Eggs Benedict – a chic dish where tender poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce are combined with fresh bread, ham or smoked salmon, which makes it haute and hearty at the same time. It is one of those dishes that have the image of a restaurant one, but it is quite possible and easy to cook it at home.
There are several versions of the appearance of Eggs Benedict, according to which this dish first appeared in New York. Different versions speak about different people, different names and different situations of the invention of Benedict eggs, but all of them claim that it appeared in New York. Despite this, the dish is often referred to as French cuisine since Eggs Benedict are being cooked in the best restaurants of Paris. Now we can say truly that neither self-respecting restaurant can afford Eggs Benedict absence in the breakfast menu.
How to make Hollandaise sauce?
Auguste Escoffier, the king of French cuisine, identified five ‘mother’ sauces. Based on these five, you can cook all the other sauces that every self-respecting chef should know. Four of them are thickened with fried flour and one – Hollandaise sauce – is an emulsion of egg yolks and melted butter.
The Hollandaise sauce is equally suitable for vegetables, fish dishes, and eggs, especially for the best breakfast in the world – Eggs Benedict. To tell you the truth, making this sauce is a bit more difficult than homemade mayonnaise, which we are already very familiar with, but once you try Hollandaise sauce, you will fall in love.
Some people prefer to make Hollandaise sauce in the blender, which works well for this recipe too. I prefer to cook using the traditional method, especially because I do not like the smell of raw eggs and a few times when I tried to prepare Hollandaise sauce with blender I have felt it.
For the sauce take 2 good quality eggs, remove the whites and leave just the yolks, and place them into the heatproof glass bowl. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water, so that water will not touch the eggs. Start whisking. While whisking add one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of white wine vinegar. At the same time put in a separate pan 3.5 oz (100 gr) of butter to melt.
As you whisk the egg, it is gonna start to double in size. Slowly start adding the butter in the egg mixture. If you don’t whisk constantly the ingredients will split, and you will fail with the sauce. Once it is thickening up nicely, have a little taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Unlike mayonnaise, Hollandaise sauce could not be stored for a long time, and must be used within two – three hours after preparation. The perfect temperature at which you need to keep the sauce is in the range between 35 and 65 degrees. If the temperature is lower the butter could harden. If the temperature is higher the yolk could scrambler. In both cases, the Hollandaise sauce will split. I use to keep it on a water bath. But if I have to store it for 1-2 hours, then a perfect way to store the sauce is to put it in a thermos.
How to poach eggs?
The most important thing, when poaching an egg, is to use the freshest eggs possible. Eggs for Benedict are boiled without the shell. Do not get the eggs out of the refrigerator in advance; the colder they are, the more accurate shape of your egg will be. Then fill the pot half full of water. Let the water to boil and then reduce heat until you see small bubbles coming up from the bottom. Wash 4 eggs thoroughly. Take an empty cup, then tear off a strip of cling film, place it at the top of the cup and make a pocket. Pour a little oil and grease the sides. Beat one egg in this ‘pocket’ so that the yolk remains intact. Season with salt and pepper. Gently lift a cling film out of the cup and twist it around so you will obtain a little pocket with the egg inside. Repeat this step with the other three eggs. When eggs are ready pour them carefully into the water. The more carefully you pour the egg, the better it will turn out. Do not higher the heat, and leave eggs for 3-4 minutes in water. The yolk should remain soft. Then pull out the eggs from the pot and gently remove the cling film.
How to assemble Eggs Benedict?
Prepare the bread or muffins for the base. This time I have used fluffy french baguette. For you taste you can toast it in a toaster or on the skillet. Spoon some Hollandaise sauce on the bread, and then arrange the egg on the top. Garnish with 2 slices of bacon and some arugula. Also, I love to have my Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon.
Because in this recipe eggs are not exposed enough to heat treatment it is very important to use the best quality, fresh, refrigerated eggs, to reduce the risk of salmonella or other food-related illnesses.
White wine vinegar used for Hollandaise sauce can be replaced with mustard. When preparing the sauce you can use a double boiler.
You can easily replace bacon with any ordinary ham. If talking about salads you can also use the one you love. A good choice can be braised spinach.
But truly with a little patience and love, you can arrange for your family a morning like in a five-star restaurant right at home.
- cling film
- heatproof glass bowl
- 4 eggs
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 yolk eggs
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3.5 oz butter
- Prepare the Hollandaise sauce, melt 3.5 oz (100 gr) butter in a small pan. Place 2 yolks into the heatproof glass bowl and start whisking.
- Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water, so that water not to touch the eggs.
- While whisking add one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
- When the eggs mixture starts doubling in size, slowly start adding the butter.
- Whisk constantly in order the ingredients not to split.
- Once it is thickening up nicely, have a little taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Switch off the stove and leave the Hollandaise sauce on a water bath.
- Fry 8 slice of bacon.
- Wash 4 eggs thoroughly.
- Take an empty cup, then tear off a strip of cling film, place it at the top of the cup and make a pocket.
- Pour a little oil and grease the sides.
- Beat one egg in this ‘pocket’ so that the yolk remains intact. Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently lift a cling film out of the cup and twist it around so you will obtain a little pocket with the egg inside.
- Repeat this step with the other three eggs.
- Pour eggs carefully into the water and leave them for 3-4 minutes.
- Pull out the eggs from the pot and gently remove the cling film.
- Prepare the 4 pieces of fluffy french baguette for the base.
- Spoon some Hollandaise sauce on each piece of the baguette.
- Arrange the eggs on the top.
- Garnish each plate with 2 slices of bacon(or smoked salmon) and some arugula.