I don’t really know what to call this recipe. In concept it is Eggs Benedict, but in application it’s not nearly so refined as that classic dish. Where Eggs Benedict uses a beautifully toasted and buttered English muffin, I use whole grain toast. And where the classic calls for Canadian bacon and a poached egg, I use leftover ham and an over-easy fried egg. Oh, and I also add roasted asparagus.
So, since my ingredients are a little more, shall we say ‘homespun,’ I decided that Country Eggs Benedict would be just the right description of this gem of a recipe.
This is what I make when I have leftover ham and asparagus – two items that are nearly always on our Easter menu. You can probably make this from your Easter leftovers, too, and it’s great for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That’s what I call versatile! Add a glass of crisp, white wine and a lovely fresh Spring salad and you have a delightful meal.
Hopefully, you’ll have some leftover roasted asparagus from Easter dinner, but if not it only takes a few minutes to prepare that. Just preheat your oven to 425, trim the asparagus, and coat it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop that in the oven and let it cook while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
For this dish I make an herbed hollandaise sauce using a tried and true hollandaise recipe from my 1975 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It turns out perfectly every time and is very easy to make.
Place three egg yolks in a medium saucepan with lemon juice. Whisk the yolks and lemon together briskly. Then add 1/4 cup of butter, cut into pieces, and cook the mixture stirring all the while over very low heat.
When I say “very low” I mean the lowest possible heat on your stove. Cooking over low heat will give the egg yolks time to cook without curdling.
When the first 1/4 cup butter is completely melted add the remaining butter and continue whisking until all the butter melts and the sauce thickens. Stir in the chives and parsley. Keep the sauce over very low heat while you continue with the recipe.
Toast the bread, remove the crusts and set aside.
In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt half the butter and canola oil. Add three of the eggs and cook until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny. Repeat with remaining butter, oil, and eggs.
Assemble your Country Eggs Benedict: For each serving, place one slice of toast on the plate. Top with a slice of cooked ham, several asparagus spears and a fried egg. Drizzle with a generous amount of the herbed hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with additional chives or parsley.
Makes 6 servings.
- 1 bundle fresh asparagus
- 4 tblsp. olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 6 slices whole grain or whole wheat bread
- 6 slices cooked ham
For the eggs:
- 6 eggs
- 2 tblsp. butter
- 2 tblsp. canola oil
For the sauce:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tblsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup firm butter
- 1 tsp. snipped chives
- 1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
- Additional chopped chives and/or parsley for serving.
Roast the asparagus:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim any tough ends from the asparagus and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll or toss the asparagus to evenly distribute the oil over all the spears.
- Cook for approximately 20 minutes. Exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the spears. Start checking after about 15 minutes and use your own judgment as to when the spears are done.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the hollandaise sauce:
- Place the egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and stir with a wire whisk.
- Add half the butter. Heat over very low heat, whisking constantly until the butter has melted.
- Add the remaining butter and continue whisking until the butter is melted and the sauce thickens.
- When the sauce has thickened, stir in the chives and parsley. Keep over very low heat.
- Toast the bread, remove the crusts and set aside.
Prepare the eggs:
- In a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt half the butter and canola oil. Add three of the eggs and cook until whites are cooked through but yolks are still runny.
- Repeat with remaining butter, oil, and eggs.
- For each serving, place one slice of toast on the plate. Top with a slice of cooked ham, several asparagus spears and a fried egg. Drizzle with a generous amount of the herbed hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with additional chives or parsley.
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Similar egg recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Eggs Sardou from Nola Cuisine
- Eggs Blackstone from the Glynn House Inn
- Eggs Florentine from About.com
- Brennan’s Eggs Hussarde
- Irish Benedict from Big Red Kitchen
What I was cooking…