To put it simply, there is nothing better for Sunday brunch than a simple eggs benedict. The pairing of sweet brioche bread, runny yolk, salty ham, and a creamy hollandaise sauce send me straight to heaven.
I'll go over a few preparations here to help make a perfect eggs benedict. This is pulled from Elizabeth David's French Provencial Cooking, which I can't recommend enough. First, is the hollandaise sauce which is a combination of 3 egg yolks, 6-8 knobs (knob = 1 tablespoon) of room temperature butter, a splash of lemon juice, a white wine reduction, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
To begin, bring 3 tablespoons white wine and 2 tablespoons water to a boil and reduce to 1 tablespoon of mixture. To this add, 1/2 tablespoon water. You will then add the wine reduction to a mixting bowl which will have your 3 egg yolks and a splash of lemon juice - wisk well. It's best to use a double broiler here but you can improvise as I did.
Bring 1/2 - 1 inch of water to a boil in a sauce pan and place the mixing bowl over it. You don't want a rapid boil but just a simple steady boil to generate steam to cook the sauce. If you get it too hot you'll end up with scrambled eggs.
Begin introducing the knobs of butter one at a time. When one has melted add another and continue. The sauce should begin to thicken but if it is thickening too fast you can add 1/2 tablespoon of water to thin it out.
To finish, add the cayenne pepper to taste.
Julia's Eggs Benedict
2 Poached Eggs
2 Rounds of Brioche
2 Rounds of Country Ham
Salt and pepper
Bring oven to 350 degrees then add brioche rounds to lightly toast. Bring small saute pan to medium heat and sear the ham. Poach eggs as described prior. To plate, place brioche rounds on a plate topped with ham, a poached egg, a spoonfull of hollandaise. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!