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Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

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Published by: Angel on Jun 18, 2009
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Eggs Benedict
 Eggs Benedict 
Eggs Benedict
Origin InformationDish Information
MainIngredient(s) :
Eggs, English Muffin, Ham or Baconand Hollandaise sauce
Variations :
Multiple
Eggs Benedict
is a dish that consists of a half of an English muffin, topped with ham or  bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
Origin
In an interview in the "Talk of the Town" column of 
The New Yorker 
in 1942, the year  before his death. Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claimed that he hadwandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover,and ordered "buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise".Oscar Tschirky, the
maître d'hôtel 
and legendary "Oscar of the Waldorf", was soimpressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus, butsubstituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast.Craig Claiborne, in September 1967, wrote a column in
The New York Times Magazine
about a letter he had received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American then residing inFrance. In it, Montgomery related that the dish was created by Commodore E.C.Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920 at the age of 86. Montgomery alsoincluded a recipe for eggs Benedict, stating that the recipe had been given to him by hismother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.Mabel C. Butler of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts in a November 1967 letter printed in
The New York Times Magazine
responded to Montgomery's claim by correcting that the"true story, well known to the relations of Mrs. Le Grand Benedict", of whom she wasone, was:
 
Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, when they lived in New York around the turn of the century, dined everySaturday at Delmonico's. One day Mrs. Benedict said to the
maitre d' hote
, "Haven't youanything new or different to suggest?" On his reply that he would like to hear something fromher, she suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins with a thin slice of ham, hollandaisesauce and a truffle on top.
However, the most likely origin of the dish is suggested in Elizabeth David's
 French Provincial Cookin
, where she describes a traditional French dish named
œufsbénédictine
, consisting of brandade (a puree of refreshed salt cod and potatoes), spreadon triangles of fried bread. A poached egg is then set on top and napped with hollandaise.Still, it is not clear how this dish would have migrated to America, where it became popular. The combination of cod and eggs suggests it was a Lenten or meatless dish, andthe use of salt cod suggests it could be as old as the Renaissance, when salt cod becamemore plentiful.
Variations
Many variations on the traditional eggs Benedict are available in some restaurants or locations. With the exception of the Egg McMuffin, none of these are as widely known aseggs Benedict.
Seafood Benedict
replaces the bacon with crab and/or shrimp and/or lobster and/or baby scallops.
Eggs Blackstone
substitutes streaky bacon for the ham and adds a tomato slice.
Eggs Florentine
substitutes spinach for the ham. Older versions of eggsFlorentine add spinach to poached or stirred eggs Mornay – eggs covered inMornay sauce.
Eggs Hussarde
substitutes Holland rusks for the English muffin and addsMarchand de Vin sauce.
Salmon Benedict
(Also known as Eggs Pacifica, Eggs Montreal, Eggs Royal or Eggs Royale) replaces the bacon with smoked salmon.
Pacific Northwest Eggs Benedict
Poached Egg over Wild Alaskan SmokedSalmon on a Toasted English Muffin Covered with Hollandaise Sauce. Can alsosubstitute Dungeness Crab Cakes for English Muffin.
Eggs Sardou
substitutes artichoke bottoms and crossed anchovy fillets for theEnglish muffin and ham, then tops the hollandaise sauce with chopped ham and atruffle slice. The dish was created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans inhonor of the French playwright Victorien Sardou. A more widespread version of the dish starts with a base of creamed spinach, substitutes artichoke bottoms for the English muffin, and drops the ham.
 
Artichoke Benedict
replaces the English muffin with a hollowed artichoke.
Country Benedict
replaces the English muffin, ham, and hollandaise sauce witha biscuit, sausage patties, and country gravy. The poached eggs are replaced witheggs fried to choice.
Irish Benedict
replaces the ham with corned beef hash or Irish bacon.
Eggs Chesapeake
replaces bacon with crab cake.
Dutch Benedict
replaces the ham or bacon with scrapple. Popular in the easternregion of Pennsylvania.
Veggie Benedict
replaces the bacon with avocado and tomato.
The McDonald's Egg McMuffin was created by Herb Peterson, a McDonald'sfranchisee, in 1972. As a friend of Ray Kroc's, he knew that Kroc liked eggsBenedict. Peterson sought to create a "poor man's version" by replacing thehollandaise with a slice of American cheese. To cook the eggs, Peterson paid alocal blacksmith $90 to make a batch of Teflon coated rings. Mainly due to thesuccess of the Egg McMuffin, McDonald's had a monopoly on the fast-food breakfast market until the mid-1980s.
Slices of toast may be used instead of the traditional English muffins.
Waffle Benedict
replaces the English muffins with a full waffle. It is commonlytopped with maple syrup in addition to the hollandaise.
Eggs Benedict Arnold
replaces the English muffin with a biscuit and thehollandaise with country gravy, and also cooks the poached egg longer, so that theyolk is fully cooked.
Timeline of published references
Dates given refer to date of publication.
1898
In
 Eggs, and how to use them
, a recipe for eggs Benedict is given as "split and toastsome small muffins; put on each a nice round slice of broiled ham, and on the ham the poached egg; pour over some Hollandaise sauce"
1900
In
The Connecticut Magazine: an Illustrated Monthly, Volume VI 
, a recipe for eggsBenedict is given as "A third variety is called Eggs Benedict. Broil a thin slice of cold- boiled ham cut the size of a small baker's loaf; toast a slice of bread, butter it and moistenwith a little water; lay the ham on it and on that a poached egg. Serve individually."

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