10 February 2012

Weekend Breakfast: Eggs Benedict

Yes, this is really what I made for breakfast on Sunday
And no, I didn't just order eggs benedict to go from Sanborn's down the street and pass it off as my own.

Last week, I made the America's Test Kitchen Feed recipe for lighter spaghetti carbonara. And before you get all up in arms about how real carbonara doesn't have cream in it, I'd like to point out that there are variations on the recipe in different regions in Italy. How do I know that? Well, someone already bitched about it on their website and the Test Kitchen author refuted their point. I choose to believe that guy...because it was awesome.

Anyway, after that dinner, we had some leftover Canadian bacon. I was kicking myself for not waiting to buy the Canadian bacon from Edelweiss deli, where I bought their mouthwatering housemade bacon, but the stuff I bought sufficed. I saved a few pieces with the intention of making eggs benedict over the weekend. Now, I've had one experience making hollandaise. It turned out well, but I picked a very unfortunate bowl to make it in and ended up holding a very hot ceramic bowl over boiling water for upwards of 15 minutes because it was taking a long time to really up well (duh) and I had to keep figuring out how to hold the bowl without burning my hand off. And after I got it to the perfect consistency, I managed to overspice it with cayenne.

I wasn't going to let that happen this time. I picked a much better bowl and thought ahead to use my electric tea kettle to boil the water that had to go into the sauce, rather than frantically trying to figure out how to scoop out the right amount of boiling water whilst holding a scalding hot bowl.

As for the English muffins, I went with my favorite healthy brand Ezekiel sprouted grain muffins. Seriously. They're good. They may be healthy, but toasted, they are amazing. So crisp and they actually stay that way, rather than collapsing under the weight of most of a stick of butter, egg yolks, meat, and more eggs. I put those on a baking sheet and stuck them in the oven and since I was feeling too lazy to use another pan, also threw on my Canadian bacon to warm in the oven.

The hollandaise needed a few stirs along the way, but stayed warm off heat over the pan of water while I poached my eggs. I've poached eggs quite a few times, but somehow, they have never really turned out as perfectly as they did last weekend. As you can see below, whites cooked through, yolk running wild down onto the crisp English muffin. I only wish I wasn't so excited about it, I could've gotten a steady picture.

And I didn't overspice the sauce!
Foolproof Hollandaise
Cook's Illustrated*

Serve this sauce immediately over prepared asparagus or eggs Benedict.

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Whisk butter and egg yolks together in large heat-resistant bowl set over medium saucepan with 1/2 inch of barely simmering water (don't let bowl touch water) until mixture is smooth and homogeneous.

2. Slowly add 1/2 cup boiling water and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and sauce registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 7 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon juice and cayenne. Season with salt to taste.

*This recipe is easily halved.

Poached Eggs
Cook's Illustrated


1 teaspoon table salt plus more to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 large eggs, each cracked into a small handled cup
Ground black pepper

1. Fill 8- to 10-inch nonstick skillet nearly to rim with water, add 1 teaspoon salt and the vinegar, and bring mixture to boil over high heat.

2. Lower the lips of each cup just into water at once; tip eggs into boiling water, cover, and remove from heat. Poach until yolks are medium-firm, exactly 4 minutes. For firmer yolks (or for extra large or jumbo eggs), poach 4 1/2 minutes; for looser yolks (or for medium eggs), poach 3 minutes.

3. With slotted spoon, carefully lift and drain each egg over skillet. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


  1. Yum! Any tips for poaching eggs? That's the hardest part for me

    1. I added the poached eggs recipe. I am able to get both eggs into one cup and not mess them up, so why dirty more dishes? I think the key to my success this time versus other times was really letting the water boil before adding the eggs. I think I've added the eggs too soon before, which doesn't provide enough heat to solidify the white. I think the recipe printed in the Family Cookbook actually says to poach for 5 minutes. That's how I did it.

  2. Eggs Benny are seriously one of my fave meals -- EVER. Looks delicious, girl!