Have you ever been to a restaurant and noticed an item on the menu that you’ve heard good things about, and you would love to try it, but you’re simply too hungry to take that kind of gamble? Because whatever you order at this moment must be so deliciously awesome that nothing will stop you from consuming every bite (and possibly licking your plate)?
That is the story of my life whenever we go out to breakfast.
It’s the only problem I seem to have with mornings: I wake up completely ravenous. I’m not sure why this happens to me, unless maybe my ninja-like sleeping style (kicks, punches, the whole nine yards) completely sucks away all my energy reserves from last night’s dinner. But whatever the reason, you can put money on the fact that I’ll be game for a big filling breakfast, so much so that I’m not mad about adding my name to a 40 person deep wait list if it means that sometime in the near future I get to have over easy eggs that are cooked to perfection.
The only problem is, that’s what I always order for breakfast: 3 eggs over easy, white toast, hash browns, and (sometimes) bacon. I’ve been told that that’s a “man’s breakfast” and that I “eat my eggs like a man,” but I can’t help it if that combo just works. I order it because, without fail, it always tastes good. I may stray every once in a while and order french toast, but there has to be a lot of syrup, sweet cream cheese, and fruit to get me on board. Otherwise, I just stick with what I know and what I know is my awesomely manly breakfast.
But even if I know what I’ll probably order, I still browse over the entire menu. And I read about all these delicious-sounding foods I’ve never had the
patience opportunity to try before. And I sit there debating my options, and I may even go as far as to ask if I can order my food last, as if those few extra few seconds to ponder might just give me the confidence I need to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Fast forward to twenty minutes later and there I am, scooping my tried-and-true over easy eggs on my toast all manly-like, wondering what my breakfast might have been now that daze de hungriness has begun to subside.
Then this past weekend, I had had enough. I was thisclose to making my usual breakfast when I thought, you know what? I’ve already got everything I need to make a simple version of Eggs Benedict. Why not give it a try? At least if I make it in the safety of my own home there wouldn’t be any fuss or a disappointed waitress to deal with if it turns out badly. It’s not like I would go hungry – cause I mean, there’s always cereal.
So I went for it. I didn’t have any bacon or meat in the house to make a “traditional” eggs benedict, so I served it up vegetarian style – which honestly is more to my liking, anyway. I’m probably alone here on this, but I don’t like to tarnish my eggs with meat. In my world, grains and veggies are the egg’s best friends.
It only took me one try (!!!) to master the perfect poached egg – which is impressive, considering I still can’t cook over easy eggs correctly. There’s a thorough explanation of how I did it (plus a link to an awesome tutorial video) in the recipe instructions below.
And my breakfast experiment went over so well that I’ve had Eggs Benedict three times so far this week. The only thing that stopped me from making it yet again was that I ran out of eggs. And avocado.
But I made sure they’re on my shopping list for this week.
My absolute favorite part about Eggs Benedict?
Cutting the yolk.
Probably not that big of a surprise given my love affair with over easy eggs, but seriously, a creamy yolk is a thing of beauty.
I think I finally found a third option for breakfast. And I can’t wait to see the look on our regular waitress’s face when I order it, too.
Easy Vegetarian Eggs Benedict
For the Hollandaise Sauce
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.
- Whisking the egg mixture vigorously, slowly pour in the melted butter. Continue to whisk until sauce is thick and creamy.
- Loosely cover bowl and set aside while poaching eggs.
For Poaching the Eggs
- Watch this video on how to poach an egg - it's amazing! The following written instructions go over the same methods.
Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a simmer, but not boiling. This means small bubbles on the bottom and very few bubbles breaking the surface. Depending on your cooking unit, this should happen on medium heat or between 240/260 F.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl, then set within easy reach of the saucepan.
- Using a large spoon, stir the simmering water so that it creates a small whirlpool in the center of the pot. Pick up the bowl with the raw egg and quickly drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool.
- Let the egg cook in the water, untouched, for 2 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the egg out of the water and gently touch the white and yolk. The whites should be firm but the yolk should move freely under the cooked surface.
- If needed or desired, you can cook the egg in the water for another 30 seconds to achieved the doneness you'd prefer.
- When finished with an egg, set aside until you're ready to add to a sandwich. Use a slotted spoon to remove any film on the top of the water and then repeat the poaching steps with the next egg.
Putting it all Together
- While the eggs are cooking, toast the English muffins and slice up the tomato and avocado.
- Assemble the sandwiches starting with a toasted English muffin, then a tomato slice, followed by avocado, then topped with a poached egg. Drizzle Hollandaise on top.
- Using a knife, gently break the surface over the yolk. Serve immediately.
* Poaching works best with very fresh eggs! When shopping for eggs, try to grab the carton near the back of the shelf - those will be the freshest.
If you have eggs at home and aren't sure where they're at on the freshness scale, you can test them by filling a bowl with cool water, about 4 inches deep. Drop the egg into the water. If the egg lays flat on its side along the bottom of the bowl, it's very fresh and ideal for poaching. If the egg is standing up on its point in the water, then it's shelf life is nearly past. You can poach them, but you might be left with a lot of excess egg white in the water (instead of it all sticking together). If the egg is floating, throw it out - it's spoiled.