In my opinion, Eggs Benedict ranks as the perfect dish for Sunday brunch.
For those of you unfamiliar with this dish, it’s a classic: an English muffin topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, a poached egg and then topped off with hollandaise sauce. It’s quite rich but ever so delicious.
The history of this wonderful plate gets told in the Dec. 19, 1942, New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” column. In 1894, Lemuel Benedict, a stockbroker in New York, came to the dining room of the old Waldorf for a late breakfast. Apparently suffering a hangover, Mr. Benedict wanted a meal that would cure him. So, “he ordered buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs and a hooker of hollandaise sauce, and then and there put together the dish that has, ever since, borne his name, Eggs Benedict,” the New Yorker reports.
In another fun article, “Was He the Eggman?” The New York Times in 2007 says: “Lemuel’s innovation attracted the attention of Oscar of the Waldorf,” the famed maître d’hôtel, who “promptly tested it and put the item on the menu, although Oscar’s version substituted ham for bacon and an English muffin for toast.”
It can be made for just one or as many as you like. While a little challenging, it’s well worth the effort. The key to making this successfully is timing. It’s everything. To accompany the eggs, you might include hash brown potatoes and fresh fruit. And, don’t forget a bloody Mary or mimosa.
6 Gluten-free English muffins
12 large eggs
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
12 ¼ inch slices of Canadian bacon
3 extra large egg yolks
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
½ cup of unsalted sweet cream butter
A dash of Tabasco
1 teaspoon of salt
Fresh chopped parsley or thinly sliced chives for garnish
First bring a large (10- to 12-inch) saucepan filled three-quarters of the way with water to a gentle boil and add the vinegar. While the water comes to a boil, pre-heat the oven to broil. Fork-split the muffins and place them on a baking sheet ready for toasting.
Wrap the ham in aluminum foil and warm in the bottom of the oven.
For the hollandaise, put the egg yolks, lemon juice and Tabasco in a blender and give it a quick whir. Place the butter in a small bowl and melt it in the microwave. Once the butter melts, and with the blender on medium to high speed, gradually add the butter and blend until it becomes lighter in color, a little thicker in consistency and a smooth texture. Season it with salt. Then with the blender turned off, taste for additional seasoning. The sauce will stay warm until ready to serve.
Place the English muffins under the broiler and gently ease the eggs into the boiling water. Both the muffins and the eggs will take approximately 2 or 3 minutes before they’re ready.
Once nicely toasted remove the muffins from the broiler and place on warm plates. Drizzle a little hollandaise on top of each muffin and then top with the warmed bacon. With a slotted spoon remove the eggs from the water and place on the bacon and then spoon hollandaise over each egg. Garnish each egg with just a dash of cayenne pepper and chopped parsley or thinly sliced chives.