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110 East 15th Street, Vancouver, WA, 98663

(360) 600-8006

Class Cooking specializes in small group hands-on gourmet cooking classes, and provides event planning and catering services.  Located adjacent to Burnt Bridge Cellars in Vancouver, Washington.

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Eggs Benedict with Goat Cheese Polenta and Pesto Hollandaise

Gregory Clapp

My friend Amy McFall-Prince, who writes the wonderful food blog The Dinner Hour suggested that I post a brunch recipe in the May newsletter.  She said that it’s brunch season.  I love Eggs Benedict in any form, and I make several variations.  This version is a little complicated, but the results are worth the work. 

  • 16 slices prosciutto, fried till crisp
  • 8 eggs, poached (see directions)
  • Paprika to garnish

Polenta: 

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • ¼ cup basil chopped

Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in polenta and lower heat to a simmer. Cook covered and stir occasionally for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the "done-ness" by tasting- it should not be crunchy. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and basil. Pour mixture into greased 9”x 13”pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate until firm and ready to use. Polenta can be made in advance. Cut into 8 squares. Coat fry pan with a thin coating of vegetable oil and heat. Add polenta squares and fry until browned and heated through. Keep warm until ready to use. 

Hollandaise sauce:

  • 1 cup butter melted and kept warm
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup pesto

Place yolks, salt, mustard and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add melted butter in a slow stream while blender is running. It will thicken as the butter is added. Add pesto and blend. Adjust seasoning to taste. Keep warm buy pouring into a thermos or wrap blender container with a towel. DO NOT REHEAT- hollandaise will break.

To assemble, place a piece of polenta on a serving plate. Top with 2 pieces of crispy prosciutto, one poached egg and hollandaise. Garnish with a dusting of paprika. Serves 4 or 8 depending on if you serve one or two per person.

Poached Eggs:

  • 6 to 12 eggs- the fresher, the better
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • Water 

Fill a shallow wide pan with water approximately 3 inches deep. Add vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a very gentle simmer (if the water is boiling it will break up the egg whites). Crack each egg into small individual dishes. Gently pour each egg into the water, one at a time. Simmer until the whites are almost set (the egg will continue to cook after they're removed from the water). Remove eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon and put them in place as directed in the Eggs Benedict recipe you are following.

If you want to cook the eggs in advance: Eggs can be par cooked just until they hold together. Gently Remove from the hot water and place in ice cold water to stop the cooking, then refrigerate. To reheat and finish the eggs when you are ready to use them, place par cooked eggs back into simmering water until cooked to desired doneness, and use as directed.