Ideal for a rockin’ hangover or a sophisticated brunch, these eggs Benedict with maple-glazed smoked salmon and bacon will brighten your day.
This is hands down my favorite breakfast or brunch. Mind you, I only have it a few times a years, and preferably in the colder weather. Due to its insanely richness and mind-boggling count of calories, Eggs Benedict is a comfort food you want to enjoy and appreciate in moderation. It’s also a lot less sinful if you have only half a serving with a fresh fruit salad, but hey, we’re not here to discuss healthy alternatives.
This dish is comprised of four essential elements: the English muffin pedestal, upon which sits the salty protein (traditionally Canadian Bacon), next is the perfectly poached egg, and finally that warm blanket of hollandaise that tucks it all together. And that is Eggs Benedict. However, there’s been a lot of variations of Eggs Benedict since its blurry inception. Like many classic dishes, there are conflicting accounts of their true origins. Common variations usually include swapping out the English muffin for thick-sliced toast, ciabatta bread, or a bagel. Also, the Canadian bacon may be replaced with straight up crispy bacon, ham, salmon or other proteins. Basically, as long as you’ve got that poached egg and hollandaise sauce, the sky’s the limit.
In this featured Eggs Benny, I added smoked salmon after brushing it with a No.2 maple syrup and put it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes. I also used British bacon which is a thinner and leaner cut of Canadian bacon. And I included the addition of blanched asparagus tops.
Eggs benedict is quite easy to prepare and shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes* from start to finish. However, an ability to multitask is paramount to serve up this dish. As long as you pay attention to detail and are not too hungover you will do great.
*30 minutes is all you need to prepare two servings of Eggs Benedict. However, if you choose to make your own bread, then of course that is going to take some extra time. I’ve decided to make my own English muffins since finding them outside the English-speaking world is near impossible. This will add an entire day on to the cooking/prep time. You don’t have to go this extreme, but I’ve included the recipe nevertheless.
So let’s start there.
Now what makes English muffins special and particularly perfect for this dish, are all those nooks and crannies in the bread. When that poached egg breaks and flows onto the plate, all those little holes in the muffin fill up. Ciabatta bread will do the same, but again, the English muffin isn’t tough and chewy like the ciabatta.
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 lg eggs
- 1 tbsp yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 300g + 200g flour
- 1tbsp gluten flour
- ½ cup warm water
- Cooking spray
- Cornmeal for cooking
In a small saucepan melt the butter, then add the milk. Warm the milk just enough that you can stick your finger in without burning it. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine ½ cup of warm water, salt, and sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast over the water until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In another bowl measure out 300g flour and gluten flour.
Add eggs to the milk and butter and beat well.
Add milk, butter, and eggs to the yeast mixture. Stir lightly. Now add the flour a little at a time, incorporating well. Mix for 10 minutes. When flour is fully blended, the mixture will resemble a thick pancake batter.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove from fridge and add ½ cup warm water and stir, knocking all the air out. Then add the remaining 200g of flour. Mix well and allow to rise for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180C.
With a cast iron pan or griddle, heat over low-med heat. Sprinkle cornmeal on the pan.
Spray cooking rings with cooking spray. Place rings on the warm pan.
Using a large muffin or ice cream scoop, scoop out batter and put it into the rings.
Spread the batter across the bottom of the rings with your oiled fingers.
Sprinkle top with cornmeal. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip over and cook for another 5 minutes.
Place English muffins in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
Let cool before cutting in half and toasting.
- 4 yolks
- 200 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
Melt butter in saucepan over med-high heat.
In a food processor or blender combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. Blend on high speed.
When the butter is bubbling away and just before it starts to darken, remove from heat and add to the eggs yolks, drizzling it in slowly as if making mayonnaise. Continue blending for 2-3 minutes after all the butter is added. Check for seasoning and add more salt if desired.
The Poached Eggs:
In a heavy pot, fill half full with water and 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Bring to a simmer but not a roaring boil.
The trick to a perfectly shaped poached eggs is to strain any excess liquid from the egg white.
Using a fine-mesh strainer pour in one egg at a time while holding over the sink. A watery substance will drain through, leaving the yolk and white in tact. Trust me, if you’re careful your entire egg will not slip through the strainer.
Turn heat all the way down on the water.
Gently tilt the strainer into the simmering water to knock the egg out. Work quickly to get the other three eggs in so they finish cooking at nearly the same time.
Use a slotted spoon to take the eggs out after 3-4 minutes. To check for doneness, the whites should be cooked, but the yolk still visibly soft and wobbly.
Maple-Glazed Smoked Salmon:
100g smoked salmon
2 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to broiler/grill setting.
Place thinly sliced salmon on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Brush maple syrup over the salmon and broil for 5-10 minutes until the syrup starts to caramelize.
Aim for two asparagus tops for each Egg Benedict. So 4 tops for one full serving.
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready.
Place the eight asparagus tops into the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove promptly and place in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Putting it All Together:
So now you have 4 poached eggs, maple-glazed smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce, and 8 asparagus tops.
Cook bacon or ham to your desired preference.
Cut 2 English muffins in half and toast and butter them.
On two warm plates place each half of the English muffin. Place the bacon on the muffins, then the smoked salmon, followed by the asparagus, the poached eggs, and finally the smooth hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper if desired.
And there it is, the best American breakfast and the ultimate hangover remedy.