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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kitchen Creation: Eggs Benedict

John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist
Hobby Farms Contributors

Eggs Benedict: English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce and paprika
Photo by John Ivanko
It's easy to impress farmstead guests with a beautifully stacked eggs Benedict.

There’s nothing more enticing to the eye, nose and palate than eggs Benedict, especially when made with a couple slices of Canadian bacon and poached farm-fresh eggs with their nutrient-rich orange yolks. It’s a work of art on the farm-breakfast plate.

Eggs Benedict, among the most expensive and enticing breakfast creations on a restaurant menu, will turn your kitchen into a Food Network showplace without sending you to a therapist for food angst. It’s a matter of assembling several distinct steps to create a masterpiece. If a spouse, friend or partner can join you in the kitchen, the tango of sharing some cooking responsibilities makes the whole process a delight. Seriously now, how hard is it to brown some Canadian bacon?

We love the fact that there are omnivore, vegetarian and pescatarian versions of eggs Benedict. Closer to ham in flavor, texture and appearance, Canadian bacon is leaner and doesn’t crisp in its own fat when cooking, so it works well for this dish. But eggs Benedict can be easily modified to be vegetarian by replacing the bacon with a bed of fresh, sautéed spinach or Swiss chard (called eggs Florentine). Make it instead with thinly sliced avocados and fresh bean sprouts and you can call it a California Benedict. It can also incorporate other regional specialties, like smoked salmon or fresh crab.

So whether you want to dazzle some out-of-town guests or just cut back on dining-out expenses, give this recipe a try. The better the eggs and fresher the ingredients, the better it will taste. To make it look as spectacular as those served in the restaurants, we like to use the Poachpod to poach the eggs.

Recipe: Eggs Benedict

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound Canadian bacon, thinly sliced
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 cup Hollandaise sauce (see below)
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Preparation
In a pan, fry bacon until fully browned on both sides. Drain fat and cover bacon to keep warm.

Poach eggs, cooking for about 2 minutes, or until the white of the egg is solid but the yolk remains runny.

Toast English muffin halves, and place on plate. Add one to two strips Canadian bacon to each muffin half and top with poached egg. Cover stack with several spoonfuls Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with light sprinkle of paprika. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Hollandaise Sauce
This rich velvety sauce for eggs Benedict can be a fancy stand-by to accompany lightly steamed broccoli or asparagus. Maintain medium heat in a double boiler to avoid over-cooking the sauce, causing it to separate. Whisk the sauce with easy circular stokes. Because it contains eggs and butter, this is one sauce you’ll want to enjoy right after it’s prepared. Thanks to John, there’s never any left over in our farmhouse.

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup water, simmering
  • 1½ T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Preparation
In a double boiler over low heat, whisk egg yolks. Make sure water isn’t too hot or eggs will curdle. Stir 1 minute. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir 1 to 2 minutes until thick. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Serve immediately.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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Kitchen Creation: Eggs Benedict

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Reader Comments
I like the idea of the avocado. But, bean sprout??...Eeeehh, sorry I'll pass.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 9/9/2013 6:33:52 PM
A great treat, quick and easy to fix.
Carl, Livermore, CA
Posted: 1/9/2012 10:23:20 AM
Fabulous. We save this for a special treat.
Melanie, Hopetown, ON
Posted: 1/5/2012 5:03:08 AM
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