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Easy Eggs Benedict with Microwave Hollandaise
PREP: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
If you are intimidated by making eggs benny at home, don't be! This microwave method makes hollandaise so much easier.
If you go to brunch and immediately wonder, "WHERE'S THE EGGS BENEDICT?" I have great news for you: it's not that hard to make at home. The most difficult, make-you-scream part of homemade eggs Benedict is perfecting hollandaise, a notoriously delicate sauce that requires streaming in melted butter slowly, drop by drop, and whisking over a double-boiler. But I figured out there's a much easier way to do it using your friend the microwave. It takes less than a minute and comes out just as velvety, smooth, and decadent as classic hollandaise. Cream isn't a traditional ingredient, but it acts as a safety net to make sure your sauce doesn't break. As for the poached eggs? A little lemon juice in the water helps the eggs hold their shape and adds flavor, and my trick of poaching inside 3-inch cookie cutters allows you to make a few at the same time. Okay, so now do you promise you won't be intimidated by eggs benny? Try this so you can have a five-star brunch at home in your pajamas.
½ beefsteak or large vine-ripened tomato, sliced into 4 slices
+ kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
+ cilantro leaves, for garnish
Make hollandaise sauce: Place the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium power until almost completely melted, 20–30 seconds. Stir to finish melting the butter rather than overheating it.
Whisk together the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl. While still whisking, drizzle the melted butter into the mixture in a slow stream until incorporated. Microwave the sauce on high, stopping after 15 seconds to stir, until the sauce thickens, 30 seconds total. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk in the cream until fully incorporated. If the hollandaise breaks during microwave (aka you see little pieces of scrambled egg in it), add a splash of water, whisk vigorously, and microwave for another 5–10 seconds. Whisk again until it comes together and repeat if necessary.
Poach the eggs: Fill a small saucepan with 1 ½ inches of water, add ½ tablespoon lemon juice, and bring it to a low boil. If you have 3-inch cookie cutters, place them into the boiling water. Crack one egg into a ramekin or small bowl—to check for shells and make sure the yolk isn't broken—and gently pour the egg from the bowl into the simmering water (inside the cookie cutter, if using). Cook until the whites are firm but the yolk is still runny, 2–3 minutes Gently remove from the water with a slotted spoon and lower onto a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with the remaining three eggs (or do all at once if you have more cookie cutters).
Cook the ham and tomatoes: Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Add the ham and fry until lightly golden and crisped on the edges, 1–2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet, then add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook, seasoning with salt and pepper, until slightly softened, 1–2 minutes.
Toast both English muffins. Layer a piece of ham on the bottom of each English muffin, followed by a tomato slice and a poached egg. Spoon 2 tablespoons hollandaise sauce on top of each egg, then top with cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the remaining hollandaise.