Whether Mother’s Day, New Year’s Day or I Survived Another Week Day, Eggs Benedict makes for a special brunch or weekend breakfast. Instead of traditional Canadian bacon, I use smoked salmon to top toasted English muffins with poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and a sprinkle of bright green chives. Instead of butter-based Hollandaise, I make a lighter, yogurt-based Hollandaise that is healthier and more waistline friendly while still fantastic.
Easy Poached Eggs
Recently a friend told me she loved Eggs Benedict but never attempted to cook it because she was intimidated to poach eggs. Poaching eggs the traditional way takes a little practice, sliding cracked eggs into a pan of simmering water while trying to swirl the white around the yolk for a nicely shaped poached egg. They often end up looking like a ragged mess. Thankfully, there is an easier way.
Inexpensive Egg Poaching Pan
Egg egg-poaching pan are an inexpensive way to make perfect poached eggs. They are fitted with a non-stick insert that makes it simple. The result; perfectly round, pretty poached eggs.
If you like poached eggs or Eggs Benedict, buy one of these inexpensive pans. Fill the pan part way with water, bring to a simmer with the lid on, then quickly but carefully crack eggs into the non-stick cups keeping the yolks intact. I give my insert cups a short spritz of non-stick spray for insurance.
To make it easy, break eggs into individual cups or small dishes first, then slide the eggs into the poaching cups. Get the lid back on as quickly as possible and time for your preference. I usually poach my eggs for 3 ½ minutes. You may need to experiment to find what’s perfect for you. The white should be cooked and solid, the yolk still a little soft and runny when you break into it with your fork.
Make the healthy yogurt-based Hollandaise first and keep warm on the stove top. While you’re at it, warm some plates in the oven. It makes a difference in keeping your food warm to the table.
If you don’t like smoked salmon, pile up thinly sliced deli ham, turkey or Prosciutto. For a vegetarian version, use sautéed baby spinach, kale, or whole artichoke heart bottoms. Thinly sliced and sautéed sweet red bell peppers work well too.
For a Mexican twist, top the Eggs Benedict with a few spoonfuls of your favorite salsa and add a sprinkle of grated Jack, Cheddar or Queso Fresco cheese.
For garnish, top your eggs off with finely chopped chives and a pinch of paprika for color. Any way you make it your own, enjoy. For a real celebration, serve with a glass of Champagne, sparkling wine, or freshly squeezed orange juice.
For more recipes and tips on poaching eggs and Hollandaise try these links:
Poaching eggs the old fashioned way, at What’s Cooking America
Traditional Eggs Benedict, Simply Recipes
All butter, traditional Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce, from Simply Recipes