Eggs benedict is one of my favourite dishes to have whenever I'm at a restaurant that specializes in brunch. I never thought of making it at home because the hollandaise sauce sounds like a real pain to make, with a high risk of not getting it right. But then my chef showed me how to make an easy hollandaise sauce and told me that very few restaurants will actually go out of their way to make it with a vinegar reduction and clarified butter. This is an easy and wonderful dish to make on the morning after a romantic evening. Also great if you're nursing a hangover.
Classic Eggs Benedict
When making the hollandaise sauce, start with about half of the lemon juice and then add more to taste at the end. If the sauce came out a little too thick, you can thin it out with a little water. The sauce will form a skin on top if left aside too long, so whisk it every now and then while you're cooking the remaining ingredients. Be careful not to overcook the sauce in the bain marie. Take the bowl off the pot every now and then if you're finding that it is heating too quickly. Optionally, rub a garlic clove across the english muffins after they've been toasted, to give it a light garlic flavour.
- Step 1
Prepare the hollandaise sauce by bringing a pot of water to a simmer. Find a metal mixing bowl that can be used as a bain marie with the pot.
- Step 2
Separate the egg yolks and put them in the mixing bowl with half of the lemon juice (ie. Juice of a quarter of a lemon).
- Step 3
Using a metal whisk, mix the yolks and lemon juice. Then add the cubes of butter and place the bowl over the pot of simmering water.
- Step 4
Vigorously whisk the yolks, lemon juice and butter mixture. The butter will begin to melt. Keep whisking until all of the butter has melted and the desired consistency is reached. Be careful not to over cook it. Taste the sauce and add more lemon juice if necessary. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
- Step 5
In the pot of simmering water, poach the eggs to desired doneness. About 2 minutes for soft but a little runny. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Step 6
Fry the peameal bacon slices until cooked through. In the meantime, split open the english muffins into two and lightly butter the insides. Toast them under a broiler until the edges darken.
- Step 7
Place two halves of an english muffin on a plate and top each with a slice of peameal bacon. Top each bacon slice with a poached egg and then spoon hollandaise sauce over the egg. Garnish with a little cayenne pepper and/or smoked paprika.