Eggs Benedict: a great way to start the morning after. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

This eggs Benedict post has new recipes for Hollandaise sauce and sourdough English muffins but I have to begin with the angry comment on my Tomato Sauce post. A reader was clearly miffed that I would suggest that anyone who works make their own tomato sauce. Well, I do suggest this, but I hasten to add that it’s not homemade or nothing. I’ve bought jarred tomato sauce when I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it myself. It’s more expensive, doesn’t taste as good and isn’t as much fun, but there are only so many hours in the day, and someday there’s just no time.

My second response to Angry Reader is that he should do this: Make Eggs Benedict From Scratch! Yea, verily! And so should you, because the whole impact from flavor to the experience is supreme.  Especially you Charcutepaloozians!  From scratch means: cure your own Canadian bacon, make your own English muffins, whip up a French Hollandaise, and poach an American egg for a multinational Sunday breakfast of your own creation.  Extra points if you raise the pig and the chicken! (Especially the pig because, where this meal is concerned, while the chicken makes a contribution, the pig is committed.) I’m not going to suggest you raise the cow and make your own butter for the Hollandaise, but if that’s an option, by all means!

This From Scratch Challenge is actually deceptively easy and would be a great thing to do if you were having folks over for brunch.  Canadian bacon will keep for two or three weeks in the fridge if it’s been properly prepared and will wrapped, so that’s done way in advance.  You can make the English muffins the day ahead; I think they’re actually better this way, they toast up very nicely.  So all you have to do at meal time is poach the eggs, which will be especially appealing if you use the Bad Ass Perforated Egg Spoon, and make the Hollandaise.  My friend Marlene offers her lickety-split blender version (it’s fast and fabulous).  Another friend has perfected the sourdough English Muffin; the sourdough gives the bread great flavor.  See the below posts for any info on the various components.  I’ve written about it before.

I love love love eggs Benedict, it’s a perfect dish, rich, satisfying, nutritious. And I know for a fact there is no better meal on a Sunday morning when the head is a bit thick and the stomach a bit delicate from the previous night’s revelry.

I’ve set up a Flickr account where people can post shots of their own eggs B. from scratch: http://www.flickr.com/groups/michaelruhlman/ (I’ll start posting pix here too if I can figure out how; I’m a flickr newbie).

Eggs Benedict Defined @ Wikipedia

How To Poach Eggs

How To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

How Make Canadian Bacon

How To Make English Muffins

How To Make a Traditional Hollandaise

How To Make Your Own Butter

How To Make Cultured Butter

And one last update, in response to questions, this is the stovetop smoker I used to smoke the loin.

Blender Hollandaise

from Marlene of CooksKorner

  • 3 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups of butter, unsalted
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of cayenne
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Place the eggs, lemon juice, cayenne and mustard in a blender. Blend for a minute until nicely combined.
  3. Pour the butter through the hole in the top of the lid of the blender, SLOWLY, with the blender at high speed. This should take about 10-15 seconds to blend and thicken. You will hear the change as it thickens. Trust me, you’ll know.

Makes about a cup

Sourdough English Muffins

Recipe from Skip Kennon

  • 1 cup well developed 1:1 sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Corn meal for dusting
  1. Take one cup of your sourdough starter (don’t forget to refresh your basic starter after doing this.) and put it in a non-reactive mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the milk.
  3. In another bowl combine flour, sugar salt with a whisk.
  4. Mix the flour mixture in with the starter-milk mixture. Don’t mix long. It’s okay if there are lumps. They will work themselves out like pancake batter does when cooking.
  5. Cover the muffin batter with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter six hours or overnight.
  6. Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet on medium-low for several minutes. Butter or spray with Pam or oil the inside of your muffin rings if you’re using them (the dough batter is thick enough to make free form muffins).
  7. Mix water with baking soda, dissolve and mix into the batter. Just enough to combine.
  8. Dust the griddle or skillet with corn meal. Put rings on griddle or on skillet if using and put 1/4 to 1/3 cup for each muffin onto the griddle.
  9. Cook 4 to 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. You can remove the rings a minute or so after you’ve turned the muffins over. If you have a needle thermometer, test after 3 minutes on the 2nd side of cooking. You want to get 205 degrees F./96 degrees C. Another option is to finish them in a 350 degree oven, in which case you don’t need to flip them.
  10. Remove the muffins and cool standing on their sides. The sideways cooling reduces their flattening and keeps them airier inside.

Makes 10 to 12 muffins.

If you liked this post on eggs benedict, check out these other posts:

  • The first From Scratch Challenge: BLT
  • Leela of She Simmers shares a fascinating story of a man learning to cook eggs benedict with a chef (some of my posts are referenced here, but check out cool B&W photo with color egg).
  • Badass Perforated Spoon is the best tool around to poach eggs
  • Read about the history of eggs benedict  from the NYT article “Was He the Eggman?”


© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.