How to Make Eggs Benedict
Making eggs benedict requires careful orchestration. You have to have warm, crispy bacon, hot buttered toasted English muffins, eggs poached perfectly to your desire, and a warm, creamy, unbroken Hollandaise sauce, all at about the same time.
No wonder I rarely eat eggs benedict unless I’m eating out, my brain is scrambled enough as it is in the morning without having to juggle in the kitchen.
That said, if you know how to toast an English muffin, know how to cook bacon, and know how to poach eggs, then the only element that is not your standard fare is the Hollandaise sauce, which is actually quite easy if you have a blender.
There may be an occasion, such as Mother’s Day for example, for which you might want to make a special someone, such as your mother, something special for breakfast or brunch. Eggs benedict is as special as they come. Believe me, if you make these for me, I will worship the ground you walk on.
Eggs benedict is also great made with slices of smoked salmon in place of the bacon. If you are in or around New Jersey, try it with Taylor ham.
- 8 pieces of bacon or 4 pieces of Canadian bacon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
- 2 English muffins
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash of cayenne or tabasco
1 Cook the bacon: Heat a large skillet on medium low heat. Add the strips of bacon or the slices of Canadian bacon. Slowly fry, turning occasionally, until the bacon is browned on both sides, and if using strip bacon, much of the fat is rendered out (about 10 minutes).
Use tongs or a fork to remove the bacon from the pan, set on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.
Don't pour the bacon fat left in the pan down the drain! Either sop it up with paper towels when it has cooled a bit, or pour it into a jar to be used later (see rendering bacon fat).
2 Bring poaching water to a simmer: While the bacon is cooking, bring a large saucepan two-thirds-filled with water to a boil, then add the vinegar. Bring the water to a boil again, then lower the heat to a bare simmer.
3 Make Hollandaise sauce in blender: To make blender hollandaise, melt 10 Tbsp unsalted butter.
Put 3 egg yolks, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender, blend on medium to medium high speed for 20-30 seconds, until eggs lighten in color.
Turn blender down to lowest setting, slowly dribble in the hot melted butter, while continuing to blend. Taste for salt and acidity and add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
Transfer it to a container you can use for pouring and set it on a warm—but not hot—place on or near the stovetop.
4 Poach the eggs: Here is an easy method for poaching eggs. Essentially, working one egg at a time you crack an egg into a small bowl and slip it into the barely simmering water. Once it begins to solidify, you can slip in another egg, until you have all four cooking.
Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 4 minutes. (Remember which egg went in first, you'll want to take it out first.) When it comes time to remove the eggs, gently lift out with a slotted spoon.
Note that the timing is a little variable on the eggs, depending on the size of your pan, how much water, how many eggs, and how runny you like them. You might have to experiment a little with your set-up to figure out what you need to do to get the eggs exactly the way you like them.
5 Toast English muffins: As soon as all the eggs are in the poaching water, begin toasting your English muffins. If you can’t get all the muffins toasted by the time the eggs are ready, gently remove the eggs from the poaching water and set in a bowl.
6 Assemble your Eggs Benedict: To assemble, butter one side of an English muffin. Top with two slices of bacon or 1 slice of Canadian bacon. You can trim the bacon to fit the muffin if you’d like.
Put a poached egg on top of the bacon, then pour some hollandaise over. Sprinkle some parsley over it all and serve at once.