I always thought, and still do believe, that brunch is a cheerful and sociable event that incites interesting conversations and puts you in a good mood. Eggs Benedict is traditionally a split English muffin, Canadian bacon, and a poached egg, but the real magic of an eggs Benedict is that creamy, rich Hollandaise sauce — one of the culinary “Mother Sauces”.
It’s surprisingly simple…whisked, warmed egg yolks, with lemon and butter. Yum! And in this recipe I’m going to help you get that oh-so-good sauce at home. This is a great brunch dish to use at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, or any time after 10 a.m.! With baked ham and creamed spinach, this eggs Benedict will delight your whole crew.
This recipe serves 8 but can easily be multiplied or subtracted based on what suits your weekend.
- 3 qtr. sauce pot
- Blender *
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Small bowl, pourable glass, plastic container, or thermos jar (to store/keep Hollandaise sauce)
- Medium to large pot
- Fine mesh handheld strainer
- Large slotted spoon
- Paper towels
- Sauté pan
- Chef knife
- Serrated knife
- Small to medium bowl
- Rubber spatula
[ingredients title=”Ingredients for Hollandaise Sauce *”]
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 t water
- ¾ C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (or clarified butter or ghee), melted
- 1 ½ t fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- ¼ t cayenne, hot paprika, or Sriracha, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
[ingredients title=”Ingredients for Poached Eggs”]
- 2 qtr. water
- 1 T white vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- 8 Fresh large eggs
- 4 English muffins, split into 8 halves
- 1 C shredded cheese (Swiss, gouda, manchego or white cheddar are all good choices)
- 8 slices baked ham or Canadian bacon (or 8 slices regular, thick-cut bacon)
- 6-8 grape tomatoes, halved, 8 slices of heirloom tomatoes, 4 slices sundried tomatoes, or
- 2 roasted red peppers, peeled and sliced
- 1 C sautéed spinach, cream spinach, asparagus tips or baby broccoli tops
- 1-2 T Hollandaise sauce per egg
- ¼ C chives, chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Chef Gerrie’s Notes:
* Blender: Making your sauce in a blender makes it easy peezy so you’ve got more time for mimosas and company.
* Hollandaise sauce: If you’d rather skip this step all together, you can purchase pre-made Hollandaise from France by Christian Potier.
- Melt butter in the sauce pot over medium heat.
Place egg yolks and 2 teaspoons warm tap water in a blender. Start to blend while slowly adding the hot, melted butter until it’s all incorporated.
If the mixture starts to get too thick to blend, add 1/2 teaspoon of warm water.
- Add lemon juice and cayenne, though feel free to adjust the amounts to taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the finished Hollandaise sauce to a small bowl, pourable glass, plastic container, or thermos jar. If using a bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface so it doesn’t form a skin.
- Prepare the liquid to poach your eggs in by combining 2 quarts of water (about 3-4 inches deep in your pot), with white vinegar and salt. Bring to a simmer – about 180° F.
Prepare your eggs by cracking each egg, one at a time, through a fine handheld strainer – preferably one with a round bottom. Hold the strainer over a small bowl to catch the extra natural liquid from the egg.
This process releases the extra water-like liquid from the egg so you get a perfectly shaped poached egg without the nasty strands of white whites.
Poach the eggs by gently adding them to the simmering water. Use a large slotted spoon to gently move the eggs around and separate. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Check each egg by lifting it up with the slotted spoon and feel the firmness of the egg white. If not firm enough, slip back into the water for another minute.
8. Once cooked, remove eggs from water and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
If you want to poach your eggs ahead of time – a day before maybe – place poached eggs into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. To reheat before assembly, warm your eggs in hot water – approximately 125° F – for a couple of minutes. Drain and finish assembly of Benedict.
9. Prepare Benedict assembly pieces: Toast English muffin halves and hold warm. Warm baked ham or Canadian bacon slices, or cook bacon slices, in sauté pan and hold warm. Sauté veggies and hold warm.
Assembly line ready.
10. Assemble eggs Benedict in this order: English muffin, cheese, tomato, ham, spinach, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce, chives, and salt and pepper.
Brunch is served!