Country Style Eggs Benedict
Over time is has taken many turns. The back bacon has been replaced with salmon, ham, and any other thin sliced meat one can think of. Hollandaise Sauce has been known to change depending on the taste of the chef. The lemon in it can be replaced with any acid, like orange juice, lime juice, and the like.
Traditionally served on a toasted English Muffin, I put mine on thickly sliced toast made from 30% whole wheat, homemade bread.
The secret to making the Hollandaise Sauce so that it doesn’t break (separate) is the temperature of the egg and lemon mixture and the liquified butter. Almost as important is the whisking and blending of the butter.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 slices Ham slightly browned in frying pan,
- 4 slices Texas style toast
- Smoked Paprika garnish
- 1/4 cup hollandaise sauce
Toast homemade bread and lightly butter
Poach 4-8 eggs to desired doneness. I prefer mine to be soft and runny so the yolk mixes into the Hollandaise Sauce.
Place ham on buttered slice of toast. Place 1 or 2 poached eggs on top of ham. Using a tablespoon, gently spoon Hollandaise Sauce over the eggs ham and toast.
Sprinkle a light dusting of smoked paprika on top of sauce, serve hot.
Variations on a Theme:
- Use smoked salmon, back bacon, or a panfried breakfast steak instead of ham.
- Use a toasted English Muffin instead of toast (traditional)
- Use orange juice instead of lemon in Hollandaise Sauce.
This Hollandaise Sauce can be used as a base for sauces for fish or meats. For Ham, replace the cayenne pepper with a tablespoon of dry mustard for a nice mustard cream sauce. For fish, add a little extra lemon, a little fresh basil and marjoram.
Here’s the Hollandaise Sauce recipe.
This is a simple entry level Hollandaise Sauce. To be used for Eggs Benedict, omelettes, or as a base for creamy lemon sauce for seafood dishes, this sauce is extremely versatile, while a little tricky to get right.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut a small cube of butter and put aside (1 tsp)
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ice cold water
- 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
- 1 pinch Ground Black Pepper
- 1 pinch Salt
Melt butter in pourable container. Do not allow to boil or get too hot. Just melt it.
Using a small saucepan, bring about 3" of water to a boil. Once at a boil, turn the heat down so the water is just at the boil.
Separate eggs into a metal or glass mixing bowl (not too large or it will hard to whisk). Add lemon juice and ice cold water. Whisk until frothy. Put aside for a few minutes to allow the water and lemon to become infused in the egg. Continue whisking until the mixture is creamy and sticking to the whisk a little.
Move the bowl on top of the saucepan of water. Whisk continuously until the mixture is just about to scramble. Don't allow it to scramble. Immediately whisk the 1 tsp cube of butter into the sauce to stop it from scrambling
While constantly whisking the egg mixture, slowly add the melted butter. Do not stop whisking, and do not add the butter too quickly. If you stop whisking or add the butter too quickly the sauce will break.
Keep adding butter until you get the smooth creamy consistency that Hollandaise is known for. If you don't use all the butter, don't fret.
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, a pinch of pepper, and a pinch of salt to the sauce. If the sauce has cooled too much, at this point, simply place it back over the steaming water and gently whisk it as it heats up.
The trick to keeping the sauce from breaking is all in the temperature of the butter and the constant whisking of the eggs.
Melt the butter as the first step and set it aside to cool.
This sauce can be heated up over the steaming water after it is prepared, without fear of it breaking.
Some Hollandaise recipes tell you to add the Cayenne Pepper, black pepper, and salt at the mixing stage, with the water and lemon. Okay, that's fine if you want to cook the cayenne a little bit. But whatever you do, do not EVER add the salt before the egg mixture has been combined with the butter. Without getting into the science of eggs, let's just say, salt makes eggs get runny and they won't combine nicely with other liquids. Always add the salt last.
If the sauce gets to the right consistency and you have butter left over, no problem. It is better to throw out a teaspoon or two of butter than it is to make your Hollandaise sauce too runny.