A couple of months ago, Hubby and I had a nice weekend getaway to Chicago planned to celebrate his birthday. On our way out of town, we stopped at a popular Canadian-based coffee chain for a snack before catching the train. Unfortunately one of the employees at the coffee shop saw fit to steal my purse from the back of my chair. There went all of the cash I had been saving for Hubby's birthday celebration, as well as my ID, prescriptions, you name it and she took it. With empty hands, we still hopped the train to Chicago. Clearly, a very bad start to a weekend away. The next morning however was another story. The sun was shining as we walked a few blocks from our hotel to have breakfast at Yolk. The interior of Yolk is bring and colorful, and decorated with images of sunny-side-up eggs all over. The restaurant was bustling with people, but the wait wasn't very long. We got a very nice table by the window with the perfect view for people-watching. (Side note: Did you ever notice how many dogs in Chicago wear little boots while they're out for a walk? I imagine it is more to avoid dirty paws in the house, but it's a pretty funny sight.) What really got my day off to a great start was my breakfast. Caprese Eggs Benedict. I mean, really. Can you imagine a more delicious way to start a day? It's a new favorite breakfast of mine and I knew I needed to make a similar version at home.
Making Eggs Benedict is easier than you might think. If you've never made Hollandaise sauce, don't let it intimidate you. Having the confidence to make Eggs Benedict is great skill to have in your back pocket. That way you can make an impressive breakfast for overnight guests or special occasions anytime you like, with minimal anxiety.
Why does Hollandaise sauce seem so intimidating to make? Possibly because we've all experienced less-than-wonderful diner versions in the past...sauce that has separated, scrambled, or just not quite right in some way.
There are a couple of little tricks to help your Hollandaise to be successful.
1. Use a blender. Trying to master the whisking method on your first attempt at Hollandaise may result in injury. Okay, maybe not injury, but the blender makes it MUCH easier to be successful.
2. Use very hot butter.
3. Keep warm in a double-boiler over gently simmering water or in a Thermos until ready to serve.
Caprese Eggs Benedict
For the Hollandaise-
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
For the Eggs Benedict-
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 English muffins (My favorite are Homemade Honey Wheat English Muffins)
Roma tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh Basil leaves
8 eggs, poached (How To Poach an Egg)
Make the Hollandaise-
Place the egg yolks in the container of a blender and blend for a few seconds. Add the hot water and blend a few seconds more.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until melted and bubbling.
Slowly and gradually pour the hot butter into the blender through the small hole in the lid while the blender is running.
Once all the butter has been fully incorporated, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a Thermos or a bowl set over simmering water to keep warm while you poach the eggs.
Split, butter, and toast 4 English muffins. Arrange on 4 serving plates.
Lay a few Basil leaves on each English muffin half. Top with fresh mozzarella, then sliced tomato, and finally a poached egg.
Ladle Hollandaise sauce on top of each egg and serve immediately.