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Eggs Benedict

from Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford

4 Canadian bacon slices
2 Teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Hollandaise Sauce:
2 Egg yolks at room temperature
2 Teaspoons heavy cream at room temperature
1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 Cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and heated until bubbling but not brown (see note)
2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice at room temperature
1 Teaspoon white wine vinegar

2 English muffins
4 Eggs
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh tarragon or dill for garnishing (optional)

Serves 2

This and many other
wonderful recipes may be found in
Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
by Mary Corpening Barber and
Sara Corpening Whiteford from Chronicle Books

Wonderful for Valentine's Day, Easter, Mothers Day, or any time you want to treat your sweetheart to breakfast in bed, eggs Benedict is a good old-fashioned splurge we all deserve every now and then.
When it comes to the egg-rich hollandaise sauce, there's no need for a double boiler. Our foolproof blender hollandaise ensures you won't end up with "scrambled eggs"-and tastes every bit as luxuriant as the traditional labor-intensive version. Better yet, we've broken down this recipe into 10 easy steps. Your eggs Benedict will be perfect every time.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

1) Put the Canadian bacon in a large nonstick skillet. Set over a burner but do not turn on the burner. Put 2 ovenproof plates in the oven to warm.

2) Fill a medium nonstick skillet nearly to the rim with water. Add the kosher salt and vinegar and bring to a simmer over high heat. Alternatively, fill an egg poacher with water and season with salt.

3) To make the Hollandaise Sauce: Put the egg yolks, cream, the 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and cayenne in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and frothy, 2 to 3 seconds. With the blender still on high speed, add the hot butter in a thin, steady stream, then add the lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Season with kosher salt to taste and a generous pinch of sugar. Transfer the sauce to a microwave-safe cup or bowl.
Alternatively, put the sauce in the top pan of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

4) Cut the English muffins in half and lightly toast them.

5) Carefully break an egg into a cup and slide it into the simmering water, or into the cups of an egg poacher. Repeat with the remaining eggs. (Arrange the eggs in a clockwise pattern in the skillet so you will know which one you put in first. Remove the eggs in the same order.) Remove the skillet from the heat and cook until the yolks are medium-firm, 3 to 4 minutes.

6) Meanwhile, heat the Canadian bacon over high heat until slightly crisp, about 1 minute.

7) Place 2 English muffin halves on each of warmed plates.

8)Top each muffin half with a slice of Canadian bacon.

9) Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift out each egg and drain over the skillet. Blot the eggs lightly with a paper towel. Gently place 1 egg on top of each Canadian bacon slice.

10) If not keeping the hollandaise sauce warm in a double boiler, warm it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and pour generously on top of the eggs and around the English muffins. Season with pepper to taste and garnish with tarragon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: We heat the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave until it begins to boil. In order for the egg yolks to thicken the sauce, the butter must be very hot and the egg yolks, cream, and lemon juice must be at room temperature when you begin blending.

Do-ahead: Believe it or not, hollandaise sauce can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.To reheat the sauce, warm it in the microwave in 10-second increments until warm but not hot. (If the sauce gets too hot, it will separate.) Alternatively, put the sauce in the top pan of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
When entertaining, the eggs can be cooked several hours in advance. After poaching the eggs, transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Store them in the ice water in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat the eggs by lowering them into a pan of simmering water for about 45 seconds.
Drain and serve as directed.

Variations: Substitute smoked salmon for the Canadian bacon and top with blanched asparagus tips, then with the eggs.

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