Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce


Eggs Benedict


Eggs Benedict is our traditional New Year's Day breakfast treat.  Eggs Benedict can be made by one organized person, but it is much easier with a helper.  To make Eggs Benedict, you need to make a Hollandaise sauce, poach eggs and then heat the muffins and Canadian bacon and assemble the finished dish.  It all tastes better if made fresh, so there is not a lot you can do ahead.  I would not recommend making this for more than 6 to 8 persons, and even this number will be a challenge.  Before you start cooking this, you will want to make sure that your table is set and that the beverages are ready to go, as well as any other items you are planning to serve with the Eggs Benedict.  You can juice your lemons ahead (fresh juice is the only way to go).  Then you need to assemble your ingredients.  You will want to use the freshest eggs possible for your poached eggs.  Generally you will need 2 or 3 poached eggs for each person.  I generally make at least 1 extra poached egg to allow for poached eggs that don’t cook correctly. You want to allow enough room for the eggs to cook properly, so if you can only cook about 8 in a large skillet.  I would use 2 skillets if I was making this recipe for 8 persons.  You will need a lot of eggs and a lot of butter to make this recipe for 8 persons, so buy plenty! 


The Hollandaise sauce can be made while the water is heating for the poached eggs.  It will hold for a short time while you are finishing the rest of the ingredients, but you don’t want to overheat it or it may break down.  This is a great Hollandaise recipe, more lemony and flavorful than most.  This recipe makes most restaurants’ Eggs Benedict seem not so great.  The recipe is scaled for 3 to 4 persons, but you can double it if you have a helper!  For 8 persons, you will need to toast 16 muffins halves, so it will take a lot of broiler space, as well as 2 skillets for the poached eggs and 1 big pan of Hollandaise sauce (double the recipe).  In order to have everything hot and ready to go at the last minute, you will have to be well organized and have a good helper!  If you have not poached eggs or made a Hollandaise sauce before, I would strongly recommend practicing preparing these items before you make this dish for a special occasion! 


When I make this dish, I first juice the lemons and assemble the ingredients.  I slice the English muffins in half and place them on a broiler pan.  I adjust the broiler rack and preheat the broiler.  Then I start heating the water for the poached eggs.  Then I start the Hollandaise sauce.  While I am stirring the sauce, I can keep an eye on the water for the poached eggs.  As soon as it is just below boiling, add the eggs, cover them and set the timer.  Be sure that the water does not come to a boil.  You need to keep stirring the sauce and adding the butter as you go along.  Once the sauce is done, you can take it off the heat and broil the muffins and heat the Canadian bacon on the muffins.  Take the poached eggs out of the water after the timer goes off and then cover them on the towel covered cookie sheet with another towel.  Once the Canadian bacon is heated, assemble the Eggs Benedict and serve!  Enjoy!



English muffins
slices Canadian bacon or ham
poached eggs (see below)
Hollandaise sauce (below)



Make Hollandaise Sauce (see below) and poach eggs. You will need 1 English muffin half for each Egg Benedict.  Split and broil the English muffins until brown.  Place a piece of Canadian bacon on each browned muffin half.  Broil until the ham is hot, about 2 or 3 minutes.  Remove from broiler.  Top each bacon-topped English muffin with a hot poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.  Serves 4 with 2 Eggs Benedict each.


Recipe can be easily adjusted for number of servings.



Poached Eggs


Use the freshest eggs possible for poached eggs.  If they are fresh, they will hold together better and the finished product will look much nicer.  You do not want the water to actually boil while you are cooking the eggs, or they will disintegrate.  If you keep the water just below boiling, they will come out perfectly.  I generally make extra poached eggs when I am preparing them to allow for any eggs that don’t turn out perfectly.



Fill a large skillet with water up to 1 inch below the top.  Bring the water to a simmer and reduce heat until the water is just below simmering.   Rapidly break the eggs into the water one by one.  Cover the pan and poach for 7 minutes (after you have cooked some, you can adjust the time to your altitude and desired amount of runniness).  With a perforated spoon remove the eggs to a cookie sheet covered with a dish towel.  Blot off excess moisture.  Use immediately.



Hollandaise Sauce


Hollandaise sauce is very versatile and easy to make once you have practiced a few times.  You need to keep the heat at medium or below and constantly stir it.  If you need to walk away while you are cooking it, remove it from the heat while you are gone.  You also don’t want to stir it too hard, or you can break it down.  If it breaks down or isn’t thick enough, you can whisk in an additional egg yolk and that should repair it.  I juice 2 lemons to get the 6 tablespoons of juice and strain it before using to remove any seeds.


egg yolks
tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is mandatory)
cup butter



Stir egg yolks and lemon juice vigorously in saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup butter.  Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted.  Add 1/2 cup butter, whisking slowly until butter is melted and sauce thickens.  If the sauce does not thicken enough, you can whisk in 1 more egg yolk and stir until the sauce thickens.  Makes 1-1/2 cups sauce.


Sauce is excellent on vegetables, etc. (broccoli, asparagus, etc.) as well as for Eggs Benedict or other main dishes.