Posted on April 16, 2016
A toasted English muffin covered with thin slices of grilled Canadian bacon.
A dollop of freshly made Hollandaise sauce.
And maybe a sprinkle of chives.
This is the traditional version of Eggs Benedict, endlessly varied by various professional chefs and non-professional cooks (like my husband).
Some people use toasted bread instead of toasted English muffins...bacon or ham instead of Canadian bacon...cheese sauce (Mornay) instead of Hollandaise sauce...paprika instead of chives.
Some people shirr (bake) the eggs instead of poaching them (cooking them without their shells in hot water)...
Some of the most famous variations have their own names, and they largely vary the meat:
Eggs Hemingway feature salmon;
Huevos Benedictos sub in sliced avocado and chorizo, and add salsa on top of the Hollandaise;
Dutch Benedict has scrapple,
Irish Benedict features corned beef.
Hollandaise sauce is made with egg yolk and liquid butter, and it is generally seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. But not all Hollandaise sauces are identical. Some people add acid to the egg yolks with either lemon juice before slowly adding melted butter. Other people add whiskey, sherry, vinegar, or a reduction of vinegar and water rather than lemon juice.
Two different Benedicts are claimed to be involved with the invention of this dish; food historians aren't sure which claim is true (and first!). Suffice to say that the dish apparently got its start in New York City in the late 1800s or early 1900s.
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