Eggs Benedict is a traditional American dish for brunch (a combination of breakfast and lunch or a late breakfast) consisting of two halves of an English muffin, topped with bacon or ham, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
The dish was popularized for the first time in New York City. The story is not entirely clear but everything points to the golden age of the city (1870) when the social elite of New York began to celebrate publicly instead of in private homes, in front of the rest of the population, which also started staying out late and spending money in restaurants. This was the time when brunch reached its own status and Eggs Benedict was one of the foods that helped define it.
Many variations of the basic recipe are served, like this one, in which we substitute ham for smoked salmon, while giving a Mediterranean touch by adding extra virgin olive oil to the bread.
How to prepare eggs Benedict
Ingredients – For 4 people
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 slices of smoked salmon
- 4 slices of bread
- 4 poached eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Extra virgin olive oil (suggestion: Empeltre variety)
- Hollandaise sauce
- Fresh chopped parsley or chives (optional)
- Capers and a mix of green salad leaves (optional)
For the hollandaise sauce
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- 110 gr or 3.9 ounces of butter (8 tablespoons)
Hollandaise sauce preparation
- Put the yolk in a blender, which should not be too cold, the water, the lemon juice and the pinch of salt. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the foam falls apart. Pass the butter to a liquid measuring cup and fill 1 cup.
- With the blender running, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender jar. Must emulsify with the egg yolk and lemon juice. We continue pouring until all the butter is added. The sauce should be thick and creamy. Season with salt to taste. It should be served immediately, otherwise transfer it to a small pot and keep it in a warm place not exceeding 1 hour before serving it. Important: hollandaise sauce can not be cooled and reheated.
- Heat water in a medium saucepan and, when boiling, lower the heat so that it is hot but not boiling. Carefully break 1 egg into a small cup and then pour it into a fine mesh strainer or skimmer. Gently turn it in circles while removing the most liquid part of the white. Then pour it carefully into the water. Stir gently with a wooden spoon for 10 seconds and let it cook until the egg whites are ready but the yolks are still soft: 3-4 minutes approximately. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs.
- Carefully remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon. Drain the eggs in a dish lined with kitchen paper. Serve immediately or transfer to a bowl of cold water and refrigerate to serve later, in which case we pass it to a bowl of hot water and let it reheat for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Toast slices of bread in a toaster. Then add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and 1 slice of salmon in each slice. Place an egg on each slice of salmon. Season eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the hollandaise sauce on each egg. Sprinkle with parsley or chives (optional), accompany with capers and salad mix (optional) and serve immediately.
If the first time the eggs were not very good you can resort to these tricks
- Use the freshest eggs possible
- Place a plate face down on the bottom of the pan to prevent the egg from touching the potPour some salt into the water
- And we also recommend watching this video by Jamie Oliver, where he shows three ways to make poached eggs. Choose your favorite and enjoy them !