Are you looking to impress that girl you spent last night with?
Need to apologize to an angry wife?
Search no further...make this:
Perfect Eggs Benedict for Two
4 eggs, cracked (each into a separate dish)
4 slices Canadian bacon
2 English muffins, split
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp mustard (preferably the good stuff)
1/2 stick of cold butter (1/4 cup)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt/pepper to taste
FRESH parsley (skip it if you only have dried)
Also, you need a double boiler. If you don't have one, you can make one by simmering water in a large pot. Put a smaller pot inside it (that's where the good stuff goes).
Ok, here goes - it's hectic, so keep up. Read this once through before doing anything at all.
Put 2-3 inches of water in a large chef's pan or pot, cover, and heat to a boil. Begin heating the double boiler as well (just to a simmer). Heat another frying pan over medium heat.
While waiting for your cookware to heat, prep EVERYTHING, including the serving dishes. Put the lemon juice, egg yolks, and mustard into a bowl. Chop a bit of parsley for garnish. Cut the butter into chunks (about 1/2 Tbsp each, not pictured below). Put the English muffins into the toaster, but don't turn it on yet.
By now the water should be simmering in the double boiler, gently boiling in the chef's pan, and your frying pan should be nice and hot. If not, wait here until everything is heated up. Take a deep breath...you're going to get busy now.
Turn the toaster on to begin toasting the English muffins.
Toss the Canadian bacon into the frying pan.
Begin poaching the eggs. Gently pour them one at a time into the water, with the edge of the dish touching the water. It'll look a little scary at first - don't worry...keep moving.
Start the Hollandaise sauce by pouring the egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard into the double boiler (have the butter close by). Whisk now, and don't stop whisking. Once the mixture thickens slightly and turns a bit lighter in color, start adding the butter, one chunk at a time. Keep whisking until all the butter is incorporated. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper (if desired), a bit of pepper, and a little salt if you're using unsalted butter. Don't forget about the Canadian bacon - you'll probably need to flip it while whisking (you've got two hands...).
Remove the Hollandaise sauce from the heat. It should be ok for a few minutes. The English muffins should be done by now - put them on your serving dishes. Top each English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon. Remove the poached eggs from the water (whites should be firm, yolks slightly runny) one at a time with a slotted spoon, allowing them to drain briefly before placing them on top of the Canadian bacon. Top with Hollandaise sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.
Take another deep breath.
Don't forget to turn the burners off.
Reap the rewards of your hard work.
Best served with a Mimosa or Bloody Mary.
A final warning: If you make this correctly, you'll be asked to make it again...and again...and again...