Lighter eggs Benedict

    30 min

    Created in the 1920s at Delmonico's restaurant in New York City, this dish traditionally uses ham or bacon and a rich butter sauce. Here, a lower-fat yogurt and chive hollandaise contrasts with the richness of poached eggs and lean Parma ham, to make a lighter, but equally special version.

    14 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 4 eggs
    • 4 English muffins, halved
    • 4 slices Parma ham, about 55 g (2 oz) in total, trimmed of fat
    • salt and pepper
    • Yogurt and chive hollandaise sauce
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 150 g (5 1/2 oz) Greek-style yogurt
    • 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
    • To garnish
    • paprika
    • 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. First make the hollandaise sauce. Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard and yogurt in a heatproof bowl or in the top of a double saucepan. Set over a saucepan of barely simmering water and cook for 12–15 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick – the sauce will become thinner at first, but will then thicken. Stir in the chives, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and keep the sauce warm over the pan of hot water.
    2. Half fill a frying pan with water. Bring to the boil, then add the vinegar. Reduce the heat so the water is just simmering gently, then carefully break the eggs into the water, one at a time. Poach for 3–4 minutes, spooning the hot water over the yolks towards the end of cooking.
    3. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Lightly toast the muffin halves for about 1 minute on each side. Place one half on each of 4 warmed plates and top each with a slice of Parma ham, crumpled slightly to fit.
    4. Using a draining spoon, remove the poached eggs from the pan, one at a time. Rest on kitchen paper to drain off any water and, if liked, trim off any ragged edges of egg white with scissors. Place an egg on top of each ham-topped muffin half.
    5. Spoon the warm hollandaise sauce over the eggs, and sprinkle each serving with a pinch of paprika and chives. Serve immediately, with the remaining toasted muffin halves.

    Plus points

    All the fat in eggs is found in the yolk – approximately 6 g per egg – and it is predominantly unsaturated fat. * Parma ham is the most famous of the Italian prosciuttos. It is a good lean alternative to bacon, especially if, as in this recipe, all visible fat is trimmed away. * Chives belong to the same family as onions and garlic. They are believed to stimulate the appetite and act as a tonic, probably because of their sulphur content.

    Some more ideas

    Use thin slices of lean cooked ham instead of Parma ham. * Instead of chives, add 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 30 g (1 oz) chopped watercress to the hollandaise, and garnish with sprigs of tarragon or watercress. * For egg crostini, toast 8 thin slices of ciabatta bread under a preheated moderate grill until lightly golden on both sides. Rub a cut garlic clove lightly over the surface, then discard the garlic. Thinly slice 3 plum tomatoes and arrange on top of the toasts. Put 2 toasts on each plate. Make the hollandaise sauce as in the main recipe, but adding a small pinch of saffron threads or powder at the start of cooking and omitting the chives; keep the sauce warm. Heat 15 g (½ oz) butter in a non-stick frying pan and sauté 225 g (8 oz) mixed wild mushrooms, sliced if large, for 3–4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives. Spoon over the top of the tomatoes and top each serving with a poached egg. Drizzle over the hollandaise sauce and serve immediately.

    Each serving provides

    B12, zinc * A, B2, niacin, calcium, copper, iron * B6, E, folate, potassium, selenium

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     -  29 Dec 2012