I love brunch. It’s one of those meals that manages to bring all of my favorite foods and flavors together on one plate. Eggs, cheese, bread, coffee...how can one say no to these things? Part of the reason, in my opinion, that so many people enjoy brunch is because of the comforting dishes that are offered. From French toast to savory quiche and big mugs of coffee there is something that appeals to just about everyone.
One of my favorite brunch offerings has always been eggs benedict. Seeing eggs benedict on the menu at a restaurant conjures a kind of siren-call reaction in my soul and I cannot resist. The creamy, silky hollandaise that blankets two perfectly poached eggs with brightly colored yolks that soak slowly into the English muffin base is nothing short of perfection. And really, how can you go wrong with anything that is covered in an emulsion of egg yolks and butter?
As if you needed any more reasons to love this dish, it is kind of a blank canvas. You can create your own versions using seasonal ingredients, giving this classic meal a fun twist. The recipe I’m sharing with you today features jalapeños, a popular item to plant in salsa gardens this time of year, along with cilantro.
I began by making fluffy, rich cream biscuits studded with bright green jalapeños and sharp white cheddar cheese. It would have been acceptable to stop right there, seeing as how the biscuits were fluffy and warm and perfect slathered with a little butter right out of the oven. But no, I had to go and top them with two perfectly poached eggs and decadent cilantro-lime hollandaise. If you are nervous about making the sauce, let me introduce you to a fool-proof method: blender hollandaise. It is insanely simple and results in an airy, creamy sauce in only 5 minutes.
Makes 6-8 biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set rack in the centermost position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Coarsely chop and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Add the cheese and jalapenos and toss to evenly distribute through dry ingredients. Add the whipping cream and stir just until the dough comes together. (It will be ragged at first but will smooth out as the dough is kneaded.)
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough is mostly smooth. Pat into a 3/4 inch thick round.
Using a circular biscuit cutter or a glass with flour on the rim, cut out 3 or 4 circles and place them on your prepared baking sheet. (If you use a glass, use one with a thin rim. If it is too thick, it will press down too much on the biscuits and they won’t rise.) Bring together scraps and pat out, again, to 3/4 inches. Repeat until all the dough is used. You should end up with 6-8 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutter.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Perfectly Poached Eggs
Makes 8 poached eggs, enough for 4 servings of the Eggs Benedict
- 8 large eggs, room temperature
- white vinegar
Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Add a splash of vinegar to the water. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Using a wooden spoon, create a whirlpool in the water. Working quickly but gently, pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool. Allow the egg to poach for about 5 minutes before removing it from the water with a slotted spoon.
You can poach more than one egg at a time using this method, but do not do more than 4 at a time. I find 2 at a time is easiest to manage. The eggs can be kept in a bowl until you are ready to serve them. Add a little room temperature water to the bowl to keep them from sticking together until you are ready to plate your eggs benedict.
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- dash or two of hot sauce
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
In a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lime juice and hot sauce. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly pour in the melted butter until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 30-45 seconds. Add the cilantro and pulse five 1-second pulses just to incorporate the leaves into the sauce.
To Assemble the Eggs Benedict:
Cut 4 biscuits in half, one biscuit per plate. Place them cut side up on your plates. Gently put a poached egg on top of each biscuit half, cover with hollandaise and garnish with additional cilantro leaves and a lime wedge. Serve immediately.