Who was Benedict and why did he like eggs so much? Whoever he was, he was pretty smart. Ham and eggs are staples in almost every society. Putting them together with hollandaise on a toasted English muffin was a pretty smart move.
You knew all these recent posts about eggs was leading somewhere, didn't you?
The origins of Eggs Benedict are up for grabs. Some claim that stock broker Lemuel Benedict invented it as a special order when he wandered into the Waldorf Hotel, New York, in 1894. Another source claims it was Commodore E.C. Benedict. Most likely it's an American variation on an old French recipe, oefs benedictine. If that's the case, it could have been developed as early as the Renaissance.
Whatever the origin, Eggs Benedict makes a great brunch, but it's equally good as dinner. I like serving it with fresh sliced fruit, such as oranges or peaches.
I will admit that I like Eggs Benedict more than my wife or kids do, but hey. I gotta cook for me once in a while. It can't all be about them, can it?
8 eggs, poached
4 English muffins, split into halves
8 slices of Canadian bacon or ham
Make the Hollandaise sauce and set it aside with plastic wrap over it to keep it from forming a skin on top. Poach the eggs, keeping them in warm water until ready to use.
Split the English muffins in half and place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Lay a slice of the Canadian bacon (or ham) on each muffin and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until toasted and warm. Turn off the broiler, move the baking sheet to the middle rack and leave in the oven to keep warm.
Drain the poached eggs thoroughly on a kitchen towel and place one egg on each muffin, right over the ham. Spoon the sauce over the eggs, sprinkle with a dash of paprika, and serve immediately. There should be enough flavor in the sauce that you won't have to add more salt or pepper.
Serves four adults, or two adults and three kids with some left over for the next day.
You can omit the olive oil if you want to. I just like the subtle flavor it adds.