Buttery eggs on eggs on toast with ham? Yes please. Eggs Benedict used to be my go to brunch item, but once I realized I could have it without waiting in line too early on a Saturday, going out for breakfast really lost its appeal. Plus you can go right from that bottomless mimosa to napping on your couch!
Shake says: Speaking of mimosas, I’m a huge fan of fresh squeezed juice. Keep an eye out for Cara cara oranges. They’re nice and sweet and yield a great amount of juice. When it comes to picking a sparkling wine, follow the cardinal rule of booze. Make it something drinkable on its own.
Special Equipment: large slotted or mesh spoon to remove poached eggs
4 English muffins
8 whole eggs
4 egg whites
8 slices Canadian bacon or ham
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup white vinegar
Set the oven to low and warm 4 plates.
Make the hollandaise sauce first. Set up a double boiler, or use a small saucepan and a bowl that covers the top of the pan. While the water is heating in the base, separate the egg yolks, and melt the butter in a small measuring cup. Put the egg yolks in the top of the double boiler system. Whisk vigorously off heat until the yolks double in volume and thicken, like an egg cooked over-medium. This takes a minute or two, and can take longer if your whisking skills are rusty or nonexistent. Be patient and keep at it-the change is gradual, not dramatic.
Once the egg yolks are well beaten, place them over the gently simmering water, whisking the whole time. This is the tricky part about hollandaise, because the eggs will scramble if you don’t keep them moving constantly. A few drops at a time, rapidly whisk in melted butter until the mixture doubles in volume again and the sauce is very thick-it should be a little thicker than you want, since the lemon juice will thin it out a little. Saucy Note: If at any time the egg mixture seems like its getting too hot and starting to scramble, keep whisking and lift the top section off the simmering water. Let the vessel cool slightly and turn the heat down a skosh before continuing with the butter.
Remove the hollandaise from heat when the mixture has doubled. Whisk in the lemon juice and salt to taste and put someplace warm-I like the inside of the microwave, because the small space is enough to keep some heat in the sauce being too hot. If the sauce is too thick when you go to serve it, a few drops of warm water will fix it.
Bring several inches of water to a gentle simmer in a medium sauté pan or deep skillet. Add ¼ cup white vinegar. While the water is heating, start frying the meat slices in a different skillet over medium heat. Flip them occasionally while preparing everything else. Saucy Note: If you don’t have enough pans to cook this many things at once, the ham can be fried earlier and kept warm in the oven.
Split and toast muffins. This is a good task for whoever you’re making this delicious breakfast for.
When the water is steadily simmering and everything else is ready (or toasting), it is time to poach the eggs. Crack two eggs into a small ramekin or bowl. Set a timer for 3 minutes, and then gently slip the eggs into the simmering water, and repeat with remaining eggs. Use a small spatula or wooden spoon to keep the whites separate from each other as you add each pair. Set a timer for 3 minutes.
Remove warm plates from oven. Place a 2 muffin halves on each plate and stack with ham. When the timer sounds, carefully remove the eggs in the order you put them in the water with a slotted spoon-the whites should be fully set but the yolk should still be soft if pressed-cook for an additional 30 seconds if the egg seems underdone. Dry them gently with a clean paper towel when ready, and slide the eggs on top of the ham. Drizzle the eggs with a generous amount of hollandaise and revel in the forthcoming praise.