Classic Eggs Benedict

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Hollandaise:

3/4 cup clarified butter, warm

3 large egg yolks 

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne or hot paprika, plus more to taste 

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 

Optional: Add a bit of herby flavor to your hollandaise by adding 2 tablespoons of finely chopped dill, parsley, cilantro, tarragon or chives or any combination of any or all.

Poached Eggs:

8 large eggs

2 teaspoons white distilled or white wine vinegar 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

4 English muffins, split 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 

8 slices Canadian bacon or thick-cut ham (or 8 slices regular, thick-cut bacon) 

8 Poached Eggs, above 

Hollandaise Sauce, above 

1/4 cup chopped chives 

2 tablespoons chopped dill, tarragon or parsley, optional 

Flaky sea salt 

Coarsely ground black pepper 

Directions

  1. For the hollandaise: Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.
  2. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler), the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.  
  3. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. 
  4. Cover top tightly with foil and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving. 
  5. For the poached eggs: Fill a medium high-sided pot with 3 inches of water. Add vinegar, season with salt and bring to a simmer. (Look for just a few bubbles; it should never boil.) Gently crack an egg into a ramekin and then slowly slide it into the center of the pot, letting the water swirl around it and allowing the white to envelop the yolk. Repeat with 3 more eggs.  
  6. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes. Once the eggs are perfectly poached, remove from the water using a slotted spoon and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and season the top with salt and pepper. Set eggs aside. 
  7. For assembly: Preheat the broiler. Put the muffins in a single layer, cut-side up on a baking sheet, place under the broiler and broil until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes depending on how powerful your broiler is. Turn the muffins over, and broil for 1 minute longer.   
  8. Turn the muffins back over so that the cut-side is facing up again. Remove and butter the top of each. Top each muffin with a slice of the bacon, return under the broiler and broil until the bacon is lightly golden brown and just warmed through, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how powerful the broiler is.  
  9. Top each muffin half with an egg, pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce over each, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and pepper and garnish with chives and herbs.  

Cook’s Note

Tip: Poached eggs can be made up to 1 hour in advance. After poaching, plunge the eggs into a large bowl of ice water until completely cold, about 2 minutes. Remove the eggs to a sheet pan sprayed with nonstick spray and refrigerate until ready to use. Once ready to serve, bring 3 inches of water to a simmer in a medium pot, plunge each egg in one at a time and cook until just heated through and yolk is runny, about 20 seconds. 

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