Alton Brown is arguably the king of the home kitchen. With innovative techniques and a delivery method unlike any other celebrity chef, Alton is the cooking equivalent of Bill Nye the Science guy. In fact, I’d say Alton Brown made a huge impact in my decision to learn to cook from watching shows like Good Eats and Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network.
When I learned Alton Brown’s cooking was the challenge this week, I was instantly excited. I tried different Alton-inspired recipes all week, including single serving chicken pot pie and guacamole – but neither made me feel like I was actually channeling Alton. I immediately knew what I wanted to make – eggs benedict.
I’ve actually never attempted to make hollandaise sauce or poach an egg before, so I was especially excited to get started and actually learn something new in cook in the kitchen. I can officially say this recipe will now be a permanent addition to my arsenal of frequently cooked meals.
Bring a pan with an inch and a half of water to a simmer and add the eggs into individual bowls in the bottom to help the eggs keep their shape. Simmer for about 4-5 minutes – mine were a touch over done, so be sure to check how fluid they are at about the 3 minute mark.
While your eggs are poaching, start the hollandaise sauce.
This recipe, while not necessarily difficult, does require a lot of attention to cooking time, most notably at the beginning while making the hollandaise sauce. Begin by separating 3 yolks into a sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper.
Whisk quickly of medium low heat for 10-15 seconds at a time – if the stove is too hot, it will begin to scramble the eggs, so you want to be sure to not leave the yolks on the burner for too long. Go for a custardy consistency. Then just add in the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
Once the hollandaise is nicely thick and smooth, add in the sugar and a dash more of cayenne and lemon juice.
Meanwhile, if you desire, cook up some Canadian bacon and toast some English muffins in the oven. When eggs and sauce are ready, serve right away!
If you aren’t going to serve the eggs right away (or poorly plan the time it will take to cook the hollandaise) you can pop them into an ice bath to keep them from cooking more and reheat in some warm water right before serving.
Alton Brown’s Eggs Benedict
- Bring 1 and a half inches of water to just below a simmer. Place 4 custard bowls in the bottom so they are covered with about 1/4 inch of water. Pour in white vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F to toast the English muffins. Heat a pan over medium heat and julienne the Canadian bacon. Add to the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through while you prepare the eggs and hollandaise sauce.
- As the water is heating up, turn a stovetop burner on to low to medium low heat. In a small sauce pan, combine 2 egg yolks with a tablespoon of water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper. Stir well to combine, then heat for 10-15 second intervals to warm but not scramble the yolks.
- Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time while continuing to only heat for 10-15 seconds at a time as the butter melts and is incorporated into the sauce. The sauce's consistency should be smooth and viscous.
- When the water has reached about 200°F, use another bowl to carefully drop each egg into the individual custard bowls. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until white have set.
- Stir in the sugar, salt, and remaining lemon juice and cayenne pepper into the hollandaise sauce.
- Remove each egg from the warm water with a slotted spoon. Let drain on a paper towel for a few seconds prior to removing the rough edges.
- Arrange cooked Canadian bacon on top of a toasted English muffin. Place a poached egg on top and had a few spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately with fresh fruit and hot coffee. Enjoy!