2 English muffins
4 slices ham each slice 1/8 inch thick
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 pinch Meyer lemon zest (or any lemon zest)
1 sprig fresh marjoram or sage (or not)
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice (or any lemon juice)
salt to taste
Poke the tines of a fork into the sides of the English muffins, working your way all the way around the muffin to split them in half. Toast until lightly browned.
Fry the ham until browned, but not tough or chewy
Start the Hollandaise sauce as soon as you start poaching the eggs. Setup a double boiler by finding a heatproof bowl that sits on the rim of a pot, then add 1/2″ of water to the pot before covering it with the bowl. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water.
Add the egg yolk and butter into the bowl and turn on the heat to medium. Whisk together until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth.
Add the lemon zest, marjoram and salt and then slowly add the boiling water while whisking constantly (it may be helpful to have someone pour the water for you). Continue whisking until the mixture is thick and creamy (about the consistency of thin gravy) or if you have an instant read thermometer it should read 160 degrees F (71 C). Do not overcook it or it will get lumpy.
Use a towel or oven mitt to remove the bowl from the pot, then whisk in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. The Hollandaise Sauce needs to be used immediately or it will clump. If you need to hold it, you can periodically warm it in the double boiler while whisking to maintain a constant temperature between 150 and 160 degrees F.
To assemble your Eggs Benedict, put the toasted English Muffins on plates, top with a slice of ham, top with a poached egg, then finish with a generous blanket of Hollandaise Sauce. Garnish with paprika and serve immediately.
In the original recipe, there are words of wisdom regarding timing:
“The most important part of making Eggs Benedict is the timing… The timing takes some practice to nail, but if you’re a newbie, I’d recommend toasting the bread and searing the ham while you wait for the water for the poached egg to boil and prep the ingredients for the sauce. Then, as soon as you lower the eggs into the water, start making the sauce, which should be done right around the time you pull the eggs from the water.”
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