Eggs Benedict is an American breakfast or brunch dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin topped with a poached egg, bacon ,canadian bacon or ham, and hollandaise sauce. The dish was first popularized in New York City.
Origin and history
There are conflicting accounts as to the origin of Eggs Benedict.
Delmonico’s in lower Manhattan says on its menu that “Eggs Benedict was first created in our ovens in 1860.” One of its former chefs, Charles Ranhofer, also published the recipe for Eggs à la Benedick in 1894.
In an interview recorded in the “Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death, Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, said that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise”. Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast.
A later claim to the creation of Eggs Benedict was circuitously made by Edward P. Montgomery on behalf of Commodore E. C. Benedict. In 1967 Montgomery wrote a letter to then The New York Times food columnist Craig Claiborne which included a recipe he said he had received through his uncle, a friend of the commodore. Commodore Benedict’s recipe—by way of Montgomery—varies greatly from Ranhofer’s version, particularly in the hollandaise sauce preparation—calling for the addition of a “hot, hard-cooked egg and ham mixture”.
Several variations of Eggs Benedict exist
- Eggs Blackstone substitutes streaky bacon for the ham and adds a tomato slice.
- Eggs Blanchard substitutes Béchamel sauce for Hollandaise.
- Eggs Florentine substitutes spinach for the ham or adds it underneath. Older versions of eggs Florentine add spinach to poached or shirred eggs.
- Eggs Chesapeake substitutes a Maryland blue crab cake in place of the ham.
- Eggs Mornay substitutes Mornay (cheese) sauce for the Hollandaise.
- Eggs Trivette adds Creole mustard to the Hollandaise and adds a topping of crayfish.
- Eggs Omar (also known as a steak benedict) substitutes a small steak in place of the ham, and sometimes replaces the hollandaise with béarnaise.
- Eggs Atlantic, Eggs Hemingway, or Eggs Norvégienne (also known as Eggs Royale and Eggs Montreal in New Zealand) substitutes salmon or smoked salmon for the ham. This is a common variation found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, and in Kosher restaurants that cannot serve bacon or any pork products. This is also known as “Eggs Benjamin” in some restaurants in Canada.
- Huevos Benedictos substitutes sliced avocado and/or Mexican chorizo for the ham, and is topped with both a salsa (such as salsa roja or salsa brava) and hollandaise sauce.
- Eggs Hussarde substitutes Holland rusks for the English muffin and adds Bordelaise sauce.
- Irish Benedict replaces the ham with corned beef or Irish bacon.
- Eggs Cochon, a variation from New Orleans restaurants which replaces the ham with pork “debris” (slow roasted pork shredded in its own juices) and the English muffin with a large buttermilk biscuit.
- Eggs McD substitutes hash browns in place of ham, This variation originated in Jericho suburb of Oxford UK.
- California Benedict substitutes Avocado Sauce (California Hass avocados pureed with lemon juice) for the Hollandaise, and sliced tomato for the ham.
- Avocado Toast Benedict substitutes toast for the muffin and sliced avocado for the ham.
- New Jersey Benedict substitutes Taylor Pork Roll in place of ham.
- Eggs Woodhouse includes two eggs and artichoke hearts, creamed spinach, bechamel sauce, Ibérico ham, black truffle and beluga caviar. The recipe is featured in the novel How To Archer, inspired by the TV series Archer on FXX.
What You Will Need:
- Fry the meat. No matter if you are using bacon or Canadian bacon fry them until done. Set aside.
To Make The Hollandaise Sauce:
- I use the microwave method because it is faster and less mess.
- If you would rather use the blender method go to Hollandaise Sauce - Blender Method
- Either way, make it at the last possible minute and keep it warm until you serve.
To Poach The Eggs:
- This method works best for 4 to 6 servings of eggs. Any more and you'll want to use two pans for speed.
- Bring four to eight cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. You need at least an inch of water.
- When it boils reduce the heat to simmer and add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar.
- Crack the eggs you are going to poach into individual cups.
- With a wooden spoon or a whisk rapidly stir the water forming a whirlpool in the center of the pan. Before the swirling stops slide one of the eggs into the center of the pot. The swirling keeps the egg together until it sets.
- Cook each egg for 3 minutes to achieve a runny center. 4 minutes for firm but still soft. 5 minutes to get a firm center. Use a timer, trust me.
- Repeat for each of your eggs. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and sit in a bowl lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra water.
Prepare The English Muffins:
- If you purchased whole muffins or made them yourself (good for yosplit your muffins with a fork to get the traditional craggelly interior.
- Toast each muffin half until, just brown.
- Butter the English muffins generously.
To Assemble Your Eggs Benedict Dish:
- Top each muffin half with a portion of bacon (2 pieces) or 1 slice of Canadian bacon.
- Put a poached egg on top of the meat, then drizzle some hollandaise over the top of everything letting it run down and puddle in the plate.
- Sprinkle some parsley over it all and serve at once.