Man-Food Watch™ is a series of recipes for armchair tailgaters who want to raise their game when it comes TV sports and eating. Impress the guys with food that’s hearty, flavorful, easy to make and usually inexpensive.
So maybe you want something rich and meaty for Easter Baseball Weekend that you can make yourself in not much time and for not much money.
Treat yourself on this Eggs Benedict Day and learn how to make a tasty treat that’s a perfect celebration of the Easter season.
Only in America
Eggs Benedict may well have been favorite chef’s a tribute to a pair of New York socialites whose last name was Benedict.
It may have been invented in New York City at Delmonico’s in the late 1800s.
Or maybe it was the Waldorf Hotel in the 1920s.
The most charming of the stories about the origin of the dish we now call Eggs Benedict does come down to us from the Waldorf.
Sometime in 1942, plagued by a hangover he couldn’t shake, one Lemuel Benedict, Wall Street stock broker by trade, made his way to the Waldorf and ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and Hollandaise sauce (probably from 15th-century Holland).
Whether or not the combination cured Benedict’s hangover no one reports, but the hearty flavors and texture so impressed famed maître d'hôtel Oscar Tschirky that he put the dish on the breakfast and lunch menus.
To make a long story short, food historians are almost certain that Eggs Benedict comes from the United States and that it may well have something to do with New York.
English muffins & Canadian bacon
Long before McDonald’s kinda sorta invented the breakfast sandwich, people have been enjoying Eggs Benedict – a poached egg served on a toasted English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon and covered liberally with Hollandaise.
Don’t let any of that scare you.
The truth about the composition of Eggs Benedict is that you can use any breakfast meat served on any kind of buttered toast or biscuit.
The chief difference between Eggs Benedict and other breakfast sandwiches, open-face and otherwise, is the poached egg and the other special sauce.
While it is true that the Egg McMuffin® is more portable than traditional Eggs Benedict, it’s not more fun to make, and it certainly is not more fun to eat.
GJE’s Eggs Benedict
Eggs & meat
- Fresh large whole eggs
- Thick-sliced ham or Canadian bacon
- Toasted English muffins, bagels, biscuits, Texas Toast, etc.
- Butter or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter®
- Egg yolks
- Fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt
Poaching an egg
Gentlemen, making toast is no great shakes.
Neither is broiling or pan frying slices of ham, bacon or sausage, so turn your attention first to poaching eggs.
The beautiful thing about Eggs Benedict is that the recipe is so scalable.
Want a dozen servings? You need two dozen eggs.
One piece of buttered toast needs one poached egg.
Here’s how to poach an egg:
- Bring a shallow pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- Add a little vinegar of your choice, then bring the pot back to a boil.
- Break one whole egg into a saucer or a coffee cup and do not whisk.
- Slowly pour the egg into the boiling water or pour the egg into a large spoon or ladle and lower the it into the boiling water.
- Let the egg boil for 2-3 minutes so that the white cooks, then scoop out your egg and let it drain.
When the excessive has drained away from your egg, place your toast on a plate, put the meat on top, then place your poached egg on top of the meat.
Save making the Hollandaise sauce until last.
The key to a creamy, yummy Hollandaise is to cook your egg yolks over very, very, very low heat.
As your sauce cooks, you may even have to lift the pan off the heat to keep from scrambling the egg yolks.
- Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter very gently in a shallow pan.
- Whisk your egg yolks to a froth and then very slowly whisk them into the heated butter.
- While you stir, add just a touch of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Your Hollandaise is ready to serve as soon as it starts to look fluffy, maybe 3-5 minutes of cooking time.
- Taste to adjust seasoning, then ladle directly onto your poached egg.
Sauce a little too chunky the first time?
Thin it a little with more butter in the second batch.
Too thin? Add another egg yolk and cook.
The goal with Hollandaise sauce is a smooth bright flavor that brings out the smoke in your cured meat and a bright yellow color to set off the pinks of the meat and the white of your poached egg.
About ten minutes of work gets you a dish that’s satisfying and in it’s own way elegant.
Garnish with your favorite cheese. Serve with a salad.
But most of all enjoy.
Happy Eggs Benedict Day and Happy Easter!
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org