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If you always order this dish at a restaurant because you don’t know how to make eggs Benedict at home, get ready to have your mind blown. As a former restaurant chef, I have a secret to share with you: making restaurant-quality eggs Benedict at home is easy! This rich and decadent dish might seem intimidating, but we have a few tips up our sleeve. Follow along to learn the secret that makes hollandaise sauce a breeze and a technique to make your poached eggs look Instagram-worthy.
Before you know it, your house will become the neighborhood spot for brunch (don’t worry, these tips for hosting a stress-free brunch party will get you ready for your new fame).
First: The Easy Way to Make Hollandaise Sauce
What makes this classic mother sauce seem difficult? Tempering the egg yolks so they don’t scramble and adding the butter slowly enough so the emulsion holds without breaking. Traditionally, this is done in a large metal bowl held over boiling water to steam the eggs…but that’s not how we do it in a restaurant.
Our secret: Use modern technology! A blender or a handheld immersion blender will provide enough heat to temper those egg yolks, so all you need to do is blend away for the best (and easiest) hollandaise sauce of your life.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- A blender or immersion blender
Instructions for Making Hollandaise
Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small sauce pan until it’s bubbling—you want it to be hot. Meanwhile, place the eggs, water, and lemon juice in the blender and begin blending. Slowly—very slowly—add the hot butter in a slow, steady stream. If the mixture gets too thick, you can add a teaspoon of water at a time to help it along. Once it’s complete, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and cover it with plastic wrap until you’re ready to assemble.
Test Kitchen tip: If you want to make your hollandaise ahead of time, you’ll need to keep it warm. It’s fine at room temperature for about an hour, but if you’re holding it for longer we suggest storing it in an insulated coffee mug.
Next Up: Demystifying the Poached Egg
There are a lot of myths floating around out there about poached eggs, but really they’re just as easy as cooking hard-boiled eggs. It’s all about time and temperature. Once you have the water to the right temp, your eggs will simply float around in their little spa until they’re cooked through. Easy, right! Well, getting them to look pretty seems to be the hard part. Luckily, we have a trick up our sleeve to make perfectly formed poached eggs, every time.
Before you drop your eggs into their water bath, crack them (one at a time) into a fine mesh strainer. This will let the loose whites strain out—the ones that make those annoying and unattractive tails in the water. Just remember to use fresh eggs—they’ll have the firmest whites.
- 8 very fresh eggs
- Kosher salt
- A medium pot
- A digital thermometer
- A fine mesh strainer
Instructions for Poaching Eggs
Step 1: Set the scene
Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer until the thermometer registers 180°F (if it exceeds 190°F, add ice or wait until it cools down a bit). One at a time, carefully break each egg into a small bowl. If the yolk breaks, set it aside for a future batch of scrambled eggs and start over. Tip the egg into a fine mesh strainer and shake it to drain the loose whites. Meanwhile, swirl the water with a large spoon to create a cyclone before dropping the strained the egg into the water.
Step 2: Poach the eggs
Continue cracking, straining, and swirling until you have four eggs in the water. Cook the eggs for 4 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Remove them to a paper-towel lined plate to drain as you cook the remaining eggs.
Test Kitchen tip: You can cook your poached eggs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator in a bowl of cold water for up to two days. To reheat, simply dunk them in hot water for a few minutes.
Finally: Building the Perfect Eggs Benedict
Now that you’ve made your hollandaise sauce and have your poached eggs on hand, it’s time to assemble your eggs Benedict! We’ve gone for the classic ham-and-eggs Benedict here, but feel free to get creative with your toppings. Swap out the ham for your favorite bacon, smoked salmon or crab meat, or go vegetarian with spinach and avocado.
- 4 English muffins, split
- 8 slices Canadian bacon or thick-cut ham
- Fresh herbs (for garnish)
Instructions for Assembling Eggs Benedict
Toast the English muffins until they’re nice and crunchy. You don’t want them to be burnt, but they need to be sturdy enough to hold up to the runny yolks and hollandaise sauce. Meanwhile, sear the Canadian bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned on both sides. Top each English muffin half with a piece of Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and a large spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Garnish the Benedict with fresh herbs – I love chives and parsley!
These secrets will make your homemade eggs Benedict look and taste like restaurant-quality ones, just without the price tag! But, if it all seems like too much, you can simplify: this eggs Benedict casserole recipe tastes like the real deal but turns it into a one-pan dish.