Make mom Eggs Benedict for Mother’s Day, a great breakfast or brunch classic!
When going out for breakfast, especially mid to late morning, I often scour the menu for something more than just eggs and toast.
Occasionally, on a Sunday morning, my wife and I get up early and head into New York City to visit the Guggenheim museum or stroll through Central park to people-watch. By early, I mean 6am. At that point we usually just grab a cup of coffee, get in the car, and start driving. This works because we are not really hungry at that time, and because we want to get on the road quickly to be able to maximize our time in the city.
Driving the two hours down, we slowly wake up and talk about what we want to do and where we should go. As we get closer to our destination, the conversation starts to turn to food; what should we eat and where should we eat?
By the time we park the car somewhere on the upper east side, we are starving and our mission turns to finding a good place to eat. A quick stop at Eli Zabars EAT, between 80th and 81st street, allows for a cup of coffee and a croissant or bagel on the way to the Metropolitan Museum, but now I’m really hungry and I want something more.
One of our favorite places was a French bistro on 83rd st, Le Bistro D’à Côté. Sadly, I believe it has closed.
Not only did they offer traditional eggs Benedict but they also had eggs Florentine and eggs Nordique (also known as Hemingway, Royal, Copenhagen and a few other names. It has smoked salmon instead of Canadian bacon).
The Benedicts were delicious and delicate, washed down with some black coffee, a wonderful Mimosa and accompanied by some jazz. The day always got off to a wonderful start!
Making Eggs Benedict, or one of its variations, can be an intimidating task.
The two main steps take a bit of know-how and will be the difference between a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece or a disaster of golf-ball eggs drowning in a greasy, broken and curdled sauce.
“Practice makes perfect” is a saying which seems to have been specifically coined for this dish. Learning to make it is so worthwhile as you can “wow” just about anyone by preparing them this exquisite, impressive breakfast.
- 4 eggs
- 2 English muffins
- 4 slices of Canadian bacon
- 1/2T butter
- 5 cups of water
- 1 t salt
- 2 T white vinegar
For the Hollandaise sauce:
- 1/4c butter (8T or one stick)
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- pinch white pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt to taste
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T white wine
- Prepare the Hollandaise sauce first. Then, toast the muffins, fry the Canadian bacon and then poach the eggs. This will allow for the assembly to flow.
- Start by putting the water on for cooking the eggs and bring to a simmer.
- Separate the egg yolks and drop them into the wine in the top of a double boiler. Season the egg yolks with the mustard, Worcestershire, salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Melt the butter and draw off the milk solids. Set aside and keep hot.
- Whisk the egg yolks with a wire whisk over the steam from the simmering water. Whisk for a good 5 minutes until it thickens and doubles in volume. It will be thick and frothy like pancake mix. Make sure you do not heat it too much as you will scramble the eggs and have to start over.
- When the mix is thick, remove from the steam and slowly add the clarified butter while whisking the entire time to mix it in and make an emulsification. Go slow so you do not break the sauce.
- Once the butter is incorporated, add the lemon juice and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the Canadian bacon in butter over medium heat and toast the English muffins. Arrange each half of English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon, two on each plate.
- Give the simmering water a gentle swirl and crack the eggs into it carefully, one at a time. Giving it a swirl collects the egg in the center and gives it a nice round shape.
- Cook over low heat for 6 minutes, remove each egg with a slotted spoon and drain carefully. Arrange one egg on top of each English muffin and top with the Hollandaise sauce.
Serve and enjoy!
There are a number of variation on this dish and a few of the most popular are:
- Eggs Florentine – substitute sautéed spinach for the Canadian bacon.
- Eggs Tenderloin Benedict – Substitute a small tenderloin steak for the Canadian bacon.
- Eggs Hemingway (Royal, Copenhagen and several other names) – substitute smoked salmon for the Canadian bacon.
Learning to prepare this dish well is great for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays or any other day, be it special or just ordinary.