Friday, November 21, 2008

Eggs Benedict (With Hollandaise Sauce)

My absolute favorite brunch item to make at home. It seems like a lot of work, but it's well worth it! One requirement is that you must make the Hollandaise sauce from scratch (the recipe is included here) - canned Hollandaise is not really worth eating.

  • 3 English muffins, split and toasted (keep them warm in an oven set to low)
  • 6 slices Canadian bacon or ham
  • 6 fresh eggs
  • water for poaching
  • white vinegar
  • Hollandaise Sauce
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon water
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • ¾ cup unsalted butter (1½ sticks), chilled and cut into small pieces (about 1-2 teaspoons in size)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon table salt - kosher tastes better though)
    • the juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)


Bring one inch of water to boil in a large, non-stick, straight-sided skillet with one teaspoon of vinegar per cup of water (don't overdo the vinegar, it makes the eggs rubbery). Crack one egg into a small custard cup or prep bowl (about 1 cup in size), then carefully pour the egg into the boiling water (as gently as possible). Repeat with remaining eggs then remove from heat and cover the pan. The eggs should be set in 8-10 minutes (you may want to include a "test egg" for sampling). Using a slotted spoon, carefully move the eggs to an ice-water bath and set aside.

Hollandaise Sauce
Bring an inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium metal bowl whisk together the eggs and 1 teaspoon water for about 90 seconds, until the eggs lighten in color. Add the sugar and whisk for another 30 seconds. Turn the pan of simmering water down to low and place the bowl with the egg mixture over it (the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened enough for the whisk to leave a clear trail in the bowl (or the mixture will coat the back of a spoon). Remove the bowl from the pan and gradually whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until fully incorporated. As the butter cools down the sauce, move the bowl back to the simmering water just long enough to keep the butter melting in as you whisk (be careful not to overheat it - completely melting the butter will break the sauce). Once all the butter is in, mix in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Pour the sauce into a thermos, or place the bowl on a heating pad set to low to keep warm until ready to serve.

Bring the poaching water back to a boil and remove from heat. Meanwhile, put each English muffin half on a plate with a slice of bacon on top. Using a slotted spoon, take the eggs from the ice water and reheat in the poaching water (it should not be boiling now). Place an egg on each muffin and add sauce. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

So, are you making Alton Brown's English muffins to go with these? They're yummy!


Jake Walkenhorst said...

I ought to try those - I saw them on the show but haven't tried them. Thanks for the suggestion!

I'm glad you're reading the blog.