Most accounts trace the origins of this dish to Delmonicos, an iconic Gilded Age restaurant in New York City.  But who was Benedict?  The recipe below gives instructions for poaching eggs in a tall, 6 quart saucepan but, if a poaching pan is available, it’s much easier.

2 cups distilled white vinegar

2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 slices Canadian bacon

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon Tabasco

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

8 eggs, cracked into separate small bowls

4 English muffins, split and lightly toasted

paprika or cayenne pepper, for garnish


1.Bring 16 cups water to a boil in a tall 16 quart saucepan over high heat.  Add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt, lower heat to medium, and bring to a simmer.

2.  Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat.  Add the bacon and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Remove skillet from the heat.

3.  Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, Tabasco, 4 teaspoons warm water and the remaining salt in a blender.  Blend at medium speed while slowly drizzling in the melted butter to make the hollandaise.  Transfer to a bowl, cover with foil and set aside.

4.  Swirl the simmering vinegar water with a spoon to create a whirlpool.  Carefully slide each egg into the water and poach until just firm, about 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a paper towel to drain.

5.  Divide the toasted muffin halves between 4 plates and top each half with 1 slice of the reserved bacon and 1 poached egg.  Spoon about 3 tablespoons hollandaise over each egg, sprinkle with cayenne or paprika and serve.

from James Oseland, Saveur: The New Comfort Food

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