Easy Eggs Benedict (For Real!)

Brunch is my favorite meal of the day. Hell, brunch is the only meal needed as far as I'm concerned. Where else can you get such a balanced meal I ask? You have eggs (protein), bacon (more protein), potatoes (carbs), and a Bloody Mary (vegetable). Really what could be a more perfect combination? If you've ever had brunch with me (you all know who you are) you know I have three necessities when choosing a place to have brunch.
  1. The first is that they must have Eggs Benedict on the menu (never trust a brunch place without it,)
  2. The second is that the Eggs Benedict must be really good (Stephanies' has the best as far as I'm concerned, mainly because they use brioche instead of English muffins.)
  3. Finally, I always always order the Eggs Benedict. 
Sense a theme? Yep, I love me some Eggs Benedict. If I were dying and had one last meal? Well, I would probably have lobster....but lobster covered Eggs Benedicta of course! The funny thing is that I don't like eggs. Not at all. I would never order an omelet and I pretty much despise eggs. Eggs sitting on a piece of Canadian bacon, covered in Hollandaise? That is a completely different story. 

Because of my love of the Benedict I have been on a quest to find the easiest way to make this delicious meal at home. I have scoured the country (not really) searching for the perfect recipe that was not only delectable but also easy. The recipe part was actually not that difficult, it was learning how to poach a damn egg that was the hard part. I went through dozens of eggs before I realized that, hey, there are things that can actually do this for you! Oh, how I love living in 2009. I went to Crate and Barrel and picked up these cheap (3.99) egg poachers that really did the trick.

The whole poaching process took about 4 minutes and I was amazed at how well the eggs turned out. Slather on the Hollandaise and I had the perfect brunch for 2. The best part? I got to eat it in my sweats. You can't do that at Stephanies! The whole breakfast took less than 20 minutes. Yeah, I'm going to be eating a lot of Eggs Benedict!

Recipe for 2

4 Canadian Bacon slices (I used turkey)
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Distilled White Vinegar

Hollandaise Sauce:

2 Egg yolks at room temperature
2 Teaspoons heavy cream at room temp
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper (can be omitted)
1/2 Cup (1 stick) plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and heated until bubbling but not brown (see note)
2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice at room temp
1 Teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 Brioche halved (or english muffins)
4 Eggs
Chopped Chives/ Dill/ Tarragon for garnishing (optional)
Step by step instructions from here. 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
1) Put the Canadian bacon in a large nonstick skillet. Set over a burner but do not turn on the burner. Put 2 ovenproof plates in the oven to warm.
2) Fill a medium nonstick skillet nearly to the rim with water. Add the kosher salt and vinegar and bring to a simmer over high heat. Alternatively, fill an egg poacher with water and season with salt.
3) To make the Hollandaise Sauce. Put the egg yolks, cream, the 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and cayenne in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and frothy, 2 to 3 seconds. With the blender still on high speed, add the hot butter in a thin, steady stream, then add the lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Season with kosher salt to taste and a generous pinch of sugar. Transfer the sauce to a microwave-safe cup or bowl.
Alternatively, put the sauce in the top pan of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
4) Cut the English muffins/ Brioche in half and lightly toast them.
5) Carefully break an egg into a cup and slide it into the simmering water, or into the cups of an egg poacher. Repeat with the remaining eggs. (Arrange the eggs in a clockwise pattern in the skillet so you will know which one you put in first. Remove the eggs in the same order.) Remove the skillet from the heat and cook until the yolks are medium-firm, 3 to 4 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, heat the Canadian bacon over high heat until slightly crisp, about 1 minute.
7) Place 2 English muffin halves on each of warmed plates.
8)Top each muffin half with a slice of Canadian bacon.
9) Using a slotted spoon carefully lift out each egg and drain over the skillet. Blot eggs lightly with a paper towel. Gently place 1 egg on top of each Canadian bacon slice.
10) If not keeping the Hollandaise sauce warm in a double boiler, warm it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and pour generously on top of the eggs and around the English muffins. Season with pepper to taste and garnish with tarragon, if desired. Serve immediately.
Note: We heat the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave until it begins to boil. In order for the egg yolks to thicken the sauce, the butter must be very hot and the egg yolks, cream, and lemon juice must be at room temperature when you begin blending.
Do-ahead: Believe it or not, hollandaise sauce can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.To reheat the sauce, warm it in the microwave in 10-second increments until warm but not hot. (If the sauce gets too hot, it will separate.) Alternatively, put the sauce in the top pan of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
When entertaining, the eggs can be cooked several hours in advance. After poaching the eggs, transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Store them in the ice water in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat the eggs by lowering them into a pan of simmering water for about 45 seconds.
Drain and serve as directed.

Just writing this makes me want to make them right now! Yes, I am an Eggs Benedict addict! Do you think they have a support group for me? Nah, who needs it? Not when they are this easy to make!