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Eggs Benedict

Feb 7, 2012 by     2 Comments    Posted under: A to Z of recipes, Special Occasions, Starters

Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs with crisp bacon on a toasted muffin, smothered in hollandaise sauce – perfect for a Sunday brunch.

Serves 4 Preparation time 20 mins Cooking time 10 mins Cost per portion £ 0.46

8 poached eggs (see below)
4 muffins
16 rashers bacon or pancetta
Hollandaise Sauce (see below)
Salt and coarsely ground pepper

Method for Hollandaise sauce:
A perfect hollandaise sauce hinges on all the ingredients being at room temperature at the outset of the recipe.
1. Keep the eggs outside the fridge so that they are at room temperature when you need them.
2. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat – when it has all melted scrape away and discard the white froth on the surface, then pour the middle layer of clear butter into a jug and keep it aside to use for the sauce; discard the opaque white layer at the bottom of the pan. Let the butter cool down for about 15 minutes before using it. (This whole process is known as ‘clarifying’ butter).
3. Fill a large pan ¼ full of water and bring it to the boil, then take the pan off the heat and place it on a towel.
4. Place a large metal bowl over the pan of hot water (off the heat), and whisk the yolks with the lemon juice and vinegar in the bowl until the yolks have thickened. (The bottom of the metal bowl shouldn’t touch the surface of the hot water – the steam from the hot water is enough heat – very gentle heat is needed or else the yolks will end up scrambled).
5. Take the metal bowl off the saucepan for the next stage -  add 2 teaspoons of the cooled and melted butter to the yolk mixture and whisk until the butter is well incorporated into the yolks. Continue adding small amounts of butter and whisking until the sauce starts to thicken. Once the sauce has started to thicken you can add the melted butter in slightly larger amounts each time. If the sauce becomes too thick add a teaspoon of warm water and continue whisking.
6. Add a pinch of salt and pepper after all the butter has been added, then taste the sauce to see if you prefer it a bit more lemony, in which case add a touch more lemon juice. The sauce should be pale yellow and smooth with a shine on the surface, and should have a ‘gloopy’ consistency.
7. Cover the sauce and keep it in a warm place while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Ingredients for Hollandaise sauce:
2 egg yolks – at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
150 g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional lemon juice – 1 or 2 teaspoons according to taste
1 large pan of water

Final assembly of eggs Benedict:
1. Cook the bacon or pancetta in a hot frying pan or under a grill until it is crisp and keep it aside.
2. Split the muffins and lightly toast them.
3. To poach the eggs: bring a large pan of water (¾ full) to the boil, then crack one of the eggs into a ramekin or any other small container. When the water is at a rolling boil, stir the water gently and at the same time carefully lower the cracked egg into the water. Cook for exactly 2 minutes – at this point the white should be cooked through and the yolk still soft. Remove the cooked egg from the water with a slotted spoon and keep it aside in a covered warm bowl until all the eggs are cooked – if the pan is large enough all the eggs can be done at the same time so long as you remember to remove them in the order in which you placed them into the water. Also, let the water come back to the boil in between lowering each egg into the water. (Overcooking for even 30 seconds will mean you end up with hard yolks, so be very careful with the timing of the eggs.)
4. On each halved muffin place two rashers of crisp bacon and then one poached egg on top of the bacon. Season each poached egg with a touch of salt and pepper then put a spoonful of the warm hollandaise sauce on top of the eggs and serve on warm plates immediately.

Additional information
Be decadent and use lobster instead of bacon!

Hollandaise sauce also goes well with poached or grilled fish. The hollandaise sauce contains raw eggs, so it can’t be kept for more than a couple of hours before being used. (I usually only keep it for about 30 minutes before using it).
Another variation on this sauce is Béarnaise sauce – it uses the same basic ingredients as Hollandaise sauce but instead of lemon juice and vinegar, the flavour is derived from wine, vinegar, shallots, black pepper and fresh tarragon. (Béarnaise sauce goes very well with steak and fish).

To use up the spare egg whites you could make macaroons, meringues or friands.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition per 100g per portion RDA women RDA men RDA child
Energy 559 kcal 420 kcal 21% 17% 23%
Protein* 9.2 g 6.9 g 15% 13% 29%
Total Fat* 58 g 43 g 62% 45% 62%
Polyunsaturates* 3.0 g 2.3 g
Mono Unsaturates* 18 g 13 g
Saturated Fat* 34 g 25 g 126% 84% 126%
Total Sugars* 0.3 g 0.2 g 0% 0% 0%
Carbohydrate* 0.8 g 0.6 g 0% 0% 0%
Energy 559 kcal 420 kcal 21% 17% 23%
Protein* 9.2 g 6.9 g 15% 13% 29%
Fat* 58 g 43 g 62% 45% 62%

* Percentage Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet for an average adult.
Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Allergens: Egg, Wheat, Gluten, Milk

Cost per recipe:£1.82
Cost per portion:£0.46



2 Comments + Add Comment

  • This is wonderful!!!

    • Glad you think so!

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