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.
Video! How to Make Eggs Benedict
How to Make Eggs Benedict
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.
When to Serve Eggs Benedict
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.
What is Eggs Benedict and Where Does it Come From?
Eggs Benedict is a traditional American breakfast and brunch recipe that originated in New York City. It consists of an English muffin, cut in half, toasted, and topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and classic French hollandaise sauce. It's decadent, rich, and satisfying.
How to Make Perfect Poached Eggs
Not everyone poaches eggs right on the first try. Or the second. If you've never made poached eggs before, they can take some practice. For a better chance of getting it right, try these tips.
- Start with the freshest eggs you can get. The older the eggs are, the more likely they are to fall apart in the simmering water.
- Make sure the water is barely simmering when just a few bubbles appear every now and then. If the water is boiling, and there are a lot of bubbles, the chances of the egg separating when it hits the water are greater.
- Don't forget to add the vinegar to the water.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl before adding it to the water. Then gently slide the egg from the bowl into the simmering water. Experienced egg poachers may be able to crack the egg on the side of the pot and add it directly to the water. Unless you're highly skilled at poaching eggs, use the small bowl.
- Or, crack the egg into a fine mesh sieve and allow some of the thinner egg white to fall out. Then gently add the egg from the sieve into the simmering water.
- Time the poaching egg carefully. Four minutes should be just about right.
If you simply can't get it right, and you really want to make eggs Benedict before you master the skill, try this Microwave Poached Eggs recipe.
Substitutions for Canadian Bacon
While Canadian bacon is the traditional meat used in the eggs Benedict, it's okay to buck tradition with these alternatives.
- Crab cakes
- Taylor ham, or pork roll
Troubleshooting Tips for Hollandaise Sauce
Blender Hollandaise Sauce is one of the easiest methods for getting the sauce to emulsify. If the sauce breaks, or separates, it is usually because of overcooked egg yolks or adding too much butter in quickly. This recipe calls for blended raw egg yolks. The blender will heat them, but not so much that it will cause the sauce to separate.
Follow these tips.
- Blend the egg yolks a full 30 seconds so they get warm but not hot.
- Don't bring the melted butter to a high temperature. Melt it until just hot.
- Add the butter very slowly to the blender on its lowest setting.
- If the sauce ends up emulsified, but thin, add it to a saucepan and heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.
Make Ahead Tips
There are a lot of moving parts to eggs Benedict. If you'd like to make some of the dish ahead of time, you can poach the eggs up to five days early. Here's how.
- When you're done poaching the eggs, plunge them in a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking and cool them off.
- Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a single layer in an airtight container. Refrigerate.
- Right before you're ready to assemble the eggs Benedict, reheat the pre-poached eggs in a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and immediately place on top of the bacon.
Cook the bacon or Canadian bacon ahead of time, too, up to 3 days early. Store in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave until just warmed through.
Do not make the hollandaise sauce or toast the English muffins ahead of time.
More Special-Occasion Breakfast Ideas
- Cloud Eggs (Egg Nests)
- Honey Ricotta Stuffed French Toast
- How to Make French Crêpes
- Ham and Asparagus Quiche
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
How to Make 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.
8 slices bacon or 4 slices Canadian bacon
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
2 English muffins
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the added salt)
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash cayenne or Tabasco sauce
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).
Bring the 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.
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.
First time making Hollandaise sauce? Check out our Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce for additional details on making the sauce.
Poach the 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.
If you need some more instruction, here is an easy method for poaching eggs.
Toast the 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.
Assemble the 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.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 59g||75%|
|Saturated Fat 27g||136%|
|Total Carbohydrate 38g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 18g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||18%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|