Eggs Benedict – A breakfast for champions

IMG_20170312_112724_265Admittedly this breakfast is the opposite of fast and easy. But it certainly is darn tasty and therefore worth every effort. This recipe serves two hungry people who are ready to tackle the day. While eggs benedict are one of THE traditional American breakfasts, it is fairly unknown in Germany and only very few cafes actually serve it. So as an expat, you are pretty much on your own if you want to start your day with a taste from home. Luckily, you can make it at home and are thus fully independent of their availability (or not) in your neighborhood.

*Disclaimer: Patience is key with this dish. It always takes quite a bit of time to prepare, so only opt for this meal if you can stand to wait a while before it’s ready. It is, however, worth every second.

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 English muffins (these are fairly uncommon in Germany, but they have them at REWE)
  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • Salt
  • Streaky breakfast bacon

For the hollandaise sauce

  • ½ cup (60 grams) of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt & black pepper

Start by frying the bacon. You’d want to already place it in the pan, while it’s still cold. Thereby, your bacon will be less greasy and thus crispier, as the fat is able to render out. Place the bacon on a paper napkin to get rid off the grease and then leave it in the oven so that it stays warm and crispy. I know, this is typically done with Canadian bacon. My personal taste preference however is streaky bacon, as the crispiness  just works perfectly nice with the soft poached eggs.

Now we are done with our “prep work” and can get down to business: the eggs. Place a large pot of water on the stove, add ¼ cup of vinegar and bring to a simmer. The water should NOT be boiling as the bubbles would cause the raw egg to disperse. I recommend preparing one egg at a time and add a new egg whenever the previous egg has solidified a bit. As for the poaching, use a small cup and crack the egg into it. Add a bit of vinegar, which serves as a sort of coating. Don’t worry – you won’t taste the vinegar afterwards. Gently pivot the cup and pour the egg into the water, making sure you stay at the outer edge of your pot. Use a spatula, large spoon or small sieve that is large enough to contain your egg to “secure” it at the edge of the pot and hold it there. (Or, use this super helpful device). Otherwise, the egg white will disperse and you will create a big mess and essentially have egg white soup rather than a poached egg. Wait until the egg has solidified somewhat, then repeat the process with your next egg. The amount of time it takes for your egg to be ready depends on the size of the egg and your personal preference (i.e., whether you prefer it runny or a bit harder). A general rule of thumb, however, is 5 to 8 minutes. Once they are done, place them on a tray in the oven to keep them warm, until all your eggs are poached.

Prepare the hollandaise sauce last. While you can certainly go for a store-bought option to save time and be just as happy, why not go all-in and make your own, since eggs benedict is not a quick-and easy dish anyways. Melt your butter in a pot at a medium heat and put it aside. Note: the butter should be melted but not boiling. Mix the egg yolk, water, juice from the lemon and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Set up a water bath and beat the egg yolk mix until it’s creamy. Ideally, it should also increase in volume. Slowly drizzle the melted butter into the mix while continuing to stir. Add the salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper.

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