It all started on a trip to the Crane Cafe, a charming little breakfast place in the town of Hygiene, Colorado. They were having a special on eggs benedict and so began our little eggs benedict obsession. After eating a nice dish at a restaurant, it usually follows that I will try to make it myself at home.
Well, 'What is this dish?', you may ask.
Eggs Benedict is a delicious breakfast sandwich. It starts with a toasted english muffin as the base. Next you add a slice of fried Canadian Bacon. For the next layer, add a poached egg. Finally, top the whole thing off with some creamy hollandaise sauce and you have yourself an eggs benedict!
While the recipe appears to be pretty simple, there are a lot of little steps that have to happen at the same time so it can be a little tricky but when you taste it, it is well worth the effort.
STEP ONE: MAKE THE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
If you want a little less fussing, you can buy one of the powdered packets. You simply add milk and butter over a low heat and then whisk until it thickens. It is way easier but does not earn top scores in the taste department. If you are used to the real deal, you may want to do it from scratch.
Use a double boiler set up (My set up involves a bowl fitted over the top of a sauce pan filled with a couple of inches of water.) You want the water to be hot but NOT boiling or the eggs will curdle.
Before you place the bowl on top of the saucepan, add 3 egg yolks and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Use a wire whisk to beat well.
Place the bowl over the hot saucepan. Cut 1/2 cup of butter into 3 even pieces and add the first piece to the bowl. Beat it constantly until the butter is melted. Add the second piece of butter and continue to mix until it is melted completely. Finally, add the the last piece of butter and repeat. Keep beating until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add a dash of salt and keep warm until its time to serve.
STEP 2: HOW TO POACH AN EGG
Before starting your eggs, preheat your broiler. (Once heated, you will broil the muffin slices and Canadian bacon.
Grab a saucepan and fill it half way with water.
You want to bring the water to a simmer. I have found this is easier to do by bringing the water to a full rolling boil, then lowering the heat so you have a nice gentle simmer going. What you are trying to do is to pour the raw egg into the water and have the whites coagulate and swirl around the yolk. Traditionally, the outside of the egg is cooked and the yolk remains a little runny inside. You always run the risk of getting Salmonella when eating undercooked eggs so if that idea worries you, cook the egg longer so it cooks all the way through.
When your water has come to a nice simmer, crack your egg into a ramekin or measuring cup. The measuring cup is great because you have a handle to work with. Fresh eggs are key in making a perfect poached egg. You will notice right away if the eggs you are using are not fresh because they start to feather uncontrollably. You can still eat them, they are just not as pretty. You also want your egg to be cold from the fridge.
Next, take distilled white vinegar and add a spoonful to the simmering water. This will not effect the taste of the egg. It helps coagulate the whites faster and helps prevent those little wispy feathery things. I just added a capful. A kitchen spoonful or a tablespoon would be just fine.
Once you have added your vinegar, take a spatula and swirl the water in a circle a couple of times. This helps to wrap the egg around the yolk.
Now add the egg. Tilt the cup and let the white slip in first then let the yolk follow.
This is what the egg looked like after I dropped it into the saucepan. It shouldn't look this messy (see what I mean about all the feather-y stuff?) What I discovered was that, despite having just purchased the eggs at the store that day, they were not fresh. The egg still was salvageable and tasted great just not as neat. I tried it again with a fresh egg and it worked great.
Here is how the fresh egg looked. Much nicer! Once you have slipped the egg in the pan, put your timer on for 4 minutes and let the egg simmer. Four minutes is perfect if you want a runny yolk. I cooked one for 7 minutes and it was completely cooked through in case you are not into the idea of a runny yolk.. When your egg is done cooking, fish it out with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to dry.
If you are really being picky you can snip the ends to neaten them. You will want to eat these as soon as possible. If you want to make these ahead of time, you can cook them for 3 minutes, then put them in a bowl filled with cold water in the fridge. Simply heat back up in the water for one minute when you are ready to serve them.
STEP 3: BROIL THE MUFFINS AND THE CANADIAN BACON
Get your english muffins and split them in half and butter them. Lay them in your broiler side by side with your bacon and cook until the muffins are toasted and the bacon is cooked through.
STEP 4 ASSEMBLE AND ENJOY!
Place your toasted english muffin on a plate. Next add a bacon slice. Put your poached egg on top of the bacon and pour Hollandaise over the top.
Pour yourself a piping hot cup of coffee and pull up a chair.
Eat and enjoy!
Or if you don't feel like being bothered, just mosy on over to the Crane Hollow Cafe. They are probably on special there.
Thanks for stopping by.