Eggs Benedict - Including a traditional recipe and some regional variations.

eggs benedict
Eggs Benedict is a wonderful brunch recipe if you are looking for a different way to serve poached eggs.

This dish basically consists of half a buttered English muffin at the bottom, which is topped firstly with Canadian style bacon, otherwise known as back bacon, or can be substituted with ham, followed by a perfectly poached egg and lastly, drizzled with a spoonful of smooth Hollandaise sauce.

For a heavier meal, eggs Benedict are often served with roast potatoes or homemade fries, which are used to mop up the gloriously yummy runny egg yolk.
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To prepare eggs Benedict, you may find yourself having to contend with several things at once, as most of the ingredients only take a few minutes to prepare. It will take quite a bit of skill and expertise, but with a little practice or an extra pair of hands, you will soon be making eggs Benedict like a true professional.

To start with, it is best to prepare the Hollandaise sauce, as this can easily be heated up and stirred quickly when needed.

Next, the eggs can be poached for a few minutes in simmering water. While the eggs are cooking, the bacon can be grilled or fried for a few minutes and whilst all this is happening, you should have time to pop the muffins into the toaster or under the grill to toast them.

Below is a simple yet tasty recipe for eggs Benedict, which is followed by some suggestions on how to vary the recipe if desired.

Eggs Benedict Recipe

Ingredients (For 4 people)
  • 4 fresh English muffins
  • 8 rashers of back bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 9 oz (255 g) of butter
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper

To make the Hollandaise sauce
  1. Place the 4 egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and the salt and pepper into a fairly large saucepan and with a hand whisk, whisk all the ingredients until they have blended together.
  2. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the saucepan.
  3. Turn the heat on the cooker to medium and begin to whisk the ingredients. As the butter melts, make sure that you blend it thoroughly into the egg yolks. Continue to whisk vigorously until all of the butter has blended into the eggs.
  4. If the sauce begins to separate, add 2 tsp of water to the sauce mixture and whisk briskly until the mixture has combined together to form a creamy sauce.
  5. Once all of the butter has melted and a sauce has been formed, continue whisking until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency.
  6. Add more salt and pepper if required.
  7. Remove from the heat and keep the sauce warm before serving for up to 30 minutes.
Once the Hollandaise sauce has been prepared and set to one side, you can concentrate on the other ingredients.

The next step is to prepare the eggs and the ham, if possible simultaneously.
  1. Preheat the grill to a moderate heat and cut the bacon or ham into circles that will just cover the base of the muffin.
  2. At the same time start to poach the eggs (see our section on: How to poach an egg).
  3. Place the bacon or ham under the grill and cook on both sides until browned. Keep warm if the eggs are still cooking.
  4. When the eggs and the bacon are almost ready, tear the muffins in half with your hands, taking care to break them evenly and place them in the toaster or under the grill.
  5. When the muffins have been lightly toasted, butter them generously and place in the middle of a warmed plate.
  6. Remove the bacon from the grill and sit one circular piece on top of each half muffin.
  7. Arrange the drained and trimmed poached egg on top of the bacon or ham and finally spoon the warmed Hollandaise sauce over the egg.
  8. Serve immediately.

Variations of Eggs Benedict

It seems that many people all over the world love the eggs Benedict recipe and have enjoyed adapting it to their tastes and local ingredients to create plenty of new recipes for everyone to try.

Read the following variations to see whether there are any that you would like to create in your kitchen:
  • Eggs Florentine - replace the ham or bacon with spinach.
  • Eggs Maryland - remove the ham and serve poached eggs drizzled with Hollandaise sauce on top of crab cakes.
  • Waldorf Style Eggs - replace the English muffin with toast and serve with poached eggs, sautéed mushrooms and mushroom sauce.
  • Norwegian Eggs - replace the ham or bacon with thin slices of smoked salmon.
  • Artichoke Eggs - replace the English muffin with cooked artichoke hearts.
  • Eggs Blackstone - use streaky bacon instead of back bacon and add a slice of tomato.
  • Asparagus Eggs - substitute the ham with asparagus spears.
  • Country Eggs Benedict - Replace the bacon or ham with sausage slices and cover with sausage gravy instead of Hollandaise sauce.
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