When my husband first asked me to make Eggs Benedict for him, I was nervous. I had never made anything like this before. Making a mother sauce can be intimidating. I understand. With music playing and a brave face on, I was going to make it work. At least, that was the plan.
If you don’t know, hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine. Formerly called Dutch sauce, is an emulsion of egg yolk, melted butter, and lemon juice. It is usually seasoned with salt, and either white pepper or cayenne pepper. And if eggs aren’t your thing, you can even serve it over asparagus. It is really good that way, too.
But back to my crazy kitchen adventure with hollandaise sauce: Devo’s “Whip It” started playing in my head as I made the sauce, and I had to whip it, whip it good. I am a child of the 80’s. What did you expect? It gets worse. When I started cracking the eggs, I start singing, badly, “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. Just picture what I am like without anyone around. Better yet, don’t. It’s a scary thought. I could sing and have a dancing show if I didn’t love cooking so much.
Anyways, I am happy to say that this turned out perfectly. Even though the sauce intimidated me, it was the poached eggs that had me second-guessing myself in the end. I don’t like runny eggs, but he does, and as long as he was happy with it, I was happy with it.
- 8 slices Canadian bacon or ham
- 4 English muffins split
- 8 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted (1 stick)
- ½ teaspoon brown deli mustard
- Pinch salt
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.
Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.
Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume.
Remove from heat, whisk in mustard and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Bring to a slow boil.
Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft.
Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
Lay a slice of Canadian bacon or ham on top of a toasted muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs.