Classic eggs Benedict, the quintessential breakfast of champions
Love it or hate it, eggs Benedict have never been more popular! So why’s that? And do you know where this delicious classic originally comes from?
Classic breakfast staples, can you name some?
Who doesn’t love a good old English breakfast or fry up.
And pancakes and bacon of course.
Even steak and potatoes if you like.
But there is one classic breakfast that has been around for years that has never been out of fashion.
Eggs Benedict, or eggs benny!
We love it, but then again it is hard to hate poached eggs on an English muffin with bacon smothered with a creamy sauce – right?
There are even pescatarian and vegetarian versions of it and they are excellent as well!
Let’s dive into our favorite breakfast and start off with a little bit(e) of background information first.
What country did Eggs Benedict originate? Is eggs Benedict a French dish?
Nothing French about it.
Eggs Benedict were invented in the US in the 19th century.
More specifically in New York City, where it became a very popular breakfast and brunch item before taking over the rest of the world.
What is it?
A classic eggs Benedict consists of two halves of an English muffin, each topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, a poached egg covered in a zippy hollandaise sauce.
Why do they call it Eggs Benedict? Why is it called Eggs Benedict?
There are a few legends claiming to be the first to come up with this dish.
Which is often the case with dishes that are over a 100 years old.
We found these 2 the most credible.
The head chef of Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York named Charles Ranhofer came up with eggs Benedict in the 1860s when one of his regular customers – a Mrs LeGrand Benedict it seems – requested a totally new dish since she had tried all of the classic meals on the menu.
So apparently that is when he came up with eggs benny, and named it Eggs a la Benedict after her. This first version was also published in his cookbook ‘The Epicurean’ in 1894.
Rumour has it that in that same year someone else concocted the foundations for this classic recipe.
It all would have started at the Waldorf Hotel in New York where head chef Oscar Tschirky was asked by a customer to cook him two poached eggs and bacon on toast doused with hollandaise sauce.
The chef loved the idea so much he put it on the breakfast menu straight away…
And named it eggs Benedict after his customer, Lemuel Benedict.
Which one is true?
If you know more about its origin, let us know in the comment box below!
What’s the difference between eggs Benedict and eggs Florentine?
Instead of Canadian bacon, the poached eggs sit on a bed of wilted spinach.
Some versions of eggs Florentine can still contain bacon, however strictly speaking eggs Florentine are a classic vegetarian breakfast item.
What’s the difference between eggs Benedict and eggs Royale?
Not a fan of Canadian bacon?
Then try eggs Royale: English muffins, poached eggs and smoked salmon with hollandaise sauce.
A yummy pescatarian breakfast!
What is egg Benedict sauce made of?
The ingredients for Hollandaise sauce are butter, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.
Hollandaise sauce does not contain cream!
Where does hollandaise sauce come from?
Definitely not from Holland or The Netherlands, despite its name.
Hollandaise originally comes from France, where it first became popular under the name of sauce Isigny.
That perhaps rings a bell: you might have heard of Isigny butter or cream. Isigny is a small Normandy town in Northern France that is famous for its dairy products.
What is the difference between poached eggs and Eggs Benedict?
Poached eggs are eggs that you crack, put into boiling water and leave to cook for a short time until the egg white has set but the yolk stays runny inside.
Poached eggs are used in dishes such as eggs Benedict.
Why is eggs Benedict so good?
Good question, why do you like eggs benny so much?
And why is it so popular?
All we can think of is because the poached eggs are so creamy and rich, and go so well with that buttery Hollandaise sauce.
Eggs benny are salty, sweet, cream and lemony at the same time.
Elegant comfort food!
What are the variations of eggs Benedict?
We already talked about eggs Florentine and eggs Royale.
Let’s look at other lesser known versions!
Eggs Sardou is a Louisiana Creole cuisine dish that consists of poached eggs, artichoke bottoms, creamed spinach and Hollandaise sauce.
Also from New Orleans: eggs Cochon, or buttermilk biscuits with Cajun pulled pork, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Eggs Neptune is also an American eggs benny version of English muffin with crab meat, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce.
Which one do you like the most, or do you prefer the classic version?
Is eggs Benedict supposed to be cold?
Not at all.
All the items in an eggs benny should be warm.
The muffin, the poached egg, the bacon and the Hollandaise sauce – all of it.
So sure making this dish at home is quite a task, to get all the components ready and warm at the same time.
Do you make eggs benny yourself?
What goes good with eggs Benedict?
You can make it a full meal by adding oven roast potatoes and tomatoes or a crisp green salad.
Should eggs Benedict be runny?
Poached eggs should be runny indeed.
Eggs benny are only done right when you cut into it and that perfectly runny yolk comes oozing out.
Are eggs Benedict healthy? Is eggs Benedict high in calories?
Like with all foods, it is good for you in moderate quantities.
Eggs are certainly a good source of protein and so is Canadian bacon.
The sliced English muffin provides carbs.
And the Hollandaise sauce?
It sure is high in calories because it is made with butter, however you don’t need spoonfuls of it for your eggs benny.
Eggs benny once a week, yes please!
How many calories are in 2 eggs Benedict?
A serving of 2 classic eggs benny contain 816 calories.
How many carbs are in 2 eggs Benedict?
A serving of 2 classic eggs benny contain 77 g of carbs.
Our recipe for Eggs Benedict
Are you in for a kitchen experiment?
Here’s how we make our eggs benny at home!
Ingredients for 2 people
- 4 large range free eggs
- 2 whole wheat English muffins, sliced in half and toasted
- 4 slices Canadian bacon
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) melted unsalted butter
- 2 large range free egg yolks
- lemon juice
Muffins and bacon
- Slice the English muffins in half and put them in the toaster but don’t toast them yet!
- Gently pan fry the bacon in a little unsalted butter until slightly browned on both sides. Then turn the heat off and cover the pan to keep it warm.
- Make a double boiler: put a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer.
- Take a heat resistant bowl and whisk together the melted butter and the egg yolks. Season lightly with pepper and salt.
- Put the bowl on top of the pan with simmering water and stir the egg and butter mixture with a balloon whisk until it starts to thicken. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Keep stirring constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling.
- Once the sauce is ready, add a couple of drops of lemon juice and stir quickly. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or lemon juice to taste.
- Turn the heat under the pan of water off and keep the bowl with sauce over the water for now.
- Fill a saucepan with 3 inches (8 cm) of water and place it over medium heat until the water starts to simmer gently. In the meantime, toast the muffins and check if the bacon is still warm.
- Break the eggs separately in a small glass or saucer. Then gently slip each egg into the simmering water. Let it poach until the egg white is set around the yolk. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes. Once cooked, remove the poached eggs with a slotted spoon and drain them on a piece of kitchen paper.
Assembling the eggs benny
- Place the toasted English muffins cut side up on 2 plates.
- Top them first with the bacon, followed by a poached egg.
- Drizzle the eggs with a generous spoonful of the Hollandaise sauce.
- Serve immediately.