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.
Easy Solution: Inexpensive Egg Poaching Pan
Egg-poaching pans are an inexpensive way to make perfect poached eggs. The pan is fitted with non-stick inserts that makes it poaching easy. The result; perfectly round, pretty poached eggs. 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.
For other poaching pans and options, look at these links:
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 and onions work well too. Another favorite add is sliced avocado, because everything is better with avocado!
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 sparkling mineral water with with citrus wedges.
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon & Healthy Hollandaise
- 4 English muffins whole wheat or gluten-free,
- 3 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
- 8-12 ounces smoked salmon
- 8 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 8 pinches paprika
- 1 recipe Yogurt Hollandaise SEE LINK BELOW
- egg poaching pan
- Turn oven on to 200°F. Split muffins in half, toast, butter and keep warm in the oven. Divide the salmon into eight portions for each of the eight muffins halves and set aside.
- Fill poaching pan half full with water. Spray poaching cup inserts with non-stick to insure eggs release easily. Cover with lid and bring water to a simmer. 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. To serve four, poach eggs in two batches for eight eggs. Keep the first batch warm in the oven while the second batch is poaching.
- To serve, top muffin halves with salmon, then the poached eggs, next a few tablespoons of hollandaise and a sprinkle of chives to finish.