like go to class.
It’s sad that most Yalies don’t eat breakfast. After a long night of studying, partying or sitting around doing nothing, there’s nothing like waking up to a hearty omelette stuffed with vegetables and a big plate of sizzling sausage and crisp bacon. Of course, that’s the problem with breakfast at Yale: There aren’t any omelettes or breakfast meats to wake up to.
The best you can do at breakfast in the residential colleges is a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles and a banana. On weekday mornings in the colleges, there is no aroma of bacon frying in grease, no sounds of eggs hitting hot oil or pancakes being flipped. The only gastronomic noises you’ll be lucky enough to hear are the dreary snap, crackle and pop of your Rice Krispies.
Commons, the only dining hall that serves hot food in the morning, is by default the best bet for breakfast on campus. But while Commons may have scrambled eggs and bacon, it’s missing some crucial ingredients for a truly epicurean experience.
Everyone knows the key to Eggs Benedict is the hollandaise sauce. But while the dining halls tend to be well stocked, they lack this essential element. This is where your charm, creativity and dexterity with pushing microwave buttons come in.
To make Eggs Benedict, you need raw egg yolks and poached eggs — two things the dining hall doesn’t supply. So flash the prettiest smile you can muster at 9 o’clock in the morning and politely ask a dining hall employee to sneak you five eggs from the kitchen. Set aside two for poaching and use the yolks from the other three as the base for your hollandaise sauce.
The only way to make this buttery broth, a French chef might say, is to thicken the yolks in a double boiler. Heating them any other way will cause the eggs to curdle. The only way to poach an egg, you might think, is in a pot on a stove. To this I say, “Nay! Give me a microwave and my appetite, and I’m set!”
Top a toasted English muffin with a slab of Canadian bacon and a poached egg. Pour on the heavenly hollandaise and you will have performed an eggs benediction unlike any other.
Heavenly Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 tsp water
3 lemon wedges (You’ll probably be the first to use an ingredient from the tea bar to create a meal.)
A pinch of salt
1. Put butter in a bowl and melt in microwave. Set aside.
2. Separate egg yolks from whites, keeping yolks in a bowl and discarding whites.
3. Microwave yolks for 15 seconds. Add a teaspoon of water and whisk. Repeat until yolks begin to thicken.
4. Spoon off milk solids from melted butter. Mix butter with yolks. Squeeze juice from lemons into sauce and add salt.
5. Beat until sauce achieves the creamy consistency you’ve come to know and love from Sunday brunches.
Eggcelent Eggs Benedict
1 cup water
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 English muffin, halved and toasted
2 pieces Canadian bacon (If none is available, warm up some ham from the sandwich bar. If that’s not your thing, use your favorite breakfast meat.)
1 cup Heavenly Hollandaise Sauce (see above)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Pour 1/2 cup water in a bowl. Crack an egg into water. Top with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp vinegar.
2. Poke the egg yolk gently with a toothpick or the edge of a fork so the egg won’t blow up. (Your professor won’t buy the excuse, “Sorry I’m late. I had to clean the vestiges of my egg yolk explosion in Commons.”)
3. Microwave for 60 seconds or until egg achieves desired consistency.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 with second egg.
5. Put a piece of Canadian bacon on one half English muffin.
6. Top with poached egg. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
7. Drench with 1/2 Heavenly Hollandaise Sauce.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 with second half of English muffin and remaining ingredients.
9. Indulge in your eggs benediction as onlookers drool with envy.