The thing about eggs Benedict is that it's comfort food.
As such, it's as much about the textures as it is the flavors. You don't want the English muffin to be too crispy, because you should be able to cut into it with a knife without it cracking or crumbling. Eating eggs Benedict should be like biting into a soft, fluffy, cloud.
The recipe below will walk you through the whole process, but you can also see more details about how to poach an egg and how to make Hollandaise. You can even make your own English Muffins.
Note that for the poached eggs, you're going to want to crack each egg individually into a little ramekin or bowl, so you'll need eight ramekins or bowls.
- 8 fresh eggs
- 4 English muffins, plus butter for buttering
- 8 slices Canadian bacon
- Chopped fresh chives
- Paprika for garnish
- Kosher salt and 1 tsp vinegar for the poaching water
- For the Hollandaise:
- 1 cup clarified butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp cold water
- Kosher salt and Tabasco sauce, to taste
- Whisk the 4 egg yolks along with a tablespoon of cold water and a teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to form a double boiler and whisk for another couple of minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly drizzle in the melted butter while continuing to whisk. As the sauce thickens you can drizzle faster.
- Finally, whisk in the rest of the lemon juice, plus the salt and Tabasco sauce. Hold the sauce somewhere warm while you poach the eggs.
- Meanwhile, arrange the 8 slices of Canadian bacon on a sheet pan and warm them in a 400°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Poach the Eggs:
- Bring a large pot of water to a simmer — not a boil. Or if it boils, lower the heat until it's merely simmering. 180°F to 190°F is best. Add a teaspoon of vinegar and some Kosher salt to the water.
- Crack each egg into its own bowl or ramekin and when the water is ready, gently tip each egg down the side of the pot and into the water.
- Now cook for 4-5 minutes, then carefully remove each egg with a slotted spoon and transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess water. Use another paper towel to gently pat the tops of the eggs dry as well. Don't forget about the Canadian bacon in the oven.
Assemble the Eggs Benedict:
- Now toast and butter the English muffins. Top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon, and then a poached egg, and then some Hollandaise. Finally, garnish with chopped chives and a fine dusting of paprika. It helps to sprinkle the paprika from high above the plate so that it dusts the tops more evenly.
You can use bacon instead of Canadian bacon. If you do, try to keep the bacon a little softer than you might otherwise prefer it. Remember: soft, fluffy cloud. Overly crispy bacon will detract from this. You can also substitute corned beef hash for the ham/bacon. Or substitute a slice of smoked salmon. And of course use cooked spinach instead of the meat and you have Eggs Florentine. Or substitute Mornay Sauce for the Hollandaise and you have Eggs Mornay.