Eggs Benedict is truly a popular breakfast or brunch item. And what’s not to love? It’s got all the makings of the satisfying meal to get you started for the day: eggs, bacon, bagels, and of course, a rich hollandaise sauce. While it is indeed an impressive dish, it’s actually not that difficult to make.
The only trick is getting the poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce right. The sauce is served over a runny egg, with crispy bacon and a toasted bagel (which also provides extra crunch). If you’re looking for an impressive, yet super-satisfying breakfast or brunch, then don’t miss this Best Eggs Benedict recipe.
As with iconic foods, it’s sometimes difficult to determine what the exact origin is. There are a few stories of where this delicious breakfast comes from. The one says that the Eggs Benedict was popularized in New York in the late 19th century (1894, to be exact). The story goes that a Wall Street broker called Lemeul Benedict would frequently visit the Waldorf Hotel, and request his favorite breakfast consisting of toast with poached eggs, bacon, and a rich hollandaise sauce. The other version says no, it was invented at the Delmonico’s Restaurant in the 1860s. Inspired by Mrs. LeGrand Benedict who wanted something new, chef Charles Ranhofer created this recipe which then became the Eggs Benedict. It was subsequently published in his cookbook in 1984.
No matter what the origin, the Eggs Benedict remains a favorite among many. Today, the classic Eggs Benedict consists of toasted English muffins, poached eggs (which are still runny), Canadian bacon, and of course, a rich hollandaise sauce.
There are a few key components that make up the Eggs Benedict. First, the bacon needs to be cooked. In this recipe, we cook the bacon in the oven, which means you are free to focus on the other components. The eggs are poached until cooked, but just runny.
To make the hollandaise sauce, you will need to work over a low heat (use a bain marie to be precise). The hollandaise sauce, together with the runny eggs, is what makes the Eggs Benedict so rich and decadent.
Once all the components are cooked, they’re ready for assembly. The bagels are halved and toasted, and then the magic happens! The components are piled on top of the bagel slices and covered with the sauce. Now all that’s left, is to devour it!
Poaching an egg shouldn’t be an intimidating process. Simply put, you need a pot of boiling water and simply drop in the eggs. But there’s more than that to get it right. There are two things you need to two. First, crack the eggs into a ramekin. This will ensure that you crack it properly (without breaking the yolk), you will also have no shell. It also makes it easier to add the eggs to the water. Another trick is to swirl the water, creating a vortex. This will cause the eggs to cook in a nice rounded shape!
In a bain marie over medium heat, the egg yolks are whisked until cooked. Butter is slowly added until the mixture becomes smooth and thick. Finally, lemon juice is added, and the sauce is taken off the heat.
– The Eggs Benedicts are so easy to change up to your liking and taste preferences. Don’t have Canadian bacon? Use smoked salmon or ham. Want to make it more nutritious? Add wilted spinach.
– Get creative and make a Vegetarian Eggs Benedict. Serve the toasted buns with avocado, tomato, eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
– To make an Eggs Benedict Casserole, add Canadian Bacon (cooked) to a large oven-safe dish, together with torn pieces of English muffin. Pour in 1 cup milk mixed with 4 whisked eggs. Season with salt and pepper, and bake until the eggs are cooked. Serve with hollandaise sauce.
You can store Eggs Benedict and the Hollandaise Sauce in the fridge for up to 2 days. When reheating the sauce, make sure to do it over low heat to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Place the bacon on a baking tray, cover with another tray. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes (160°C/320°F).
Place 3 egg yolks in a bain-marie.
Whisk over medium heat until it lightens in color and becomes fluffy thicker.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted butter a little at a time, the sauce will thicken and become more voluminous.
Whisk in the lemon juice and set aside.
Cut the bagels in half and toast lightly.
Add a slice of cheese to each half and then flash under the broiler until it starts to melt.
Now poach your eggs. Bring a pan of water to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Swirl the water and then drop an egg into the center of each swirl and cook until the whites are set.
Add some bacon to the top of each cheese-topped bagel.
Add a poached egg.
Finally, drizzle over the sauce.
The key to making a perfect Eggs Benedict is using a bain-marie. If the heat is too high, then the eggs will curdle. To create a bain-marie, simply place a bowl over a pan of slowly boiling water.