Southern Eggs Benedict

Boy, I have been terribly unproductive this spring break.  Terribly.  I guess I needed to rest…..really rest, from work, school (I take classes too-but for 2 weeks am “between classes”), and, to some degree, from blogging.  I’ve still been thinking and planning where my blog is concerned, but as far as cooking, writing, and photography, not so much.  I think I’m back from hiatus, though, so here goes nothing.

A couple of weeks ago, Pioneer Woman made eggs Benedict on her Food Network show.  It made me think about how much I love eggs Benedict and how long it had been since I’d made it.  Probably a year or more.  It also made me think about the fact that there are certain aspects of traditional eggs Benedict that I am not crazy about.  Things like English muffins (I like them okay, but they’re not my favorite) and Canadian bacon (meh).  The last couple of times I’ve made eggs Benedict, I’ve kept the English muffin but used oven-crisped proscuitto instead of Canadian bacon.  Let me tell you, that was a stroke of pure genius (I have them from time to time).  However, when thinking about PW’s show, I started thinking, “How could I really make this my own dish?  How, how, how?”  Then this came to my head: Southern eggs Benedict.  Biscuit instead of English muffin.  Fried egg instead of poached.  I kept the proscuitto, which is obviously not southern..but it is GOOOOOD.

Now, the week after I came up with this concept, I saw a story in the Times-Free Press about perfect boiled eggs.  It featured a recipe for Southern Eggs Benedict.  Great.  I read the post, though, and found that, (a) it was still made with an English muffin; (b) the eggs were hard-boiled; and (c) the pork product was country ham (great idea, by the way).  So, I don’t feel like I’m stealing anyone’s idea (besides, I’m not, so THERE!).  Here’s my take.

Start by making the biscuits from my last post.  While the biscuits are in the oven, place an ounce of proscuitto per person on a sheet tray.  Place in the oven for 10 minutes if you like it crispy (I do) or 5 minutes for less crispy proscuitto.  Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter and allow it to cool slightly.

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Preheat a 10-inch frying pan over medium heat and spray lightly with olive oil or cooking spray.  Crack 4 eggs into the pan (if you are serving 4 people, you will need to do 2 batches of eggs).  Salt the eggs lightly and turn the heat down to low or medium-low, depending on the heat of your burner (this is my power burner, so I turn it down to low).  Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes or until eggs are set the way you like them.

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While the eggs are cooking, make the hollandaise.  This is not traditional hollandaise, which I can’t make for the life of me-it separates every time.  Blender hollandaise = perfect results every time.  Place the yolk of two eggs and the juice from one lemon into your blender.  Blend on low until combined, then remove the cap from the top of the blender and very slowly drizzle in the butter to emulsify the mixture (if you pour it in all at once, it won’t emulsify!).  Add a couple of pinches of salt and, if you like, a tiny bit of cayenne (I’m not a fan so I leave it out).

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This is the finished hollandaise. I am amazed by how yellow the yolks from my beautiful eggs (from the backyard of a guy a couple of streets over) make this sauce!

When the biscuits are done, split one biscuit per person and top with one ounce of the crisped proscuitto.  Top with a fried egg on each biscuit half then pour hollandaise over the top.  Serve quickly while it’s still warm!

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This was definitely a good idea.  The tender biscuit, in my opinion, is the perfect sub for the English muffin.  I love the crispy proscuitto….it’s so similar to bacon, yet just a little different.  Fried eggs are much easier and less fussy than poached (which, for the record, I like…but I really don’t care for all the boiling water, blah blah blah…), and the lemony hollandaise finishes it perfectly.  Yum!

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Next time I make this I'm going to let the butter cool off a little more. I think the hollandaise would have been thicker if the butter had been slightly cooler....

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