½cupunsalted butterroom temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
Cook the Asparagus:
Add oil to a small skillet or non-stick pan and place over medium-high heat.
Pan-fry the asparagus for about 5-10 minutes, or until browned and tender-crisp. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Set aside for later.
Make the Hollandaise Sauce:
Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, add egg yolks to a heatproof bowl (on the counter) and whisk until they become pale in colour.
Place the bowl with the yolks on top of the saucepan, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
Whisk the yolks constantly but gently. Cook the yolks until they have thickened, which takes about 3 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, whisking constantly. Make sure that each tablespoon is incorporated completely before adding the next.
Once all the butter has been added, season the sauce with lemon juice and salt. Your Hollandaise should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not stiff. If it is too thick, thin it with a little water.
The sauce is best if used immediately, however, it can sit for about an hour in a Thermos, if needed.
Poach The Eggs:
In a large saucepan, heat water over medium heat until gently simmering.
Crack each egg, one at a time, into a small bowl, Gently slide each egg into the simmering water. Make sure to tip the eggs in close to the surface of the water – not from a height.
Cook the eggs until whites are set and yolks are still soft - about 3 minutes. Then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.
Assemble the Eggs Benedict:
Butter the slices of toast and arrange 3 asparagus spears on each piece. Carefully place one egg on each piece of toast, and top with a generous spoonful of the hollandaise sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
You can pan-fry, steam, or blanch the asparagus for this recipe. You can also omit the asparagus if you want to.
If your eggs are not very fresh, use a large slotted spoon to quickly stir the water before adding the eggs. The spinning water can help wrap the whites around the yolks, resulting in a prettier poached egg.
Leftover hollandaise sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat the sauce over low heat, with a little bit of water and melted butter whisked in.
You can make this eggs Benedict recipe with store-bought hollandaise sauce to save time.