Eggs Benedict Master Recipe

Eggs Benedict is one of the most famous breakfast/brunch dishes in the world, and as is the case with many iconic recipes, a number of people take credit for creating it.

Delmonico's restaurant began serving Eggs Benedict in the 1860s, claiming that the chef put the dish together for an especially picky patron, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, who, on this particular night, found nothing to her liking on the menu.

New York Times columnist and cookbook author Craig Claiborne received a letter in 1967 from the descendant of Commodore E.C. Benedict and included the recipe, which had been in the Benedict family for generations.

Another story, which could be the most authentic, dates to 1894, when Wall Street broker Lemeul Benedict wandered into the Waldorf Hotel after an all-night bender and asked for something that could cure his hangover: "Buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of Hollandaise". (The word "hooker" is an out-of-use term for a shot glass or "slug" of whiskey.)

Whoever created it, Eggs Benedict is certainly delicious, and there are several variations to the recipe, each with its own name. The first recipe is the Master Recipe for Eggs Benedict, followed by its substitutions with different ingredients. The final touch to the dish is the Hollandaise Sauce. When you're trying to coordinate timing with the several elements of the recipe, I find it's a lot easier -- and, frankly, just as tasty -- to make the Hollandaise in a blender (Julia Child's recipe). 

Eggs Benedict Master Recipe

  • 8 slices bacon or 4 slices Canadian bacon
  • 4 English muffins, split, toasted and lightly buttered
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
  1. For regular bacon: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the strips of bacon evenly on the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, turning once, until the bacon is crisped and the fat rendered. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
  2. For Canadian bacon: You won't need to put the Canadian bacon into the oven until the eggs are poaching, since Canadian bacon just needs to be heated through. 
  3. For the Hollandaise sauce: Put the egg yolks, salt, lemon juice and dash of cayenne into a blender jar. Cut the butter into small pieces and put them into a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave the butter 30 to 45 seconds until melted. (Alternatively, you can melt the butter in a small saucepan.) Pulse the egg yolks a few times. Then, with the motor running, slowly dribble in the butter through the top of the blender jar. The sauce will thicken as the eggs absorb the butter. When the sauce is thick, taste, and add more salt and lemon juice if desired, and pulse til combined. Keep the sauce warm by putting the blender jar in a bowl of warm (not hot) water.
  4. At this point, if you're using Canadian bacon, lay it on a lined baking sheet and put it into the oven as you poach the eggs.
  5. Poaching the eggs: Crack each egg into a ramekin or tea cup. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer, and stir in 1 teaspoon salt and the 2 teaspoons white vinegar. Using a wooden spoon, stir the center of the water to create a mini whirlpool. While the water is swirling, gently turn 1 egg into the center. The egg white with swirl around the egg yolk. Add each egg, one at a time. Use a slotted spoon to pick out any of the stray egg white strands. Poach the eggs 3-1/2 minutes, then gently remove them from the water and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle each egg with Kosher salt.
  6. Assembling the Benedict: Arrange the toasted and buttered English muffins on plates. Put 2 pieces of bacon or 1 slice of Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Top with a poached egg. Spoon Hollandaise sauce over each egg, coating it evenly. Sprinkle the minced Italian parsley on top and serve.

Eggs Benedict Variations

Here are variations of Eggs Benedict with substitutions or additions to the Master Recipe.

Eggs Blackstone: Add a slice of tomato between the bacon and egg.

Eggs Florentine: Substitute the bacon with cooked (and drained) spinach

Eggs Copenhagen or Eggs Hemingway: Substitute the bacon with smoked salmon

Eggs Chesapeake: Substitute the bacon with crab meat and sprinkle Old Bay Seasoning on top of the Hollandaise

Huevos Benedictos: Substitute the bacon with chorizo, and substitute the Hollandaise with salsa, topped with sliced avocado


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Lifestyle Magazine: Eggs Benedict Master Recipe
Eggs Benedict Master Recipe
Lifestyle Magazine
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