Eggs benedict has been a favorite breakfast item of mine for years, but it always seemed way too complicated to make at home. In case you have never tried this out at your local breakfast stop, Eggs benedict consists of canadian bacon and poached eggs atop an english muffin, topped with hollandaise sauce. To some extent, it is a challenge - I definitely had to learn how to poach eggs, and also how to make hollandaise sauce for this recipe, however man was it worth it – I think it may have been tastier than it is at the local diner. As with a couple of my dishes on my 30-while-30 list, I actually made this twice over the last year, yet am blogging about it in the 11th hour, as the first time the hollandaise sauce was far too difficult - I first used my go-to chef Alton Brown’s method but A) making a homamade english muffin? Really? and B) honestly who at 8 in the morning has time to move a skillet on and off of a warm burner for several minutes at a time all while whisking? Not me.
So, instead, I did some searching and came up with this much easier way to make hollandaise sauce. It took me about 5 hands-off minutes with my trusty food processor. It was just as delicious, however, as my first try. I used pasteurized eggs to increase the food safety aspect of this dish, as the sauce is not really cooked.
The other secret to making a delicious eggs benedict is making a well-poached egg. This took me a few attempts to figure out, but I finally seem to have a good method. The way that worked best for me is to start a large deep saucepan of water simmering – not boiling – over medium heat. I added some vinegar to the water, which helps the outside of the egg whites to come together faster so that your poached egg doesn’t turn into egg-drop soup. I cracked an egg into an individual bowl, then slid that into a ladle. Then I slowly lowered the egg in the ladle into the simmering water bath and gently let the egg slide out of the ladle. It takes about 2-3 minutes to get a soft poached egg, such as you would likely want with eggs benedict.
Now that I’ve finished blogging about this, I think I may actually go make it for breakfast again. It’s that good.
(Hollandaise sauce from Elise via Simplyrecipes.com)
- 4 english muffins
- 8 slices of canadian bacon
- 8 eggs to poach
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 stick of butter, salted
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
In a small saucepan, melt the stick of butter over low heat so that it doesn’t boil off all the moisture in the butter. To make the hollandaise sauce, place egg yolks and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Turn it on and combine until the mixture starts to appear slightly lighter in color. At this point, slowly drizzle in the melted butter. The mixture will thicken up and your hollandaise at this point is done! Start a large at least 3 inch deep saucepan of water heaing with a small amount (2-3 tablespoons) of vinegar. When it just barely starts to simmer, reduce the heat – you want tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan, not a roiling boil here. Lower each egg gently into the water bath - I use a ladle for this, and gently slid the egg of when it was already in the water bath. Poach for about 2-3 minutes for a soft egg yolk, longer if you want firmer egg yolks. To assemble your finished product, split english muffins and lightly toast. Fry canadian bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it starts to appear browned. Layer an english muffin half at the bottom, topped wtih a slice of canadian bacon, a poached egg, and a tablespoon or two of hollandaise for a delicious (easy!) breakfast, and Enjoy!