Eggs Benedict is not something I would normally make at home. I usually prefer to let the experts whisk hollandaise and poach eggs for me. But Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman's latke-based, pastrami-topped rendition in The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home was too tempting to pass up. Because Zukin and Zusman call for a blender hollandaise sauce (a seriously great technique), the Benedict itself is easy to put together—provided you're not nervous about poaching eggs (and you shouldn't be because we have a foolproof method for poaching eggs). And if you've got extra latkes laying around from, say, a Thankgivukkah or Hanukkah dinner the night before, it's even easier.
Why I picked this recipe: I had to try making eggs Benedict at home at some point, so why not start with this twisted Jewish deli version?
What worked: Somebody should start a campaign to have pastrami permanently replace Canadian bacon on eggs Benedict everywhere.
What didn't: As written, the hollandaise is very thick. I needed to add a few tablespoons of water to make it into a spoonable sauce.
Suggested tweaks: If you really want to DIY this, make your own pastrami first.
Reprinted with permission from The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home by Nick Zukin and Michael Zusman. Copyright 2013. Published by Andrews McMeel. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Hollandaise Sauce
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and kept hot
- 8 Crispy Potato Latkes
- 1 1/4 pounds pastrami, sliced or coarsely chopped
- 8 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with paper towels.
To make the sauce, place the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne in a blender and blend on medium speed until frothy. With the blender running, pour in the hot melted butter in a slow, steady stream.
Be sure not to add the butter too fast or the sauce will break. If needed, add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin the sauce to a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover the sauce to keep warm.
Place the latkes on one of the lined baking sheets and put them in the oven to warm up.
In a large skillet over medium heat, and working in two batches, fry the pastrami, turning once or twice, until it is hot, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pastrami to the other lined baking sheet and put it in the oven to stay warm.
To poach the eggs, bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large skillet. When the water boils, add the white vinegar. Decrease the heat so the water is just below a simmer. One at a time, crack the eggs into a small bowl and slip them into the water. After about 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to lift the first egg to see whether the white has completely set. When the whites are set, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and gently blot the excess water with a clean kitchen towel. Transfer the eggs to a large plate and, if desired, use a paring knife to trim any ragged edges from the whites. Cover the eggs to keep them warm.