California Eggs Benedict
For President’s Day Weekend, I decided to surprise my parents with a last-minute trip home. I flew in late Friday night and spent the night with my sister, who had helped ensure that my living-the-retired-life parents would be home that weekend. We spent the night plotting our breakfast surprise for the next morning whilst snacking on Baked Goat Brie with Honey and Almonds.
The surprise breakfast menu we devised consisted of California Eggs Benedict with a side of Corned Beef Hash. Since I was back in California, it only seemed appropriate to try making California Eggs Benedict, which is essentially a traditional eggs Benedict with slices of fresh California avocados. Eggs Benedict is my favorite breakfast food by far, although we have never really tried making it properly ourselves at home with the toasted muffins and Hollandaise Sauce. The closest we have gotten was when Natalya made a bread-less, Eggs Norwegian-esque version with her Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Tomato.
Back in Natalya’s and my apartment in NYC, Natalya has always been the resident egg poacher. And while I’ve written and reviewed the instructions on our poached egg blog posts, I have never actually tried my hand at poaching eggs myself. I was a little worried about how it would go but thankfully with Natalya’s notes and some guidance from Thomas Keller, my first attempt actually went decently! I only messed up once and ended up with a semi-poached hard-boiled egg… but that was only because I forgot about one egg when my parents finally woke up and we all had a pretty adorable reunion.
California Eggs Benedict (adapted from Rodland Recipe)
Yields: 4 servings
- 2 T white wine vinegar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 English Muffins, halved and toasted
- 1 large tomato, cut into thick slices
- 1 large Hass avocado, halved and cut into thick slices
- 4 strips of cooked bacon (bake, fry, or microwave according to package instructions)
- Hollandaise Sauce (click for recipe)
I am still working on timing so everything isn’t stone cold by the time people sit down to eat… but it’s still a work in progress. I would recommend making the Hollandaise Sauce first, then cooking the bacon (my sister fried the bacon in a skillet to achieve ultimate crispiness). As we let the bacon strips drain on paper towels, I started poaching the eggs. My sister then toasted the muffins in the oven and cut the avocado and tomato into thick slices. By the time I was done poaching the eggs, all the ingredients were ready to assemble.
To poach the eggs, bring 2 to 4 inches of water to a boil in a large deep saucepan. Add the white vinegar to the water, as it prevent the whites from dispersing in the water and thus help the whites set faster.
Crack an egg into a small bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir the water at the edges of the pan twice in a circular motion to get the water moving, then holding the bowl just above the surface of the water, gently slip the egg one at a time into the simmering water. With a spoon, nudge the egg whites closer to their yolks. This will help the egg whites hold together. Poach the egg until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, and dab on a kitchen towel to remove excess water. Skim and discard any foam that has risen to the top of the water, and cook the remaining eggs one at a time. (The eggs can be poached several hours ahead and stored in ice water in the refrigerator.)
Now, it’s time to assemble the California Eggs Benedict. We experimented a bit with layering and decided that the muffin -> tomato -> bacon -> avocado -> poached egg gave the best presentation.