Eggs Benny: it's the ultimate brunch dish. This is one of those dishes that people love to order at restaurants because they rarely, if ever, eat it at home. This is completely understandable because this dish, as simple as it looks, can be a real nightmare, even for a professional chef. The Hollandaise can separate. The poached eggs can easily break, or become overcooked. Making a perfect Eggs Benedict can be a real challenge, but it's still worth trying it at home, because with fresh market ingredients you'll probably find that yours will beat any Eggs Benny that you paid too much for at a fancy hotel.
I originally planned to do this recipe with chervil, because Tom asked me for a recipe that uses it. When I went shopping I couldn't find any chervil so I picked up some parsley instead, because yes, I love parsley's flavor.
Poor parsley: the 70's and 80's gave it a bad name because it was used as a tacky little sprinkling around the outside of every plate. That's unfortunate because it has a great subtle flavor that really comes out if you use enough of it. Mixing a good handful into the Hollandaise gives the sauce a fresh, herbaceous flavor. If you want to use chervil instead, just use a little less because it's flavour is stronger.
Start to finish: 45minutes, serves 4
8 organic eggs
4 English muffins
50ml vegetable oil
Montreal steak spice
1. Cut the potatoes into 1cm cubes and boil them in salted water until they are soft enough for a fork to easily run through them. Strain the potatoes and transfer them to a baking tray. Coat the potatoes with some vegetable oil and Montreal steak spice. Mix the potatoes around and them spread them evenly across the baking tray. Roast the potatoes in the oven at 425F until golden brown (about 20 minutes), turning them occasionally. When they look ready, turn the oven down to 200F to keep them warm.
2. To clarifiy the butter, place all the butter in a small sauce pan and slowly melt it on medium/low heat until it separates. Remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. After the butter has rested, skim the foam off the top and then slowly pour the butter into a cup, leaving the white milk underneath behind.
3. Set up a double boiler (a pot of gently simmering water, with either another pot or a metal boil on top of it) and place the yolk of 4 of the eggs into the top pot or bowl. Whisk the yolks over a low heat until they are thick enough to start coating the whisk. Whisk in the juice of one lemon. Add the clarified butter in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Add the Tabasco and Worcestershire to taste. I personally like just a little Tabasco and a lot of Worcestershire. For a more traditional Hollandaise, you can replace the Tabasco with pinch of cayenne pepper.
4. If you're using curly parsley like I am, hold the bunch by the stems and roughly chop the leaves then discard the stems. If you chose Italian parsley, you should pick the leaves off the steams first, then chop the leaves. Add about half a handful of parsley into the sauce and whisk it in. Put some more parsley aside for garnishing the finished plates.
5. Toast the english muffins. Place the back bacon on the tray with the potatoes and keep them in a warm oven while you cooks the eggs.
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add a splash of white vinegar to the water. Drop the eggs gently into the water. You might find it easier to crake the egg into a cup first, then poor the egg into the water. After 6 minutes, gently lift the eggs from the water with a spoon (preferably a slotted spoon) and set them on a tray lined with paper towels.
1. Divide the potatoes evenly among the 4 plates and place the 2 halves of each muffin beside the potatoes
2. Put 2 slices of back bacon , followed by 1 poached on every muffin.
3. Pour the sauce over the eggs, then sprinkle on more fresh parsley.