If there's one dish that illuminates the event of brunch, it's Eggs Benedict. A traditional pairing of English muffins, Canadian ham, poached eggs and a velvety smooth hollandaise sauce, this breakfast favorite was first introduced back in 1860. According to Delmonico's, a restaurant located in the Financial district in Manhattan, Chef de Cuisine Charles Ranhofer came up with noted dishes such as the Eggs Benedict, Baked Alaska, and Chicken a la Keene.
Today you can find the classic version, among creative options in various restaurants around the country. Some examples include the Lobster Eggs Benedict from The Bite House in Nova Scotia and the Monaco from Zazie in San Fransisco which includes prosciutto and tomatoes. And lets not forget the multiple variations that include everything from steamed asparagus and salmon to plates piled high with mountains of ham and bacon.
But did you know it's actually pretty simple to make your own version of Eggs Benedict in your own kitchen? Yes! Follow along as we show you how to make the most delicious Eggs Benny possible.
How to Make Eggs Benedict
In every Eggs Benedict recipe there are four key components: the base (English muffin) the toppings, the poached egg, and the hollandaise sauce. For today's recipe we are kicking things up a notch and adding a Texas flair. Let's get started!
For the Hollandaise
Hollandaise, known as one of the mother sauces, is a rich and buttery smooth sauce that you want to cover everything with. Made with egg yolks, lemon, butter and salt, this sauce is practically like liquid gold.
Traditionally a hollandaise sauce is very fickle to work with. Egg yolks and lemon are whisked together over a double-boiler until warmed and doubled in size. Melted butter is then streamed in slowly. Too fast and the egg yolks will break. Too hot the egg yolks will break. Too cold and the egg yolks will break. You get my drift?
No fear for you, there's actually another method that saves you the worry of your sauce breaking (and your wrist hurting). May I introduce to you, Blender Hollandaise. Easier to manage than whisking for fifteen minutes straight, this sauce can be made in minutes.
In a small saucepan over low heat melt your unsalted butter. Meanwhile in a blender add your egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, and for this Texas version, tomato paste. Blend until light and frothy, about thirty seconds. While running, pour in the melted butter and blend. Once all the butter is added, blend for another few seconds to incorporate. That's it.
Pour the sauce into a small ramekin or small bowl and place on or near your stove to keep warm. You don't want to reheat the sauce (it'll break) but the sauce will stay perfect at room temperature as well.
How to Poach Eggs
The first time I poached eggs I had the pot on a hard boil. I added the egg and immediately it looked like I had ordered a bowl of egg drop soup. Don't make the mistakes I first made, and keep your pot barely to a simmer.
To begin, combine water and white vinegar in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile crack an egg into a ramekin. This will make it easier to add the egg to the water.
With a spoon swirl the water into a whirlpool and slide the egg in the middle. This will help the whites stick to the yolk in a solid mass. Let the egg cook until the whites are solid and the yolk is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully place on a paper towel to drain.
To assemble place toasted English muffin halves on the warm plate topped with any toppings (usually Canadian bacon) the poached egg, and the hollandaise sauce.
Eat up, you deserve it.