Easy dinner recipes: Eggs every which way

1. Combine the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir in the cubes of butter, piece by piece, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as the last piece melts.

2. Add the lemon juice. Taste, season. If the sauce curdles, add a chip of ice and stir.

Eggs and assembly

12 strips Canadian bacon

6 English muffins

12 eggs

Hollandaise sauce

1. Grill the bacon, reserve in a warm oven. Split and toast the muffins (allowing for some more cooking while they stand). Reserve in a warm oven. Heat 6 plates in the oven.

2. Fill a broad-faced frying pan half full of water, and bring the water to a simmer. Carefully crack the eggs into the water a few at a time. Poach the eggs (3 minutes for soft runny eggs), trimming away any straggly whites. When the eggs are almost cooked, using a slotted spoon, remove them to warm water and continue poaching until all the eggs are done.

3. Arrange the muffin halves on plates. Cover each with a slice of bacon, then an egg, then a generous spoonful or two of hollandaise sauce. Serve with well-drained, steamed spinach and a good Chardonnay.

Each serving: 550 calories; 30 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 34 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 634 mg. cholesterol; 1,111 mg. sodium

CREAMY SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH FINES HERBES

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 2

4 eggs

3/4 teaspoon minced herbs, from a mixture of fresh tarragon, parsley, chives and chervil, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes, divided

4 slices hot toasted and buttered baguette

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat briskly with a fork to break them up and homogenize them. There should be no trace of white remaining. Beat in half the fresh herb mixture and the salt and stir in about 1 tablespoon of the cubed butter.

2. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When it is warm, pour in the egg mixture and stir briskly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, scraping the bottom and sides to make sure the egg doesn't set too quickly. If you feel the cooking is going too quickly, remove the pan from the heat for a moment or two, stirring constantly, then return it.

3. After a couple of minutes, the butter will be melted and the eggs will have begun to thicken into a creamy sauce. Add the remaining cold butter in 2 or 3 portions, continuing to stir briskly. When the eggs are thick but not yet set, arrange the hot toast on warm plates (and let your partner know dinner is seconds away).

4. The moment the eggs begin to set firmly (they will still be slightly creamy), spoon them over the toast, season with just a little black pepper and the remaining fresh herbs and serve immediately. These must be eaten hot to be appreciated fully.

Each serving: 412 calories; 16 grams protein; 17 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 31 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 428 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 581 mg sodium.

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