Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Eggs Benedict

Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.
Eggs Benedict was the Daring Cooks challenge for December. I was so excited when I saw the challenge. I have wanted to learn how to poach an egg and I've wanted to try eggs Benedict ever since Julia Roberts told Richard Gere in Runaway Bride that it was her favorite egg dish. Julia (Maggie in the movie) always chose the egg dishes of her current boyfriend. At the end of the movie Maggie discovers for herself that HER favorite egg dish is eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict is a dish served on half an English muffin which is topped with bacon (or ham) a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.

Let's get started!

Hollandaise is a rich egg yolk and butter sauce. You whisk egg yolks in a double boiler and then add a substantial amount of butter. Be careful! The first time I made it I started rereading the directions while whisking over the heat. When I looked down I'd made scrambled eggs. Oops. Too hot.
That's better.
Poaching an egg is a little intimidating at first. I added vinegar to the simmering water to help stabilize the egg. I also cracked the egg into a dish so I could slide it into the water instead of drop it from the eggshell. Here we go...

It was absolutely delicious! I love eggs Benedict! The hollandaise sauce was light, tangy, and buttery and the whole English muffin, bacon, egg, and hollandaise sauce combination is perfection.
Eggs Benedict
Printable Recipe
4 eggs
2 English muffins
4 slices of Canadian bacon or bacon
Chives, for garnish
Splash of vinegar (for poaching)

For the hollandaise (makes 1.5 cups):
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp water
¼ tsp sugar
12 Tbl unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and set aside.
3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 tsp water in a mixing bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without touching the water. Whisk for 1–2 minutes, until egg yolks lighten. Add the sugar and whisk 30 seconds more.
4. Place bowl on saucepan over simmering water and whisk steadily 3–5 minutes until the yolks thicken to coat the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from heat (but let the water continue to simmer) and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Move the bowl to the pan again as needed to melt the butter, making sure to whisk constantly.
6. Once all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (if using).
7. Keep the hollandaise warm while you poach your eggs in a thermos, carafe, or bowl that you’ve preheated with warm water.
8. If the water simmering in your pan has gotten too low, add enough so that you have 2–3 inches of water and bring back to a simmer.
9. Add salt and a splash of vinegar (any kind will do). I added about a tablespoon of vinegar to my small saucepan (about 3 cups of water), but you may need more if you’re using a larger pan with more water.
10. Crack eggs directly into the very gently simmering water (or crack first into a bowl and gently drop into the water), making sure they’re separated. Cook for 3 minutes for a viscous but still runny yolk.
11. While waiting for the eggs, quickly fry the bacon and toast your English muffin.
12. Top each half of English muffin with a piece of bacon. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise and chopped chives, and enjoy!


  1. WOW that poached egg is perfection and the final dish looks excellent well done on this challenge. And your focaccia is wonderful I love making focaccia also.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. It's breakfast time here and I want THIS! Looks wonderfully delicious. You did a great job on it all. Making Modern Baker Croissants today, did you do those? Want to bake them with me and compare notes?


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