A perfect Eggs Benedict – on a beautifully toasted piece of english muffin, topped with a bright, rich, smooth Hollandaise sauce – has become the ultimate comfort food lately and somehow, also a test for the quality of a restaurant. If a restaurant looks like it aspires to be a place of quality and puts an Eggs Benedict on its menu, then it really needs to be able to serve a good Eggs Benedict. And it’s surprising how many fail. Cafe Mangii in Powai is a very nice looking place but their Eggs Benedict are shockingly bad. Indigo Deli on the other hand, consistently serves the best Eggs Benedict in Bombay.
Being a lover of breakfasts and brunches and priding oneself on being able to put on a good spread, it’s always been a little embarrassing that poaching eggs seemed like a frightening prospect. For some reason, poached eggs were equated with visions of disastrously smelly and eggy water and a mountain of wasted eggs. And for the longest time, no attempt was made to try poaching an egg. And making Hollandaise sauce wasn’t even an aspiration. It just seemed like something too time consuming and difficult when it was easier to head to the nearest Indigo Deli for an Eggs Benedict fix.
But coming across a recipe for Blender Hollandaise over at Simply Recipes made the prospect of the homemade Eggs Benedict far too tempting to avoid any longer. So with the support of a friend and large supply of eggs, the project began. And in about 30 minutes, there were Eggs Benedict for 6. That’s 12 poached eggs with only one accident.
Even the Hollandaise sauce was delicious. Not a perfect Hollandaise. But a delicious one for sure. And delicious trumps perfect every time. And there weren’t any English Muffins so regular slices of bread, toasted, were used. Tastes just as good when you break into that egg and a bright yolk oozes out and swirls into buttery Hollandaise sauce, seeping into the toast to make a luscious mouthful.
So for a delicious Eggs Benedict at home, here’s how you can do it.
For 2 -4 servings
4 cups Water
4 tsp Vinegar
4 slices of Bacon or Ham
4 slices of Bread, Toasted
For the Hollandaise sauce:
4 Egg Yolks, use fresh eggs with bright orange yolks
150 gr Butter, melted and still warm
1 tbs Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Tabasco or a pinch of Chili powder
Cook the bacon or ham and while they’re cooking, bring the water and vinegar to boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat so the water is gently simmering.
Make the Hollandaise sauce in a blender. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice and tabasco. Blend for 30 seconds or so till the eggs lighten in color. Your blender’s lid probably has a hole or a removable section on the top. Remove that and with your blender running at it’s slowest speed, slowly pour in the melted butter. You’ll get a smooth, creamy looking hollandaise sauce. Set aside near the stove so it stays warm.
To poach the eggs, crack an egg into a small bowl, with the yolk still intact. Swirl the gently simmering water so that you create a sort of whirlpool in the middle. Gently pour the egg into the whirlpool. Use a spoon to gently coax any errant tendrils of egg white closer to the yolk. Let the egg cook for about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove it and place it gently on a plate. Repeat this with the rest of the eggs.
To construct the Eggs Benedict, lightly butter your toast, top with a slice of cooked bacon or ham, gently place your beautifully poached egg over it, and spoon a very generous amount of Hollandaise sauce over the poached egg.