While the inventor of the original Eggs Benedict is a matter of some culinary dispute (was it the legendary Delmonico’s restaurant on South William Street in Lower Manhattan or the equally legendary Waldorf Hotel?), it is agreed that the first serving went down in New York City in the late 1800s and featured ‘Canadian bacon’. Curiously, here in Canada, we don’t refer to cured pork loin as ‘Canadian bacon’; we call it peameal or back bacon. Chef Craig’s perfect Eggs Benedict has a toasted English muffin, fresh peameal bacon and a generous helping of his Ontario Brown Butter & Orange Hollandaise.
Chef Craig’s perfect Eggs Benedict has a toasted English muffin, fresh peameal bacon and a generous helping of his Ontario Brown Butter & Orange Hollandaise.
In a small sauce pot, simmer the butter on medium heat until it browns slightly on the bottom. Remove from heat and allow to settle (the butter should be clear and golden brown).
Separatethe egg yolks into a stainless steel bowl and add the orange juice, vinegar and pinch of salt.
Place the egg mixture over a double boiler and make sure the water is simmering with a nice amount of steam, but not vigorously boiling. Using a whisk, beat the egg mixture until doubled in volume and noticeably thick. With constant whisking and enough heat, this process should take 3-4 minutes
Remove the egg mixture from the heat and strain the butter through a sieve into a large measuring cup for easy pouring
Slowly drizzle the butter into the egg yolk mixture while maintaining a constant whisking motion until fully emulsified.
Adjust for seasoning and serve over poached eggs.
The secret to poaching eggs properly is adding strong white vinegar to the water before adding the eggs at a ratio of ½ cup of vinegar to 2 litres of water.
Another trick I use is to crack all of the eggs into ramekins before adding to the simmering water. That way you can avoid any broken eggs in the poaching liquid.
Next, I use a wooden spoon and force the water around the pot in circles before gently adding each egg. The moving water helps to keep the egg whites very compact and looking their best. The eggs should take 4 minutes to cook before draining on a paper towel with a slotted spoon.