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Recipe: Eggs Benedict

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Improved Eggs Benedict
Dave Scantland
While making Eggs Benedict for two is a bit time-consuming, you can make the sauce and poach the eggs ahead of time. Using crisp rounds of bread and julienned ham makes this version of Eggs Benedict easier to eat (and I think, better) than the traditional English muffin and Canadian bacon.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 recipe Hollandaise sauce
  • 4 small slices firm French or Italian bread, about 3/8 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (or more)
  • 4 ounces ham, sliced into matchsticks or julienned
  • Chopped chives or parsley to garnish, if desired

Preparation:

1. Poach the eggs according to these instructions, chilling as described in Step 9.

2. Have the Hollandaise sauce made. Cover and keep warm, stirring occasionally.

3. If you have a warming drawer in your oven, turn it on. Otherwise, preheat your oven to its lowest setting. It should just be warm (170 degrees F). Have a small sheet pan with a rack ready.

4. Using a biscuit cutter (or other round cutter about 3 inches in diameter), cut rounds from the slices of bread. Spread both sides of rounds with butter.

5. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium low heat. Add the bread rounds and fry until bread is golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Flip the rounds over and fry the other side until golden brown. When bread is browned on both sides, remove from pan and place on the prepared rack. Place in the warm oven.

6. In the same skillet, add a teaspoon or so of butter and melt over medium heat. When pan is hot, add the sliced ham and cook, stirring, until warmed through. Remove the ham to a small heat proof plate or bowl and place in the warm oven.

7. When ready to serve, reheat the poached eggs as described in Step 10 of the poaching directions.

8. Place two rounds of bread on each of two plates. Top each slice with a quarter of the ham and a poached egg. Top with Hollandaise and garnish with the optional herbs, if using.

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