eggs benedict with scallion latkes and prosciutto

The first time I had classic eggs Benedict, I was beyond underwhelmed.  Everyone raves about it like it's such a great brunch choice, but I find it super bland and boring.  I'm not a huge English muffin lover and Canadian bacon is probably my least favorite breakfast meat, so it's not surprising that I wouldn't be a huge fan. 

I CAN say that I really enjoy variations on this brekkie standby.  It's like how "Killing My Softly" is so much better by the Fugees, the song was ok when Lori Lieberman sang it, but that flavor you get from Lauryn Hill is a complete game changer.  Anything that puts a unique spin on the classic is something I can get behind.  Smoked salmon, crab cakes, I've even had eggs benny atop cornbread (which is going to be on here soon).  So I figured I'd put together some of my favorite things to make an eggs Benedict that I could actually get excited to eat.

I had to transport the potatoes to my boyfriend’s apartment and he doesn't have a food processor.  I'm pretty happy with my current arm workout routine, so I didn't really want to grate two cups of potatoes by hand, and I figured out a great way to do some of the work ahead of time.  Besides, you'll get enough of a workout with all the egg whisking for the hollandaise sauce.

The actual instructions are below, but if you're grating the potatoes ahead of time, you basically blanch them, flash freeze, and put them in a ziplock in the freezer.  This is great because you can keep the grated potatoes in your freezer for things like quick breakfast hash or hash browns.  Of course, if you're making these the same day you can just grate and throw them into the mixture, you don't have to boil them or pre-cook them in any way. 

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Ingredients

For the Latkes:
3 cups grated russet potatoes
2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions
1 small-medium onion, grated
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 egg
2 tbs flour (or matzo meal)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil (for pan)

For Poached Eggs:
4 eggs
1 tbs vinegar
a pinch of salt

For the Hollandaise Sauce:
2 egg yolks
¼ cup (½ stick) melted and cooled butter
1 tbs lemon juice
Few dashes of hot sauce (I used cholula)

For Eggs Benedict Assembly:
4 slices prosciutto
1 cup arugula

Make the Latkes:
To grate potatoes ahead of time:  Bring a pot of water to a gently boil.  Grate the taters, put them in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes then pour the contents of the pot into a colander.  Next, spread the potatoes onto a kitchen towel and ring out all of the extra moisture.  Spread them on a baking sheet and freeze for 10-15 to flash freeze them.  Put potatoes into a Ziploc and throw them into the freezer.  When you're ready to make the latkes, take the potatoes out of the freezer, let them slightly or fully thaw, spread them on a kitchen towel towel and squeeze out excess moisture.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees or “warm” function.  Line a plate with paper towels.  Grate potatoes using a food processor or hand grater.  Lay potatoes on a kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture.  Combine potatoes, scallions, onion, garlic powder, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Make little potato pancake patties out of two heaping tablespoons of the mixture, by rolling into a rough ball and flattening to ½ inch.  Heat oil over medium-high heat, don’t let oil get too hot or the latkes will burn.  Place latkes in pan, let cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden on the outside.  Transfer latkes to a paper towel lined plate when finished, crack a little salt on top, and put the plate into the warm oven. 

Poach the eggs:
In a medium sauce pan or a shallow deep pan, bring a few inches of water and 2 tbs vinegar to boil.  Crack eggs into ramekins, then gently pour eggs into boiling water.  Turn off the heat, put the lid on, set a timer for 6 minutes and leave the eggs alone.  After 6 minutes, use a slotted spoon to gently take the eggs out of the water.

Hollandaise:
In a medium sized saucepan, heat water until simmering.  Place a stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the saucepan (or use an actual double boiler) and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes.  Drizzle in melted butter and continue to whisk until mixture doubles in volume and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Add in a few dashes of hot sauce, salt and pepper and mix until combined.

To assemble:
Layer ¼ cup arugula, prosciutto, poached egg, then top with hollandaise and chopped scallions for garnish.  Serve immediately.