Eggs Benedict

I stopped by Charles Street Market on my way from the office and remembered that I needed English Muffins to make eggs Benedict.

There weren't any fresh English muffins available, and I didn't see any in the frozen area either. But when I asked the cashier, she asked another cashier, and he said there were some in the frozen section. So I went to look again, and had to look at the labels, because I couldn't recognize anything as looking like English muffins. However, I finally - from the labels - found frozen English muffins! When I found them, I realized I had boxed myself into looking for the type of English muffin that comes in a carton that you break open and pop the slices into the oven (e.g. Pillsbury).

On a separate note, it didn't occur to me that I could have made some English muffins from scratch.

Steps I Took:
I got out the white wine vinegar. I took out 8 tsp butter (two half sticks) and placed it in a small pot. Then I finely diced some onion. I boiled water which filled a large pot halfway.

My finely chopped onion...

Butter: Meanwhile, I melted the butter by holding the small pot above the flame and swirled the butter around. I then removed the butter from the pan when all but a small portion had melted. I figured any remaining amount of heat would help melt the rest of it.

Egg Yolks: I separated the five egg yolks from the whites. I cracked open six eggs, but the yolk in the second one broke before I separated it from the white. I set the egg whites and broken egg yolk in the fridge for later use. I beat the egg yolks in the metal pan.

I chopped 1 clove of garlic. I added the chopped garlic (approx. 1 tsp) and chopped onions (approx. 2 tsp) to the egg yolks; I went by the estimate that 1 shallot is composed of 3 cloves, and that 3 cloves of shallot is equivalent to 2 tsp of onion, and 1 tsp of garlic.

Left to right, top to bottom: wrapping to two half sticks of butter, white wine vinegar, bacon, egg mixture, egg carton with a lot of shells and two eggs left, diced onion, finely diced onion
Mixing: I stirred the mixture over the boiling water. I added the butter slowly, but I wasn't so particular about how much I added. I just did it in small amounts. However, since the mixture thickened too quickly, I removed it from the heat and continued mixing. But since it remained thick, I finished mixing it without ever bringing it back to the heat.

I added 1 tablespoon reconstituted lemon juice (which should be the equivalent to the juice of half a medium lemon) and 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Then I mixed the sauce and tasted it. Unfortunately, it had a bad taste, which I suspected came from the lemon. Then I tasted the lemon juice directly from its container, and it tasted gross. I was disappointed. Just to be sure, I tasted the white wine vinegar on its own and it had a strange, but delicious taste; in fact, it subdued the bad lemon juice taste! I set the sauce aside.

I took this picture after I made the bacon. Regardless, it is the completed Hollandaise sauce.
I put an egg into a small pot of boiling water and aimed to let it boil for about 3 minutes. Though I lost track of time, and preferred a runny egg over an overcooked egg, I took it out when I thought it had been in the water long enough. Taking extra precautionary measures, I transferred the poached egg from the boiling water into some cold water.

Bacon: I cut 8 strips* of bacon in half. I fried the 16 halves in my cast iron pan (which concurrently helped season the pan). Then I used Bounty paper to remove the excess fat from the bacon. I also occasionally poured the oil out of the pan. I later filtered this oil into my miscellaneous oil collection. In general, I cooked as many bacon pieces at a time as would fit in the pan without overlap.

Yum, bacon. Here you see fourteen pieces which used to be seven strips. I already gobbled one strip of bacon.
I put 2 English muffins in the oven at 350 degrees. When they were completed, I broke one of them in half and laid on two pieces of bacon. Then I took the poached egg from the cold water and laid it on top. Finally, I poured on the Hollandaise sauce and voila! Eggs Benedict.

*While I cooked 8 strips, I only ate 2 of them today (20100925) and put the rest in a Pyrex container; I ate one by itself and I put one onto the eggs Benedict.

For some reason, I knew I needed to buy fresh lemons, but didn't. Unfortunately, it became the major downfall of the meal. Oh well.

The English muffin.
While the individual tasting of the Hollandaise sauce - on account of the terrible lemon juice - wasn't pleasant, it wasn't so bad together with the bacon, egg, and English muffin.

The egg was on the runny side, but a portion of it had gotten to the nice bright yellow jello looking texture (almost medium).

Next Time:
If I were to make the dish again, I would use fresh lemon and do a taste test on the side before ruining the entire egg and butter mixture.

The bacon. The English muffin.
Cutting an onion:
I read a bit about cutting onions. I also watched a video and found it helpful: "How to Cut, Chop, and Dice an Onion"

I did as instructed:
1) I got out an onion (cut the onion in half from blossom to root end)
2) I cut off blossom end
3) I peeled the skin off
4) I made the horizontal cuts
5) I made the vertical cuts from blossom

But I needed finely chopped onion, so that was just for fun. I took a small portion of this chopped onion and diced it like crazy to get it as fine as I could.

The poached egg. The bacon. The English muffin.
Tidbits I Read:
Eggs Benedict recipe (
Hollandaise Sauce Recipe - I double-checked how much lemon juice I should add. This recipe had four egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, so I reasoned adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to my five egg yolk mixture was reasonable. Further, this recipe agrees with my guess that 1 egg corresponds to 2 tsp butter.
Shallot is the small member of the onion family, with papery brown skin, purple-tinged white flesh, and a flavor resembling a cross between sweet onion and garlic. Look for firm, well-shaped heads that are not sprouting. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month. Shallots pickled in vinegar figure prominently in Asian recipes. - Ingredient Glossary - Shallot (
The Hollandaise sauce. The poached egg. The bacon. The English muffin. Delicious!
Poached egg (
Eggs Benedict (
A substitute for a shallot might be a combination of onion and garlic, approximately 2/3 onion and 1/3 garlic. For example: For one shallot clove substitute 2/3 teaspoon very finely minced onion and 1/3 teaspoon very finely minced garlic. - Substitute for a shallot (
Once peeled, small shallot bulbs will have 2 to 3 individual cloves and large shallots can have up to 6 cloves. In general, if the recipe calls for 1 shallot, use all the cloves within that single shallot bulb. - Shallots (
I usually don't chop the part of the onion I don't use because I might decide to use it sliced instead of chopped. I stick it in a zipper plastic bag and put it in the fridge. It will last a few days that way. If it's going to be longer before I use it, I do chop it and put it in a zip bag and put it in the freezer. - Storing partially used onion (

[20161021 Edit]

Eggs Benedict with Spam (20100929)
Today I wanted to use the left-over Hollandaise sauce and so I made eggs Benedict with Spam!

I heated up an English muffin and some unused Spam I had from when I made scrambled eggs. Then I added a tiny bit of water to the remains of the Hollandaise sauce from 20100925 and gave it a good stir.

While the bacon added a crunchy texture to the dish, the Spam added a nice salty flavor.

[20101009][20161021 Edit]

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