If you are going to indulge in Eggs Benny do it right, I say. I have sampled this dish in many restaurants, both diner quality as well as a bit fancier and have never managed to find an Eggs Benedict with real hollandaise sauce. It can still be tasty with the fake stuff but it will always pale in comparison to the real deal. Luckily, hollandaise sauce is easy to make and the rest of the ingredients are a breeze as well. Go ahead and give it a go. You will surely find that you can whip it up more quickly than it would have taken you to drive over to Perkins and be served a half hearted imitation, or even to go through McDonald’s drive through for their “sort of” Eggs Benny concept known as the “Egg McMuffin” (Yes it’s true. The Egg McMuffin was inspired by Eggs Benedict, only cheese was substituted for hollandaise simply because hollandaise would be too messy.) So commit to the calories and the joy of it all and do it right! This is a really great breakfast to master if you want to impress people too. Who can resist fresh homemade Eggs Benedict?
This recipe will yield one serving of Eggs Benedict, composed of one whole English muffin and two eggs. Some people prefer only a half muffin and one egg so this may be two servings if that is the case.
2 slices of Canadian Bacon
Also known as “Back Bacon”. There are various acceptable substitutions but the Canadian bacon is the established meat for Eggs Benedict. You can use thin slices of ham if you like, or even just plain old bacon. My personal favourite, though this will be bewildering to many, partially because it is just WRONG and partly because unless you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey you will probably have no idea what I am talking about, is pork roll. Yes, I love pork roll (also known as Tayler Ham, mainly in New Jersey) on my Eggs Benedict. It is a regional food item that is basically ham that is sliced in circles, kind of like Canadian bacon, and is cured. It has a flavour similar to that of bacon, but a texture like ham. So basically it is a glorious hybrid of bacon and ham. Unfortunately, now that I live in Canada I can only have this delicacy when I visit family in PA or NJ. On a future visit home I will acquire some and post a more detailed article about it. For now, I stick with Canadian Bacon.
You can use pre-made ones of course but do not be afraid to try your hand at making your own. You can make them a day or two ahead of time so do not think that you have to bake bread the morning that you want to make breakfast! That would be silly! Seriously, the whole package is better with fresh English Muffins so give it a go will ya!? Here is the recipe!
To taste. If you look at the first image on this post you can see that I like to use a lot of Hollandaise sauce on my Benny. Most people just put about a tablespoon over each egg. Hollandaise is mostly butter so keep that in mind. Also, I suppose I won’t threaten you with violence if you decide to use a sauce mix (ie “fake Hollandaise”). If you are just reading this recipe to get a general idea of how to make Eggs Benedict and do not want to go to the (very minimal) trouble of making your own Hollandaise then, well, I guess you can just do what you’ve gotta do. I of course highly recommend making it yourself and if you are so inclined, here is my recipe for Hollandaise sauce.
Prepare Hollandaise Sauce and set it aside, keeping it warm. I will not post the Hollandaise sauce recipe here. Instead you can use your own or use mine here.
In a medium to large pot or deep saucepan bring at least 2 inches of water to a boil. Once the water is at a nice rolling boil carefully crack the eggs and gently drop them into the boiling water.
The moment the eggs are in the water turn the heat off and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water. They will be done in about two and a half to five minutes. At two and a half minutes they should be pretty runny but with all of the white cooked. At three and a half minutes the yolk should be runny, but a little thicker. This is about how most people like their poached eggs cooked. At about four and and a half to five minutes the yolk should be cooked solid. Cook the eggs to your preference. I like mine with the yolks pretty thick, but not totally cooked, just a little runny . I typically cook mine for about four minutes. The size of the egg and a few other factors will affect the cooking time. You can momentarily scoop the egg out of the water and gently poke the yolk area to feel how soft it is. You will learn to tell how done they are by how firm the yolks feel. It is a lot like testing the doneness of a steak.
While your eggs are cooking you can prepare the rest of the ingredients. Split the English Muffin by scoring the edges with a fork.
Then simply pull the halves apart. You can toast these halves if you want to. I would typically recommend it. This time, however I did not because I had actually just baked these and they were still hot and glorious and I wanted to enjoy them as they were.
Place the English Muffins on a plate, crumb side up.
Place a slice of Canadian bacon onto each half. If desired you can gently heat these on a warm skillet for a few seconds, but it is fine if you skip this step.
Right about now your eggs will be done cooking. Scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon, or if you use an unslotted spoon just be sure that you carefully tip it to let the water run out before you place your egg down onto the Canadian bacon and English muffin. You can place the eggs onto a paper towel to dry it off first if you wish. Also, it is completely optional but you can trim up the edges of the eggs if you want them to be really pretty, as there are typically thin bits of egg white dangling off of the edges.
Once your eggs are trimmed and dry to your satisfaction place them on top of the Canadian bacon.
All that is left is to smother it all in fresh Hollandaise sauce!
Or I suppose you could use a reasonable amount, but what is the fun in that?
2 Slices of Canadian Bacon
1 English Muffin
1. Prepare Hollandaise Sauce. Set aside and keep luke warm.
2. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil and gently crack both eggs into the water. Turn off the heat immediately and let the eggs sit in the hot water for two and a half to three and a half minutes. (for thick, yet runny yolks, three minutes should be just right.)
3. While eggs are cooking split the English muffin and toast each half.
4. Place the English muffins halves crumb side up on a plate.
5. Put a piece of Canadian bacon onto each half.
6. Remove the eggs from the water when they are done to your liking and dry them off by draining them in a slotted spoon or placing onto a paper towel. If desired, trim off excess egg whites for aesthetic appeal. Place the eggs on top of the Canadian bacon
7. Top with Hollandaise sauce