Eggs Benedict

Blessed Benedict in all its glory.

There is no reason to make Eggs Benedict a “sometimes food.” None. And I’ll tell you why: it’s dead simple to make, and if you know where to penny-pinch, Eggs Benedict can be dirt cheap. This is easily my number one quick fix when I’m having a whimsical weekend morning and feel like treating myself for breakfast or brunch.

I decided to make this particular version with sautéed mushrooms, which I find pairs nicely with the sharp, nutty cheese. In the past I have also added smoked salmon to this version topped with a sprinkle of chopped fresh dill or parsley. If this is too adventurous for you, a nice twist on the classic Benny is Applewood smoked cheddar, regular bacon, topped with finely chopped chives. Each layer is richer than the last, and that’s how a good Benny should be. Sound amazing? It is.

A note about the hollandaise sauce: in almost every instance I will make it from scratch using Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa hollandaise recipe. It’s beyond easy to make, but when I’m short on cash or pressed for time, I opt for a store-bought mix. Feel free to do whatever floats your boat. It’s your life and I’m not going tell you how to live it, but I will say this: nothing feels more satisfying than impressing people with your ability to conquer a supposedly intimidating sauce. The best part about Ina’s hollandaise is that it keeps. You just need to add 1 tbsp. of water to it as you reheat. Beautiful!

Eggs Benedict (with sautéed mushrooms)
Serves 2

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Ingredients
1 tbsp. butter
2 button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 English muffin, split in two halves (I used sourdough)
4 slices Applewood smoked bacon
Few thin slices of extra old cheddar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small pan, melt butter over medium-low heat until tiny bubbles form. Add mushrooms and season with salt & pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5–7 minutes. Finish with chopped parsley and set aside.
  2. Prepare bacon and hollandaise, set aside.
  3. Next, prepare your eggs by either frying or poaching them, the traditional method being poaching. But, honestly, I’m not trying to be healthy here—fried tastes better.
  4. Toast the English muffin halves directly on the oven rack until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and place on a cookie sheet. Add slices of cheese, followed by bacon, mushrooms, egg, and hollandaise. Warm in the oven for 3–5 minutes; keep an eye on it.
  5. Remove from oven and serve with a dusting of cayenne and some freshly chopped herbs.

Smoked Salmon Benny (top), Classic Benny (bottom)

Hollandaise sauce
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 pinches cayenne pepper

or

1 packet of hollandaise mix, plus whatever ingredients it specifies (usually just butter)

Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. With the blender running, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick.

You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 tbsp. hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.

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4 Comments

Filed under Food

4 responses to “Eggs Benedict

  1. Oh wow, this looks amazing. I’m scared of making it – I’ve only ever heard that it’s difficult to make. However, I think you’ve convinced me. So when I have a morning to myself I shall give this a go!

    • I had the same feelings, believe me. You pretty much leave the blender running and pour the ingredients in–couldn’t be easier! But don’t tell anyone that, of course 😉

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