Here is why you should master the Eggs Benedict
Imagine it’s a busy, bustling Saturday morning and you’re at your favourite café. I bet if you look around there will be one dish you see more than anything else… everyone’s favourite – Eggs Benedict!
It’s rise in popularity has made it a firm favourite on menus around the world. But is it worth the fuss? Definitely. It’s fresh, nutritious, and always tasty. It’s easy to shake it up a bit with salmon or bacon, and fried potatoes on the side or a simple cherry tomato salad.
But is it worth the money? I’m not so sure… let me explain.
When it’s worth it to eat out
In my humble opinion, there are two good reasons to eat out.
The first is for convenience.
Whether you are getting home late after kids’ sports and you want to grab a subway sandwich or two, or you are traveling half the day to your holiday destination and you want to stop off for a sneaky bite of maccas, there are just some times when it’s easier to eat out.
You might be at a sports game, and you want to indulge in a hotdog, or (as we do in New Zealand – or is this universal?) you want to enjoy some fish ‘n’ chips on the beach… you get the picture, all good opportunities to spend a bit of money and grab a bite.
The second reason is that you just want some really good food.
You’re going to a café or restaurant, you’re ready to splash out, and you have the time to wait while someone more talented cooks your meal. Another good reason to part with your hard-earned money. Maybe the chef has been ‘thrice’ cooking your food, sous vide’ing (is that even a word?) your chicken breast at the perfect temperature or marinating your lamb chops over night. Something that took more skill, effort or time than you wanted to put in.
When it’s not worth it to eat out
There is another option that crops up though. And in my books, it’s not a good reason. Food that is neither fast, nor particularly difficult to make. And that’s where the ever-popular Eggs Benedict sits. Of course, if your plan for the day is coffee and brunch with a friend, that’s fine.
But this is a parenting blog 🙂
And I’ll assume you’ve most likely come here for some tips on making life cheaper, easier, happier or just flow a little better.
The price of a good meal
If you go out to a café and order an Eggs Benedict, it’s likely to cost you anywhere between $15-30. That may be palatable (or not…). But if you have a husband and a few kids in tow (that are passed the age of just getting by on a bowl of hot chips while Mum and Dad brunch and pretend it’s just like the old days 😉 ), that’ll add up pretty fast. A few drinks and you’re looking at a cool hundie.
Again, if you’ve got money to burn than kick back, let someone else cook your eggs and enjoy! But if you’re like the majority of us and you need to stick to a budget OR you’d just rather spend that $100 on something else… read on.
Why you should learn how to make Eggs Benedict
Eggs are a great source of protein and according to WebMD.com they are a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
Other than learning to cook a really good poached egg, there is nothing difficult about making your own Eggs Benedict on a Saturday morning. You don’t even have to make the hollandaise sauce yourself (I don’t), but if you want to give that a go check out Chef Billy Parisi’s video below for full proof hollandaise sauce.
Making your own hollandaise sauce is definitely next level if you’re just a beginner! We’ve tried a few different shop bought versions, and yes you do need to try a few before you find something really good. Sadly, there are a few average ones out there!
We use Kato’s Classic Hollandaise Sauce and just love it. It’s shelf stable until it has been opened so you can always keep a jar in the pantry, and it keeps well in the fridge. I don’t think it’s preservative free though, so if that’s something you avoid check out the video above and give a go at making it yourself – after all, it’s a full proof recipe!
How to make your own Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict has become a staple in our house. So much so, that we now have chickens to keep us in constant supply! We have Eggs Benedict nearly every weekend, and we have still haven’t gotten sick of it.
So the most important part of an Eggs Bene (if you’re not making the hollandaise sauce yourself) is obviously the egg. You need to bring the water to a boil and then lower it to a simmer. It needs to be hot enough to cook it well, but not bubbling so much that it disrupts the egg white. A splash of vinegar seems to work well to help keep the egg together. Although I did see in Chef Billy Parisi’s video that it’s only to keep the smell at bay. 🤷♀️
Now, if you’re not a fan of the runny yolk you can cook it for longer until it’s all firm, but the very best eggs in an Egg Benedicts will always have a runny centre to add a little extra ‘sauce’.
Now I have to confess, since using homegrown eggs I no longer need to use vinegar in the water or even swirl it. For some reason, they just poach beautifully all on their own – I’m not really sure why. But before we got the chickens I would always use a splash of vinegar and swirl the water. In fact, before that even I used to use egg rings in the pan to keep them from spreading out and stay in a somewhat pleasant shape and that works just fine too.
How to tell when your eggs are perfect
So you can use a ladle to lift the egg out and either with your finger (don’t burn yourself on the hot water or steam!), or the end of a spoon. Gently push on the yolk and the white closest to it. The yolk should still be jiggly, if it’s firm you’ve gone too far. But you don’t want any white to be particularly jiggly. You won’t always need to do this – you’ll start to recognise the look of a ‘just right’ egg. And I should point out, this probably isn’t how any chef does it, this is just how us ordinary folk get a poached egg just perfect. 😉
Getting everything else right so the eggs can shine
To make a good crispy bacon, I use rashers and a hot pan. They only take a few minutes each side, and then put them on a folded paper towel to soak up a little of that excess fat. My husband isn’t a fan of this step, but you know, when he’s cooking he doesn’t have to do it!
Cut your english muffins in half, and you can either put them in the toaster or under the grill. Just till they are golden brown. I do the kids a little less golden, because they prefer the bread still quite soft. And then… a little spread of cream cheese. This is totally optional.
I just happen to live in a household where cream cheese on everything is a necessity.
Then just stack it up! Toasty english muffin, little spread of cream cheese, jiggly yolk poached egg, lashings of a good hollandaise sauce, a little salt ‘n’ pepper, and a sprig of parsley. Bacon on the side and voilà. You are done. As good as any café brought Eggs Benedict. Now go and enjoy your meal and daydream about what you can spend all that extra cash on!
Homemade Eggs Benedict
- 8 eggs
- 4 english muffins
- 8 rashers of bacon
- 8 tbsp hollandaise sauce
- 4 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tsp white vine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works well too)
- salt and pepper
- herbs to garnish (parsley or chives look great)
- Fill a deep pan or pot 1/2 to 3/4 full, so you have at least 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Get your pan for the bacon on now also and start heating it so it's nice and hot.
- Once the water has come to a boil, lower the heat till it's just simmering and splash in a teaspoon of vinegar.
- Using a wooden spoon, swirl the water until it's creating a small whirlpool in the centre and lower the first egg into it. You might like to break the egg first into a ladle or small cup to help this. Continue with remaining eggs. The eggs are ready when the white is all firm and the yolk still has a little jiggle in it. Place on a paper towel once cooked.
- Add the bacon rashers once the pan is hot and fry to your likely (I like extra crispy). Place on a paper towel once cooked.
- Cut the english muffins in half and toast lightly. If you're using the oven, you can grill them cut-side up for just a few minutes. Once toasted spread with a thin layer of cream cheese.
- Assemble the dish. Place an egg on each english muffin half, add a tablespoon of hollandaise sauce and top off with some salt, pepper and a little garnish. Place two rashers of bacon on the side and enjoy!