Ever since the hint of spring appeared, I've been spending an increasing amount of time out in the garden shoving the 7 cubic yards of compost I ordered and transplanting all my seedlings. There's something about the sun shining and the warmer weather that makes me crave fresh tomatoes on everything. I've been eating them on bagels, salads, and just using them instead of crackers to eat cheese. And ever since I had one of the best brunches of my life in Seattle last fall, I've also been itching to try making a homemade eggs benedict (the one I had incorporated fresh crab and old bay seasoning hollandaise. SO GOOD.) So, I decided to give it a Mediterranean twist and use manchego cheese with fresh tomatoes and prosciutto. And I incorporated a generous portion of sage into the hollandaise for a cozy, herbal flavor. The result was a rich, comforting, and refreshing breakfast that combined the creaminess of hollandaise with the juicy freshness of a ripe tomato and the delicious gooey center of a poached egg. Yum, indeed.
For me, the key to any delicious eggs benedict is to use quality English muffins. This is the often-overlooked part of the dish, but having a mushy or dry or flavorless muffin can really detract from the breakfast as a whole. Here I used Cobblestone Bead Co. original English muffins because they are always always moist and won't fall apart into a thousand crumbs once you cut them. Fluffy and airy with a buttery light flavor that holds up on its own, I've yet to find a store bought English muffin that can meet all of those standards. And once you coat the biscuit in all of these insanely tasty ingredients, you basically end up with an eggs benedict so good it is the equivalent of food magic (as I write this post I am contemplating making them again for my one-person brunch, which usually consists of me hunched over a plate of delicious food fending off my two pups.) If you have a spare moment this Memorial Day weekend, I highly recommend treating yourself and a friend to these little guys, I promise you will enjoy every moment of it.
Note: Compensation for this post was provided by Cobblestone Bread Co. via AOL Media. The opinions expressed here are 100% mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Cobblestone Bread Co. or AOL.
Sage Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
1 cup unsalted cultured butter, cut into individual tablespoons
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Eggs Benedict with Manchego, Tomatoes, & Proscuitto
splash of white vinegar
2 Cobblestone Bead Co. original English muffins, cut in half and toasted
4 slices proscuitto
2 ounces manchego cheese, cut into 4 slices
4 tomato slices
4 fresh sage leaves
For the sage hollandaise sauce, whisk the eggs yolks with the water and salt in a small pot for 1 minute. Place the pot over low heat and whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each tablespoon to melt before adding the next, whisking constantly. Once you have only 4 tablespoons of butter left, add a splash of the lemon juice and alternate between adding the lemon juice and butter until all is added and smooth, whisking constantly. Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from heat and continue whisking for 2 minutes. Cover and set it aside.
For the eggs benedict, arrange the cheese, proscuitto, and tomato on each of the English muffins. Set aside. Bring a small pot of water to a boil with a splash of vinegar. Crack open an egg into a small bowl, and use the bowl to drop the egg into the boiling water. Use a spoon to help hold the yolk in the center of the egg white area. Once the egg whites have cooked but the yolk is still wobbly, remove the poached egg with two spoons (the extra support on both sides will help keep the yolk from splitting open) and transfer to one of the english muffins. Repeat with the 3 remaining eggs, then top each one with a generous scoop of the sage hollandaise and serve.
Featured: White ceramic tumbler by Abigail Leigh Smith, Walnut bread board by Red Maple Run, Linen napkins by The Modern Proper