Eggs Benedict and its Limitless Variations
Is there a reason National Eggs Benedict Day follows Tax Day? There really is no other better remedy (in terms of food) that can substitute for the simple, luxurious meal that soothes away, without great effort or fanfare, the pain of the previous day. The origin and history of the recipe is shrouded in myth and mystery, but the common theme is recovery.
The dish was first popularized in New York City. Dlemonico's restaurant claims on its menu that "Eggs Benedict was first created in our ovens in 1860." ( a calamitous time in our history). Others say that its origins are far more recent, being the result of a hangover remedy ordered by one Lemuel Bendict, a Stock Broker who celebrated a bit too hard the night before. While the original order in this case is rumored to be “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise”, and the maître d’hotel was so impressed with it that he made a couple modifications and added it to the menu.
Whoever and whenever it originated, the dish is classically an english muffin with ham and a poached egg and hollandaise sauce on top. Fundamentally, if you can make the poached egg and the hollandaise, you can make eggs Benedict and limitless other Benedict variations.
Element One - Hollandaise Confidence
So, lets start by checking your hollandaise making confidence. We have a refresher course on the five french mother sauces , which include a whisked and a blender hollandaise sauce refresher. Making the hollandaise sauce, once your confidence is firm, is a 5 minute task. The are other sauces that work as well. Mornay (cheese), welsh rarebit, salsa, bearnaise, bechamel, bordelaise
Element Two - Poaching the Egg
Poaching the egg is a critical skill. You can use the contraption that poaches the egg in a Teflon coated dish in a tray in pan of water (covered), use a pan of water that is swirling (to hold egg together), or use a pan of water with vinegar (that holds egg together), but always use the freshest eggs as they hold together best. AND, never over-cook the egg. The center must be runny with the golden yolk or your eggs benedict, no matter how delicious, will be slightly less perfect than you want.
Element Three - The Base
Now you have two of four main ingredients down - the egg and the sauce. The thirst element is the base. Tradition would tell you that this is really simple - a toasted english muffin. By in large, that works. But if you want to consider some other bases, you can get as creative as you want. Here are some ideas for bases:
Your favorite avacado toast
Slices of thick juicy Beefsteak or Hierloom Tomato
See the Zucchini Pancake above
See the cornbread pancakes above
There are so many possible bases for your eggs benedict. Use ones which highlight element 4 best in your view.
Element Four - The Creativity In Between
Between the base and the poached egg and sauce is your territory to be as creative as you want to be. Several creations have names, but there are no rules here and the eggs benedict (or what ever name you want to give it) variations that are possible have no limitations other than your imagination.
Some Items to try would include:
To-Table Chorizo Sausage Sliced lengthwise: (Huevos Benedictos - See below)
To-Table Berkshire Ham
To-Table Buffalo Flat Iron Steak (Eggs Omar)
To-Table Finnan Haddie (smoked Haddock)