This is a classic recipe and perfect for brunch. If you are vegetarian, there is Eggs Florentine which is just as delicious.
The two scary parts are poaching the eggs and making the hollandaise sauce. But fear not, I am now a dab hand at this and can help you out!
Eggs Benedict is basically a toasted muffin with bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Now, there are many variables out there, but I am going to give you my basic recipe and leave it to you to spruce up as you see fit.
1. Toast your muffin and leave in toaster to reheat at the last moment.
2. Fry 3 strips of streaky bacon however you like it (I always err on the crispy side myself). Then wrap them in foil and pop in a very low oven to keep warm.
3. Bring a small frying pan of water to the boil and add a tablespoon of vinegar. Reduce to a healthy simmer. Then, break an egg into a small glass or cup and gently ease into the simmering water but do so at the edge of the pan and with a wooden spoon to catch it. What you are trying to do is form a pocket with the pan and spoon for the egg to slip into. Keep the spoon there for about 5s then gently take it away. This should stop the egg from spreading everywhere and give you a nice blobby egg. Doesn’t always work and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, but with practice this works 9 times out of 10 for me. Simmer for exactly 2 minutes then carefully lift the egg with a slotted spoon and drain away the water.
4. I use the whisk on my kitchenaid to make the hollandaise, but if you don’t have one you can use any other whisky thing to do it. Separate 2 large eggs and season the yolks with salt and pepper. Discard the whites. Whisk the yolks for about 1 minute. Heat 1 dsp lemon juice and 1 dsp vinegar (pref white wine vinegar) in a small pan and when starting to bubble (happens quickly, so keep an eye on it) add to the eggs yolks whilst whisking, then switch off.
Use the same pan to melt 110g butter over a very gentle heat. When foaming, remove from heat, turn on the whisk again and gently pour the butter into the egg mixture. The slower you add it the better. Hey presto! Hollandaise sauce! (This makes enough for four people)
5. Now, the timing to get all this ready at the same time is tricky and little bit stressful! I put the poached eggs water on to boil then start the hollandaise. Then, before I add the butter to the sauce, I put the eggs into poach. This allows the sauce and eggs to finish at roughly the same time so you can pop the muffins down to reheat, get the prepared bacon from the oven then construct your Eggs Benedict – muffin, bacon, egg, sauce and a grind of pepper on the top. Absolutely delicious and don’t bother thinking about the calorific value, it’s just too depressing. Eat and enjoy!
To make Eggs Florentine you replace the bacon with wilted spinach. Equally scrumptious.
This does take a little practice with timings etc, and the hollandaise is not done in the conventional way BUT it works and really is quite simple to do. Just prepare first – get everything ready and do the toasting/frying ahead of time as you will be rushing around like the proverbial blue-a**ed fly at the end. But those you feed will love you forever.