I'm having brunch on Sunday. How do you poach eggs for a large crowd?
--Aline Carter, New York, NY
The best method would be to poach the eggs ahead of time and reheat them right before you serve your guests. You can do this about three hours in advance. After you poach the eggs, remove them from the simmering water and transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water. When they're completely chilled, place them in a container lined with a paper towel.
To reheat the poached eggs, bring a panful of water to a simmer and submerge the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon, and blot them dry using a heel of bread. Place the egg on an English muffin, with sauteed spinach, and cover with hollandaise sauce.
What is your secret to making hollandaise?
--Laura Ward, Riverdale, NY
The easiest way to make hollandaise is in a blender. The blender aids in the emulsifying process, and the sauce is less likely to separate. To ensure a nice, thick emulsion, have all the ingredients at room temperature. First, melt one stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Drop 3 egg yolks into a blender with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. While the motor is running, slowly pour in the melted stick of butter. The sauce is best if used immediately, but if you need to hold it over, you can let it sit for about an hour over hot water in a bain-marie, or in a Thermos.