Quick Tips for the Perfect Eggs Benedict

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  • white wine vinegar
  • egg yolks
  • fresh lemon juice
  • salt
  • smoked Canadian bacon, sliced
  • large eggs
  • unsalted butter, clarified
  • English muffins, split, toasted
  • shredded lemon peel (optional)

The perfect classic Eggs Benedict requires the freshest eggs and the best butter, according to Philip Jones, president of Jones Dairy Farm, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

It’s a rich dish that can be prepared in advance, Jones says. Cook the eggs until they’re just done and immerse them in a bath of half water, half ice. Before serving, re-immerse them again into simmering water for 1½ to 2 minutes.

“You look like a hero because you’ve made this magnificent breakfast or brunch and people are in awe of how you’ve done it. It’s a great restaurant trick,” he says.

  1. Clarify the butter: Melt it and separate it, but let it cook slowly until it has a white golden color. By this point the milk solids will cling to the bottom of the pan, and you’ll have a very clear clarified butter that has an additional flavor development because it’s been cooked and all the moisture has evaporated from the butter itself. A pound of butter takes about 30 minutes to clarify on a low to medium heat.
  2. Make the hollandaise: Whisk egg yolks with lemon juice and a tablespoon of water (for three egg yolks). Whisk until very light and stiff over heat—3 to 4 minutes. Add the warm clarified butter, stirring constantly and whisk until sauce has thickened and heat of butter cooks the egg yolks.
  3. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  4. Pan fry Canadian bacon in a skillet or on a griddle until golden brown; 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. Poach eggs: Slowly break them into a small dish (this helps them keep their shape) then put them into simmering water with vinegar, which also helps the eggs’ shape (½ cup of vinegar to 1 quart of water). Poach the eggs until they’re done—4 to 5 minutes (3 to 4 minutes if shocking and reheating) or to touch—there should be a moderate degree of resistance when checking the egg. If the yolk breaks, it obviously wasn’t cooked long enough.
  6. Lightly butter the toast and top with Canadian bacon. Place one egg on each muffin half using a slotted spook, then pour hollandaise sauce over eggs. Top with lemon peel if desired.
To be considered for next month’s "Step by Step," contact Restaurant Mangement’s managing editor, Amanda Baltazar, at Amanda@rmgtmagazine.com.

Philip Jones is the great-great grandson of Jones Dairy Farm founder Milo Jones. Jones trained as a chef in Paris at La Varenne, the famous French cooking school. Following his experience in France, he moved back to the U.S. where he worked for more than 10 years honing his skills as a professional chef. In 1991, Jones joined Jones Dairy Farm and became president and CEO in 2001.