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 Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 4 one-egg one-muffin servings of eggs benedict.

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Butter

Blender Hollandaise

  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne or tabasco

Method

1 Start with 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 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 the blender hollandaise. 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 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 To assemble the eggs benedict, 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.

eggs-benedict-b.jpg

24 Comments

  1. Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    Elise, I was really skeptical about the Hollandaise sauce at first, but then I thought about adding the hot butter and I bet that *almost* achieves what cooking Hollandaise traditionally over simmering water does. Now I think I am definitely going to make this for my mother, who is conveniently visiting this weekend. Thanks for the idea! By the way, I like adding a bit of mustard powder instead of Tobasco to Hollandaise; it’s a more subtle tang for my taste buds.

    Great idea on the mustard powder, thanks! ~Elise

  2. Natalie

    I love eggs benedict and gave up on making it at home years ago for all the reasons you mentioned. Actually, what it always comes down to for me is poaching the eggs, everything else I seem to be able to pull off together but for some reason I manage to over cook the eggs every time. I think the key might be to start off making these for no more than 2 people and see how that goes. Ha! I should take my own advice. These do look beautiful though!

  3. Mary Kate

    This is my first time commenting, but I pretty much check your site everyday, just can’t cook that much in college.

    BUT, I thought I’d share a local variation of eggs benedict, eggs Chesapeake. Replace the bacon with crab cakes and sprinkle with Old Bay after pouring the hollandaise. Its delicious.

    Oh, I love it! Thanks for the suggestion. ~Elise

  4. Sondra

    Breakfast schmekfast — I like eggs Benedict for dinner! Not only am I more awake, but the richness of the dish is easier to handle at 7:00 PM than it is at 6:00 AM. I love your hollandaise recipe — worked great and kept warm in a thermos till I was ready to ladle some over salmon. Suggestion for prepping the ingredients in eggs Benedict, bake the bacon in the oven, keep the hollandaise warm in a thermos, get your water up to a simmer, and then all you have to do is toast the muffins and poach the eggs. Works every time!
    Thanks for a wonderful website and fantabulous recipes!

    Thanks for the suggestions Sondra! ~Elise

  5. Jennifer

    We love Eggs Benedict, but to cut a little of the richness, we sometimes substitute the meat portion for a slice or two each of tomato and avocado. Some restaurants call this Eggs California. It is just as delicious, but lighter with the richness of the Hollandaise.

    Thanks for the blender tip – that is a great trick!

  6. Sara Taylor

    I was a chef for 45 years and I would just like to add that if you do not want your sauce to break, use clarified butter, that means melt it and do not use any of the milky liquid only the yellow liquid, I use to melt the butter the night before and let it set back up in the refrigerator and drain the liquid before I heated up the butter the next morning.

    • June

      Thank you chef, I have now tried this tip and it does work. I appreciate your comment.

  7. stephanie manley

    I appreciate your methods for the blender hollandaise sauce. I have not tried it yet. I have to second Sara Taylor’s comments on using the clarified butter, it is and extra step, but my results have always been far more consistent when using the clairified butter when making Eggs Benedict. I always feel under pressure when making Eggs Benedict because that means I have company, and and after having sauce break on me multiple times, the clarified butter is a must for me.

    Thanks Stephanie! ~Elise

  8. Kelly

    Elise, this looks delicious. I’m sorry to say that I have never had Eggs Benedict. In fact, I have never had (or made) a Hollandaise sauce or even a poached egg!

    I know part of it is personal preference, but just how runny is the usual poached egg? I have always been curious about them. I don’t even know if I would be able to tell that I did it wrong!

    I think the answer is as runny as you like it. Some people like their egg yolks very runny, some less so. Ideally the whites should be completely cooked and the yolks runny. ~Elise

  9. Mike Pearce

    Hi,

    Great post, I’ll be making this for my wifes birthday this week. She’ll be pleased!

    One tip though, I’ve found that if you’ve got really fresh eggs, then you don’t need the vinegar, sometimes the vinegar taints the eggs. It’s all to do with albumen; old eggs have slack, saggy albumen and the vinegar tightens it all up again (you can tell by how stringy it goes!).

    That is all!

    Thanks for a great site, only just found it and boy am I glad I have!

    Mike

  10. Dave

    My wife and I just made this last night, and then she saw this post of yours today! It was my first time making a hollandaise sauce, and it came out quite well, though I just used a wire whisk for it (a little more time consuming, but develops nice, toned forearms) :)

    There’s a meat market near us that has some delicious tasso ham that I would love to try with this sometime.

    Cheers!

  11. Jen

    Made this for my parents this morning. It was a smash hit.

    This is why eggs were invented, folks.

  12. Keron

    I made this for dinner tonight (as written) and it was super easy and delicious, but the sauce came out very thick, almost like a mayonnaise. Where did I go wrong?

    You can thin it with a little water. ~Elise

  13. Tara

    I also use the blender for my Hollandaise, and like another poster, I use dry mustard in place of red pepper.
    And while it may not be technically “Eggs Benedict”, I have used anything from buttered lobster or crab, sliced prosicutto or smoked salmon instead of bacon. I have also used toasted challah, French bread or a bagel half in place of the muffin. Of course the poached eggs, Hollandaise and chives are staples!

  14. Sherri

    I love using crab meat instead of bacon too! It’s the absolute best and makes the preparation time that much faster. Like another poster noted, using a wire whisk for the Hollandaise sauce has always given me perfect results, but I think I’ll try the blender method next time just to see how it goes.

  15. Kris

    Hi! Made this for dinner tonight with some oven fried potatoes on the side. It was fantastic. We enjoyed every bite. Thanks!

    PS. I don’t have a blender so I used my mini Cuisinart instead. Poured in the butter in thirds. It worked perfect.

  16. Bela

    Absolutely delicious! It’s a bit of work but well worth it.

    If we are on the hurry we do something similar but a lot quicker. We call it “Redneck Benedict”. It’s a fried egg on the top of a grilled cheese sandwich. You have to burst the yolk before you eat it.

  17. Morena

    One of my favorite recipes in the world!! Years ago I learned to make Hollandaise in the blender and I was converted forever. You are right about the organization and timing in this recipe, but if made well, this dish is a hit.

  18. Chareia R

    Wonderful! I have been so scared to try and make eggs benedict. I thought for sure I would mess it up. With your easy recipe I have successfully made eggs benedict Thank you so much! They turned out beautiful and tasted even better!

  19. Catherine

    Ive never done this recipe, but I’ll give it a try, I just want to ask… Is the Hollandaise sauce raw? -I didnt quite understand that part, if so, can I find any substitute-sauce -without hurting anybody’s feelings or those of the more traditional followers…. I love your site btw, first time here, but what Ive seen so far looks wonderful! Thanks :)

  20. Meme

    Can you be a little more specific with the butter? Ten table spoons is how any grams exactly? Or you just junk a whole pack with a spoon?

    • Elise

      10 tbsp is 1/2 a cup plus two tablespoons. Or 1 (American) stick of butter, plus two tablespoons. 1 stick of butter is about 112 grams. So 112 grams plus 2 tablespoons.

  21. Betty Ann Villasenor

    Thank you for sharing this recipe Elise, for soo many years I have enjoyed eggs benedict and wanted to try it but was told it was too difficult to make. Just following your recipe for the first time this morning my eggs benedict and the sauce was a success and my boyfriend and I really liked it! You have done a great service to amateur cooks who are typically intimidated by such culinary delights.

  22. Roxanne Smith

    I just attempted to make the hollandaise sauce and It was a complete fail. I tried three times and each time my sauce was too watery. Which i learned is when it separates. I even tried the whisking method and failed. What can i do to fix this??

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