We chanced upon ready-to-serve English muffins at the supermarket and all I could really think of was eggs benedict. What are Eggs Benedict? It’s a bread and egg dish prepared grilling some English muffins, topping them with ham and poached eggs, then smothering with Hollandaise sauce. Who is Benedict? Wikipedia has a compilation of differing accounts:
In an interview in the “Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death, Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claimed that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.” Oscar Tschirky, the famed maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast.
Craig Claiborne, in September 1967, wrote a column in The New York Times Magazine about a letter he had received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American then residing in France. In it, Montgomery related that the dish was created by Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920 at the age of 86. Montgomery also included a recipe for eggs Benedict, stating that the recipe had been given to him by his mother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.
The New York Times Magazine article was disputed while a cookbook author describes “a traditional French dish named œufs bénédictine, consisting of brandade (a puree of refreshed salt cod and potatoes), spread on triangles of fried bread.”
Click here if you’re interested in the history of the dish. You might want to check out the footnotes (loads of info) and the list of variations for preparing this rich, comforting egg dish. Or, scroll down for preparation instructions.
Heat the English muffins and ham on a grill.
Arrange the ham slices on the English muffins.
Place a poached egg on top of the ham slices.
Drizzle some Hollandaise sauce over the eggs, ham and English muffins.
I like to sprinkle my Eggs Benedict with cayenne pepper before digging in.
Cooking time (duration): 10 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 2