Eggs Benedict has always been one of my favorite breakfast dishes, but I never get to eat it. Hollandaise sauce is notoriously difficult to make correctly. My first attempt at making it was when I was dating my husband - so 5 years ago. It was disastrous. I was in a little teeny college kitchen and was still perfecting my cooking skills. I think I was a bit ambitious. Needless to say, I was scared to try again, but now that I am a more confident cook I decided to go for it. Not with Eggs Benedict though - with Eggs Blackstone. And holy cow, they beat out Eggs Benedict. Instead of ham, they use bacon and a tomato slice. Yum! My hollandaise, although imperfect, did not break like it did on my last attempt, so I have improved! Watch out for the temperature on your double boiler. Mine was too high, so the eggs yolks cooked a little bit too much, which gave the sauce a mildly eggy flavor. It was still magically delicious though. The sauce will take a few tries to get right, but hey, better start now so I can enjoy it more often! NOTE: I just used regular fried eggs instead of poached eggs, but I will include the poaching directions for you.
Eggs Blackstone with Meyer Lemon Hollandaise
For the sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (I used regular lemon juice)
3 egg yolks
4 tablespoons boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 slices thick bacon, cut in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice (once again, I used regular)
4 English muffins, halved and toasted
8 heirloom or regular tomato slices
Freshly ground pepper
To make the hollandaise sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and keep warm. In a small nonreactive saucepan over low heat, warm the lemon juice. Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl or in the top of a double boiler and set over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat the yolks, whisking constantly, until they begin to thicken, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the boiling water and whisk until the yolks thicken, about 2 seconds. Add another 1 tablespoon of the boiling water and whisk until the yolks thicken, about 2 seconds. Repeat twice, adding 1 tablespoon of boiling water each time. Whisk in the warm lemon juice and remove the bowl from the heat. Whisking constantly, very slowly pour in the melted butter. Whisk in the salt and cayenne and continue to whisk until the sauce triple in volume, 3-4 minutes. To keep the sauce warm until serving, set it over (not touching) hot water in the saucepan and whisk occasionally.
Preheat a broiler (grill). Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source. Broil (grill) the slices until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and broil until browned on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
Pour water to a depth of 2 inches into a large frying pan and add the lemon juice. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Break 1 egg into a small bowl or cup. Hold the bowl so it is just touching the simmering water and slide the egg into the water. Quickly repeat with the remaining eggs, one at a time, keeping them about 1 inch apart. Adjust the heat to keep the water at a gentle simmer. Cook until the whites are set and the yolks are glazed over but still soft, about 4-5 minutes.
About 1 minute before the eggs are done, place 2 muffin halves, cut side up, on each warmed plate. Top each half with 1 tomato slice and 2 bacon slices. Using a slotted spoon, lift each egg from the simmering water, letting the excess water drain into the pan. Trim any ragged edges of egg white with kitchen scissors. Top each muffin half with 1 poached egg and sprinkle with pepper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the hollandaise sauce over each egg. Serve at once.