My husband LOVES Eggs Benedict. Every time we go to a restaurant for breakfast or brunch, he’s looking for Eggs Bennie on the menu. Why? Firstly, because it has that amazing creamy Hollandaise sauce on top of soft runny poached eggs. Secondly, because I never made Hollandaise at home. It was one of those things that was shrouded in cooking mystique, like soufflé or pavlova. Unless you bought the little pouch of mystery powder from the grocery store, containing starches and who knows what. I had never agreed to go that route. And you were still pulling out another little saucepan and stirring constantly – yeah, no thanks!
Also, Eggs Bennie needs a slice of ham. Another thing that I never used to have at home. I got violently ill when I was a kid from eating too much of the brown sugar and mustard-rubbed fat cap on my mother’s traditional ham roast. Since then, ham isn’t very high on my “Favourite Meats” list. I can eat it, but certainly wouldn’t choose it for myself. Plus, the ham choices were rather limited in most grocery stores unless they had a custom cut deli counter. I wasn’t a fan of paying big money for 6 paper thin pre-formed ham slices in way too much plastic packaging. And of course, as a traditionally trained dietitian, I thought that ham had too much salt anyways. I’m over that misconception now, but I still don’t use much ham. To the disappointment of my German-heritage husband, for whom all kinds of ham and other processed meats are part of his cultural upbringing.
Well, all that has changed! My local farmer has started producing the most wonderful ham from her herd of Berkshire pigs. It’s real ham, funny shaped slices, fat running through the pieces, sliced thick enough to be a substantial presence, just the perfect amount of saltiness. I started buying it regularly to satisfy hubby’s desire for good ham. Then, of course, one Saturday morning, he asked me if we could make Eggs Benedict….
At first I balked. No way! Too much fuss, too many dishes! Poaching eggs? Making sauce? English muffins? What a pile of fussy-work!
Well, ingenious problem-solver that he is, he went to the internet and searched “easy Hollandaise sauce”, and up popped a recipe that is basically as simple to make as my stick blender mayo recipe. Who knew? I was still reluctant, but he pushed me into trying it. Holy cow!!! How did I not know that this magical elixir existed that elevates everything that it touches with lemony, fatty, buttery incredibleness?
Now, I can whip out Eggs Bennie at home with about the same amount of effort as our usual Breakfast Stack. It took keeping a few new items in the house (Organic English Muffins for him, Low Carb Pitas for me) and acquiring a slotted spoon for scooping poached eggs, but now I’m fully equipped.
To make Eggs Benedict more keto-friendly, I sub out the English Muffin. I have built my ham, poached egg and sauce stack on sliced fresh tomatoes which was lovely, or on a small keto bun, wrap or pita bread. The more bready items are better for sopping up the egg yolk and sauce. Either way, bring a spoon to the table, because you won’t want to leave even a smidge of this delicious sauce behind on your plate.
You will feel full for hours after eating this breakfast. The high fat content makes for a high satiety level. No hangry spells for me!
The Hollandaise sauce recipe makes more than you need for a breakfast for two, even when spread as generously as we like it. The leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated gently in a microwave to go on the next day’s breakfast, or on steamed veggies, or over hardboiled eggs or almost anywhere that you might use mayo for dipping. It’s basically butter/lemony mayo.
Eggs Bennie for two takes 7 eggs, so it seems extravagant. And it kind of is. Not for everyday, but for a weekend brunch, it’s the bomb!
Have everything ready before you start cooking the eggs. Make the sauce, toast your bread or bread substitute (or slice tomatoes if you’re eating clean keto), have the ham out and ready to go. All this can be done while the poaching water is heating up.
Poach your eggs in a large frying pan with about an inch of water in it, simmering gently. Cold, fresh eggs work best, as you want the egg white to start coagulating as soon as it hits the hot water. Crack and drop each egg into the water gently and from just a half inch above the water’s surface. You want it to slip into the water with minimal disruption to the shape of the egg. Cook for only a few minutes until the whites appear solidified. Lift out with a slotted spoon to allow for the extra water to drain away.
You need three yolks for the sauce. Keep the egg whites if desired to make cloud bread, meringues (recipe here), or keto crack-ola (recipe here). Or toss them. The valuable nutrients in an egg are mostly in the yolks anyways…
Use an immersion blender with a tall container that fits it snugly. A tall wide-mouth Mason jar would work.
Leftover sauce can be reheated in the microwave, as it will solidify in the fridge. Microwave on a low heat and for just a few seconds (15-20 seconds), then stir it up and add a few more seconds if needed. Don’t overcook it.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (smooth, not grainy)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Separate egg yolks and add to tall container for immersion blending.
- Add lemon juice, mustard and salt.
- Melt butter in glass measuring cup in microwave until just warm and melted.
- Place immersion blender into bottom of container and turn on to whip the egg yolk mixture until just blended (a few seconds). With the blender still running, gradually pour in the melted butter. Move the blender up and down a few times to incorporate all of the liquid butter. When you have a smooth creamy yellow thick sauce, you are done! Don't overbeat it.
- Spoon the sauce over your Eggs Benedict or whatever else needs this awesomeness added to it!