Eggs Benedict – one of the brunch staples among young Singaporeans in recent years. My personal forage into this calorie-laden (250-300 calories for 1/2 portion) dish happened during my last few months at Ann Arbor, Michigan where I was brunching pretty often at the famous breakfast diner – Angelo’s. They have the best version of every possible American breakfast food imaginable. But then again, I might be biased.
Well, I am now going to let you in on something. It is humanly possible to whip up some yummy self-created Eggs Benedict at home under half an hour(surprise surprise!) and most importantly, you wouldn’t break the bank while satisfying your cravings.
Before I go into the recipe proper, there are some interesting variations of Eggs Benny (whacky names ahead!) that I would love to enlighten you.
So, as we all know, the proper Eggs BENEDICT includes the following: English Muffin + Ham/Bacon + Poached Eggs + Hollandaise Sauce
When you substitute ham for :
- Streaky Bacon + Tomato Slice –> Eggs BLACKSTONE
- Spinach –>Eggs FLORENTINE
- Salmon/Smoked Salmon –> Eggs ATLANTIC or HEMINGWAY or ROYALE or MONTREAL
- Avocado or Mexican Chorizo –> Huevos Benedictos (inspiration for my blog post)
When you substitute the english muffin for:
- Holland rusks and add Bordelaise Sauce –> Eggs HUSSARDE
- Crumpets and add Brown Sauce –> Eggs HUNTER
- Arthichoke (yew?) –> Eggs SARDOU or ARTICHOKE BENEDICT
When you overhaul the entire dish with:
- American biscuit, sausage patties, country gravy and friend eggs –> COUNTRY Benedict
- Cornbread, bacon, baked beans, fried eggs –>CAMPFIRE Benedict (oh yeah!)
My impromptu creation yesterday for lunch drew much inspiration from the Gordan Ramsay’s Eggs Benedict recipe on BBC Food. However, I replaced the English Muffin with some excellent Fougasse Bread from The Swiss Backer @ Frankel Ave and also added some Avocados on top of the ham.
There are a few tips to making some decent Eggs Benedict. Poaching the eggs and making the Hollandaise Sauce are the trickiest parts. Follow the pointers below:
- add a few drops of vinegar into the pot of boiling water before you slip in the eggs to be poached
- use a longish spoon and stir the pot of boiling water so you get a nice vortex before slipping the eggs in. once the eggs are in, leave it alone!
- 2-3 minutes: time required to poach the egg. thats the magic timing.
- never allow the egg yolk in your Hollandaise sauce to over-cook. always take the mixing bowl off the pot of boiling water once in awhile as you continue whisking.
Basic Hollandaise Sauce
Serving size: yields 300ml – enough for 4 servings of Eggs Benedict
Side Note: I personally find step 1 a little too troublesome and redundant. However, in the spirit of the Kitchen Nightmare, I shall replicate the entire recipe here.
- 500 ml white vinegar
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 bunch of tarragon
- 3 large egg yolks
- 200g of melted butter
- squeeze of lemon juice
- Boil the white vinegar with the peppercorns and tarragon. Reduce to half, strain and set aside
- Set a pot of water to boil and find a mixing bowl (metal) that fits snugly on top of the pot.
- Whisk the egg yolks and 2 tsp of the flavoured vinegar in the metal bowl on top of the pot.
- Beat vigorously until the mixture starts to foam. Make sure it doesnt get too hot. Remove it from heat momentarily as you are whisking. Keep alternating.
- Once you achieve a ‘golden, airy foam’ (a sabayon) which forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, add in a ladle of butter and continue whisking. Taking it on and off heat once in a while. Repeat until all the butter has been incorporated and the resulting mixture resembles mayonaise.
- Whisk in a dash of lemon juice. Flavour with some salt and pepper.
Keep it warm while you assemble your Eggs Benedict.
Serving Size: 4 Eggs Benedict (1/2 muffin + 1 egg = 1 serving)
- 2 English Muffins (i used Fougasse Bread)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp of vinegar
- 4 pieces of thick baked ham
- 1 avocado – sliced
- some butter
- basic hollandaise sauce (above)
- Slice the english muffins into half and lightly butter it.
- Toast the english muffins (buttered side down) on a grill pan, you could lightly grill the ham at the same time too
- Once the english muffins are crisp and the ham slightly grilled, assemble them on your serving plate, top with the sliced avocados
- Break the eggs into small individual receptacles
- Bring 2 L of water + vinegar to boil in a large pot
- Create a vortex by using a long spoon and stirring it
- Slip the eggs in (1 at a time). Let centripetal forces complete its job 🙂
- Cook the eggs for 2 to 3 minutes (depending on how runny you want your yolks to be)
- Use a slotted spoon to haul it out of the pot.
- Place it on top of your assembled English Muffin + Ham + Avocadoes
- Drench it with the hollandaise sauce
- Sprinkle with a dash of black pepper and mixed herbs (as you please)
There you go.