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Ahh, eggs Benedict… a dish that, when placed before you, will inevitably evoke warm feelings of holidays, special occasions, and vacations past.
Interestingly, eggs Benedict is an all-American dish that was created in New York, circa 1890.
As the story goes, Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict were breakfasting at Delmonico’s Restaurant. Having tired of the standard fare, they spoke to the maître d’hôtel and together they came up with this iconic dish!
Or was it Mr. Lemuel Benedict at the Waldorf Astoria, who in an effort to cure a well-done hangover, requested poached eggs, bacon, toast, and a small pitcher of hollandaise…?
Either way, a grand thank you goes out to the responsible culinary genius/es.
Surprisingly, this delectable dish is easier to make than you may think. Most of the preparation can be done ahead, making it the perfect dish for a busy holiday morning or making brunch for a crowd.
Try our Do-Ahead Poached Eggs and “Magical” Blender Hollandaise for a little wham-bam-bliss!
Do-Ahead Poached Eggs
If you’d like, you can prep the sauce and the eggs in advance, to free up some time in the morning when you’re ready to serve.
Poach the desired quantity of eggs as you normally would, but under-cook them slightly. Just about a minute shy of your normal cooking time should be fine. The whites need to be nearly set, so that you can safely remove the eggs from the hot water with a strainer-type ladle.
Then, place them in a bath of ice water. When they are cooled, cover the container and refrigerate them (up to overnight) until you are ready to reheat just before plating.
When ready to serve, trim off any ragged edges with kitchen scissors if you like, for a pretty presentation. To reheat and finish cooking, place several eggs at a time in a pot of gently simmering water for about a minute.
Be careful not to overcook them, as you want the yolks to run when you cut into them. You can hold batches of fully cooked poached eggs in a bath of warm water for quick service.Print
There’s nothing better than the perfect eggs Benedict with magical blender hollandaise for breakfast, especially when the sauce is so easy.
For the Hollandaise:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
For the Eggs Benedict:
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
- 8 large eggs, chilled
- 4 English muffins, split
- 8 large slices Canadian bacon (16 if yours are small)
To Make the Hollandaise:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stove, or a glass measuring cup in the microwave.
- Add egg yolks to a blender or food processor. Pulse to quickly blend.
- With the blender on, slowly add melted butter in a steady stream. The sauce will form and magically thicken as it blends.
- Add lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Blend to combine.
- While warming the hollandaise, toast the split English muffin halves in a toaster oven or toaster.
To Poach the Eggs:
- Heat about 1 inch of water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons white vinegar in a 2-quart saucepan, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Crack one cold egg into a small custard cup or similar container. Repeat with each egg.
- With a long-handled spoon, stir water in a clockwise direction to form a whirlpool.
- Bringing the cup close to the water, gently tip the egg into the whirlpool. This helps the edges to form without feathering.
- Turn off heat and allow eggs to poach for 5 minutes. Resist the urge to nudge the eggs.
- Remove from water with a slotted spoon.
To Make the Benedict:
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove slices to a small plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Toast the English muffins, and place two halves on each plate.
- Warm up the hollandaise over low heat in a small saucepan while whisking gently.
- Place Canadian bacon on top of each muffin, distributed evenly.
- Place one poached egg atop each muffin half.
- Ladle warm hollandaise sauce over the top as desired.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and serve immediately.
- Category: Eggs
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: Eggs Benedict, hollandaise sauce, brunch, poached eggs, Canadian bacon,
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Split English Muffins, Juice Lemon, Chop Parsley, and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Split the English muffins in half and set them aside.
Juice a large lemon to get 1 tablespoon of fresh juice.
Chop enough parsley leaves until you have 1 tablespoon in total.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Make Hollandaise
Some cooks like to poach first, and others like to start with the hollandaise. If you’re making this in advance, it’s easy to prep these components a day ahead, and rewarm them when it’s time for brunch. The choice is up to you, but we’ll start here with the sauce.
In a small saucepan or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave, melt the butter. Set it aside.
Add the yolks to a blender or food processor. Pulse to blend.
With the blender on, slowly stream the hot butter into the yolks. The sauce will form and thicken as it blends.
Add the lemon juice in a thin stream and cayenne to taste, blending to combine. Scrape the sides down if you need to.
Pour into a small saucepan. When you are almost ready to serve, place over low heat and whisk gently to warm through just before serving.
Step 3 – Toast and Pan Fry
It’s really up to you exactly how you want to proceed, but if you have a helper in the kitchen, recruit them to toast the English muffins, and help you out with prepping the bacon!
While the hollandaise is warming gently, toast the English muffin halves in a toaster oven or toaster to the desired level of toastiness.
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the Canadian bacon. Brown it on both sides, for about 1 minute per side.
If you don’t have a large enough pan to heat up all of the bacon at once, you can do this in batches.
Transfer the Canadian bacon to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Step 4 – Poach Eggs
Heat about 1 inch of water with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar in a 2-quart saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
For larger batches, I recommend using a 12-inch skillet and poaching without stirring. For more poaching tips, check out our helpful guide.
Crack one cold egg into a small custard cup or similar container that is small in size. Repeat with each egg, being careful not to break the yolks.
Silicone egg poaching cups also come in handy for poaching, if you’re not super comfortable with the process and you want to cheat a little. I like these, and they’re available on Amazon.
Use a long spoon to stir the water in the skillet in a clockwise direction to create a whirlpool.
Bring the cup with the egg close to the water and gently tip it into the whirlpool. This will help the edges to form without feathering. You will be poaching in batches, approximately 2 at a time.
Turn off the heat and allow the eggs to poach for 5 minutes. Do not touch the eggs as they poach. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
Step 5 – Assemble
Place two toasted English muffin halves on each plate. Top with a slice or two of Canadian bacon on each.
Place one poached egg on each muffin half. Top with warm hollandaise sauce and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
Is This Supposed to be Spicy?
For those of you who are unsure about how much cayenne to add without making the hollandaise too spicy, I recommend starting out with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper when making the sauce.
After adding it to the saucepan and warming it, give the sauce a taste. If you want more heat, add cayenne pepper in increments of 1/8 teaspoon at a time until you get the heat level you want.
For me, this was 1/2 teaspoon because I like my sauce spicy. If you go over that, phew! You are a spice rockstar.
For more ways to shake up your egg routine, check out these recipes:
- Kale and Eggs
- Breakfast Toast Cups with Bacon and Eggs
- Khachapuri Georgian Cheese Bread
- Easy Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos
Do you like your hollandaise spicy? Will you make the components in advance, or call in the gang on Sunday morning and make everything together? Tell us in the comments below and come back to rate this recipe once you try it for yourself.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photo via A-cool. Originally published on April 22, 2015. Last updated: December 29, 2019 at 5:44 am. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Marla Tetsuka
As a professional chef, author of multiple cookbooks, and graduate of the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Marla brings a professional touch to the community that we call Foodal.