Eggs Benedict is my all time favorite breakfast food. Almost every time I go out for breakfast, I look for it on the menu. I began making it at home a few summers ago when I was invited to a family gathering at a cottage "UP NORTH" in Cadillac, Michigan. My job for the weekend was to prepare breakfast for our family of 10. Egg's Benedict was my first choice. I had heard that hollandaise sauce was difficult because you have to "temper" the eggs as you whisk them with warm butter. Tempering causes the eggs to cook smoothy into a sauce without scrambling them. It worked the very first time. It was a huge hit and everyone loved the elegance of a nice breakfast on the lake. I have since made this several times on special occasions.
I prepared Egg's Benedict this past Christmas for brunch, and added sauteed mushrooms. The lemony hollandaise sauce with the creamy egg was a perfect compliment for the mushrooms.
It IS a bit labor intensive, but each step on its own is not difficult. Once you master poaching eggs, and then you have the sauce down, it comes together pretty smoothy. It might take a few times to feel like you're a pro, but don't give up. Its so worth it.
I make the sauce first and keep it warm on a back burner, unlit. It reheats nicely. Then I begin poaching the eggs. I also toast the English muffins on a baking sheet (350) so I can make them all at once instead of 2 by 2 in a toaster.
- 1 lb. of sliced mushrooms; mixture of choice
- Butter for sauteing
- 8 slices ham or Canadian bacon
- 4 English muffins, split and buttered
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 8 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Hollandaise sauce, recipe here
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet.
- Saute the mushrooms in butter and set aside.
- Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water.
- Add vinegar.
- Bring to a slow boil.
- Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. I actually break egg into a custard cup before slipping it into the pan..
- Repeat with remaining eggs.
- Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain on a towel.
- Lay a slice of Canadian bacon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs, top with mushrooms.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
A few words to say to yourself before you make the best breakfast dish in the history of breakfast....
1. Hollandaise should NOT come out of a package.
2. Fresh hollandaise sauce is NOT difficult.
3. Fresh hollandaise sauce is WORTH IT!
Follow the simple directions carefully in preparation for EGGS BENEDICT. I promise, you will not regret it.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- Pinch cayenne
- Pinch salt
- Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. This will take some time. BE PATIENT.
- Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Continue to whisk rapidly.
- Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.
- Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. This will take some time. BE PATIENT.
- Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt.
- Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the EGGS BENEDICT (RECIPE).
- If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.