At one time, a chef had 100 pleats in his hat to signify the 100 ways he knew how to prepare eggs. Regardless of how many pleats are in your hat, there are endless ways to cook an egg. Eggs help inspire menus from traditional comfort classics to innovative dishes that make a bold culinary statement.
Eggs Benedict is a brunch classic. These days, you’re almost sure to find this dish on brunch menus across the country. But it’s also an opportunity for chefs to express their creativity and re-imagine the dish.
Like many well-loved recipes, there are conflicting accounts as to the origin of Eggs Benedict. The following story appeared in the December 19, 1942, issue of the weekly New Yorker Magazine: Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claims that he wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 hoping to find a cure for his hangover. He ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a pitcher of Hollandaise.” Oscar, the maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast menu but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast.
Eggs Benedict has come a long way from a favorite hangover cure. While we love the classic version of this dish, there are many variations that are worth trying too. With people looking for new flavors, textures, and exciting ideas, chefs are playing with this simple and savory dish, substituting one ingredient or switching up the sauce to change the flavor. Consumers are always looking for something new, especially when it comes to kicking off their day.
1. Eggs Florentine
Substitute spinach for the Canadian bacon for a pleasing pop of color and fewer calories. Some versions may also include a slice of fresh tomato.
2. Southwestern Style
Include a spicy flare by substituting chili con queso or salsa for the hollandaise. Add a smoked poblano pepper in place of the Canadian bacon. Another option is to add cilantro hollandaise, black beans, and guacamole.
3. Steak Benedict
Substitute filet mignon for the ham. A classic French Béarnaise sauce is the perfect accompaniment for this variation of Eggs Benedict.
4. Salmon Benedict
Smoked salmon is another excellent choice to use instead of Canadian bacon.
5. Crab Benedict
Use savory crab paired with a hot sauce-spiked hollandaise. Try it over a crisp and creamy polenta cake instead of an English muffin.
6. Greek Benedict
How about trying gyro meat with egg, feta, onion, tomato, and hollandaise.
7. Lobster Benedict
Decadent and delicious with corn salsa and tarragon hollandaise. It is fabulous with the addition of asparagus, too.
8. Country Benedict
Replace the English muffin, ham, and hollandaise sauce with a biscuit, sausage patties, and country gravy.
9. Irish Benedict
Hearty corned beef and cabbage hash on Irish soda bread.
10. Caprese Benedict
Use thick slices of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes instead of the usual Canadian bacon.
11. Waffle Benedict
A crispy herbed waffle becomes the base; top with bacon, arugula, and egg and drizzle with an herb and garlic hollandaise sauce.
12. Spicy Benedict
Spice things up with a Sriracha hollandaise sauce. Try using a crunchy baguette instead of the English muffin so it doesn’t get soggy.
13. Southern Benedict
A fluffy biscuit base with pulled pork topped with a generous helping of creamy hollandaise.
14. Portobello Benedict
Substitute sautéed slices of Portobello mushroom for the meat and use a whole-wheat English muffin. Vegetarians will love this.
15. Brisket Benedict
Slow-roasted Angus beef, shredded in spicy tomato broth, with poached eggs on a toasted baguette.