Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce

When talking special breakfast, nothing hits home like Eggs Benedict. It is the filet mignon of the breakfast menu.

Eggs Benedict is easy to make. Toast an English muffin, heat a piece of Canadian bacon and put it on the muffin. Poach an egg and top with hollandaise sauce. If you put a few drops of vinegar in the poaching water, the eggs will hold their form better. However, it is the hollandaise sauce that scares most people, but this sauce is not difficult to make.

The key is to be patient when you are cooking the egg yolks for the sauce. Do not turn up the heat too high or you will end up with scrambled yolks. Keep whipping the yolks over low heat or cook them over a pot of boiling water. Whip them as they cook until they are thick.

It is the hollandaise sauce that scares most people, but this sauce is not difficult to make.

You also need patience while adding the melted butter because if you add the butter too fast the sauce will break or separate.

Keep in mind that each egg yolk can take up to 4 ounces of butter. When the sauce is thick enough or starts to break, do not add any more butter. This recipe won’t always require exactly 4 ounces of butter.

I use Tabasco sauce instead of the traditional cayenne, which is in many recipes.

Hollandaise sauce also is great on veggies and fish. For dinner, you can make hollandaise sauce for the asparagus. Don’t be afraid. Try this sauce and enjoy.

2 egg yolks
2 t water
8 oz. butter, melted
1 lemon
2-3 drops Worcestershire sauce
2-3 drops Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the water and yolks in a bowl and whip constantly while cooking over low to medium heat until the consistency is thick enough to leave ridges. Remove from the heat and slowly whip in the melted butter until the sauce thickens. If it starts getting shiny or starts to separate, stop adding butter and whip in a few drops of lemon, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Add all the seasonings a little at a time to taste.

Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. To read archived copies of Smitty’s column, visit chefsmitty.com or TheTahoeWeekly.com. Contact him at tmmsmitty@gmail.com or (530) 412-3598.

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Chef Smitty
Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. Smitty has been teaching skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for more than 26 years each winter, and spends his summers working for High Sierra Waterski School since 2000. Smitty has been writing his chef column for Tahoe Weekly since 2005.