Recipe of The Week: Zach’s Benedict

Zach’s Benedict

What’s needed:

The Poached Egg Part:

Eggplant – cut into round 1/8 inch pieces (one per egg)

Extra virgin olive oil

Poached Eggs – as many as needed

Spinach – sauteed

Onions – grilled/sweat

Hollandaise Sauce (Four 2 eggs per person serving):

3 sticks of clarified butter

3 Egg Yolks

1 tbsp luke warm water

Lemon Juice from 1 lemon

Paprika – 1/4 tea spoon

Cayenne pepper – a pinch


Let’s start by saying we’re making this dish for four people. Traditionally, each person gets two eggs per serving so let’s stick with that.

Pre-heat an oven to 300, this is to warm your egg base – NOT to cook them.

Before we start cooking take your sticks of butter for the clarified butter and put them in a sauce pan on med heat. Put that on the back burner and melt all that butter. Don’t forget about it.

First, cut your eggplant into 1/8 round pieces and then very lightly brush each side with the olive oil. Saute each side in a frying pan until they show signs of browning on each side. Do not over oil them or they will get soggy and lose their purpose as the English Muffin Substitute. Do all 8 pieces and then set them aside on a cookie sheet.

Next, heat a large frying pan with olive oil and grill your onions until they are nice and sweet. Your flame should be Med High. Do not blacken them. Perfect is somewhere between sweating them and full on caramelized. After they are to your liking add about 1/8th of a cup of luke warm water to the pan and let it heat some more. Then add your spinach. Cook the spinach down until it’s nicely sauteed and mixed in with the onions. If that’s not enough water to do the job then add more as needed. Add a pinch of salt at the end. Your spinach and onions should be all mixed together, taste as needed. Then equally spread them to the eggplant rounds on the cookie sheet. Set aside.

Now – poach your eggs. If you’re attempting to make this dish chances are you already know how to poach eggs. If you don’t, I suggest finding a good YouTube video that walks you through the process. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. After you poach your eggs place one eggs on top of the already created eggplant rounds that has the spinach/onions on them. After you’ve placed each one put the cookie sheet in the oven and let them heat. By the time you have finished making your Hollandaise the temperature should be just right and the eggs not overcooked.

The Hollandaise…

Your butter should be melted by now. Once it is turn off the heat and let it all settle. Take the sauce pan and remove all the white fat with a large spoon and discard it. Remove as much as you possibly can until you’re left with a pan full of clarified butter. Put that on low heat and keep near by.

Get another medium sauce pan and fill it with 3/4 water, boil it.

In a medium sized steel mixing bowl take 3 egg yolks and the 1 tbsp water and lightly beat them together. Once you’ve done that you’re going to create a “bain marie”. So put an oven mit on the hand you’ll hold the mixing bowl over the water with.

Reduce the flame on the boiling water so it’s simmering. You don’t want to burn yourself or overcook the sauce. Hold the mixing bowl with the egg yolk/water mixture over the simmering water and slowly start whisking in the clarified butter. The trick is to not add too much at once AND to not cook the egg yolks. They need to stay liquid. If you have cooked them and have the beginnings of a egg yolks omelette in the bowl, throw it out and start over.

Keep folding in and whisking the clarified butter bit by bit until you have a sauce that is texturaly thick and looks like a perfect hollandaise. When all the butter is done add your lemon juice, cayenne and paprika. Mix it all together. Taste. It probably needs a pinch of salt, right? Do that. The key spice in this version of Hollandaise is paprika, the color will change because you’ve used a fair amount.

Keep it warm over the bain-marie and stir as needed to keep it from setting. If it does you can always add a pinch of warm water to expand it some.

Now take out the eggplant/egg base from the warm oven and plate 2 on each plate. Liberally apply the Hollandaise Sauce and voila! You should be happy.