You know those little greasy spoons where the ambiance is a little run down with the torn fabric on the banquette, the dated pictures on the walls and the paper place settings? Yeah. Me too. It’s those hole in the wall spots that scream personality, have the friendliest people and serve the best food. We call it The Best Kept Secret.
Rick moved into my apartment in Pape Village, Toronto where there were at least 3 vegetable markets on our block and at least half a dozen of these greasy spoons. We found that each of these restaurants specialized in something: souvlaki, gyros or burgers. Our favorite place was The Donlands. It was THE BEST breakfast place in the world. We walked in and the owner always welcomed us with the warmest smile, sat us at “our” table and we were eating within 15 minutes.
Ah. The old days.
After Rick and I got married, he wanted to mirror my favorite breakfast: Eggs Benedict. We never seemed to have ham on hand, but we always had bacon. Eggs Benedict is a classic with an English Muffin, ham, and a poached egg dripping in hollandaise sauce. Did I want to be his guinea pig while he kept trying? Hell yes! Even a “meh” eggs benedict was fantastic!
I warn you…. eggs benedict is not for the feint of heart. It takes practice and it takes time. Rick nailed it after about the 3rd attempt. I’ll let you in on a secret… His eggs benny are better than the restaurant on The Donlands! The secret? It’s all in the cayenne and the lemon juice. Too much of either and the impact is huge-but with just the right amount of each…it is butt smacking amazing.
Have patience and enjoy the process. You can master this.
Stay sassy friends.
For the Hollandaise Sauce
- 2 sticks Butter
- 2 large Egg Yolks
- 4 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 pinches Cayenne Pepper
For the Eggs Benedict
- 2 tbsp White Vinegar
- 8 large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 4 slices Bacon cook this ahead of time
- 4 English muffins split in half, toasted.
- Make the Hollandaise Sauce: Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until no longer foamy-about 6 minutes. Transfer to a cup and wipe the bottom of the pan.
- Heat 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over medium hat until steaming but not simmering. Combine Egg yolks, 1 tbsp water and t tsp lemon juice in a bowl. Set the bowl on the saucepan-or if you have a double boiler, use that.
- Cook, stirring constantly until the egg mixture is pale yellow and thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl/double boiler from the saucepan and slowly pour in the melted butter a drop at a time at first, then whisk constantly until thick. Whisk in the remaining 2 tsp of lemon juice, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Keep warm by returning the bowl to the top of the saucepan with water with the heat turned off-whisk occasionally.
Make the Eggs Benedict
- Fill a large wide pot with 3 inches of water. Heat over medium high heat until steaming with small bubbles. Reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Stir in the vinegar.
- Crack 4 eggs into small bowls or ramekins. Carefully tip the eggs into the water, spacing them as far apart as possible. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the remaining 4 eggs.
- To assemble, top each English muffin half with bacon slices, cut in half (2 bacon halves per English muffin halves). Lay poached egg on the bacon and top with Hollandaise Sauce. Thin the sauce with warm water if it got too thick. Season with salt and pepper.