Cult dish: Benedict eggs

About two legendary New York restaurants own the invention of the Benedictine cult eggs: the Delmonico and the Waldorf Hotel (now Waldorf Astoria New York), which is only a few miles away in Manhattan. Perhaps a more well-known description of its origins is as follows: a recipe entitled Eggs à la Benedick was written in 1894 in an extensive cookbook, in fact an encyclopedia, by The Epicurean. Charles Ranhofer, who worked as a cook in Delmonico in the second half of the 19th century. The legend they believe here (by the way: according to online data, the restaurant will reopen this fall) goes like this: Benedict’s eggs were invented around 1860 by them, and the dish got the name of its regular guest, the LeGrand couple Benedict.

Broker, cat and eggs

At the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, they are just as convinced that the famous egg dish was created by them. This is how the New Yorker magazine started an article in December 1942: “It was 48 years ago Lamuel Benedict came to Old Waldorf’s dining room for breakfast. He had a cat and ordered toast with butter, crunchy bacon, two boiled eggs and Dutch sauce. The result is a dish that has been called the Benedict Egg since its inception.

Further, an article written almost eight decades ago mentions that Lemuel Benedict “had a full and happy life. His happiest moments are related to gastronomy. ” The broker, who named the famous dish, supposedly liked to tell live stories from Broadway, he knew where to order lobster, he talked about meetings in Delmonic, he described Sunday afternoon at home. Guests were celebrities, including an Italian tenor and a permanent member of the famous New York Metropolitan Opera Enrico Caruso.

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When Oskar Waldorfski intervenes…

In addition to Benedict, it is definitely worth mentioning the chef Oscar Tschirky, popularly known as Oscar Waldorfski. The owner of restaurants with Swiss roots was this; in the late 19th century he was also the owner of Delmonica and later a restaurant in Hotel Waldorf. Although he never worked in the kitchen, he was closely involved in cooking and his name is said to be closely associated with Benedict eggs, Oscar beef, Newburg lobster, as well as Waldorf salads and thousands of island sauces.

Oscar Waldorfski is supposed to have been fascinated by Lemuel Benedict’s late morning. He had to take a step forward and slightly improve the dish for New York’s famous hotel guests: he replaced plain bacon with just a little Canadian fried and instead of bread he used English muffins, which is basically just dough. soft yogurt. bread.

Ramsey swears by Parma bacon

Many derivatives of this cult dish appear today. Benedict eggs are one of the trademarks of a language chef Gordon Ramsey and on the menu of his London restaurant, Heddon Street Kitchen, but only on Saturdays and Sundays, when it is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ramsay does not choose plain bacon, but lays sliced ​​boiled eggs Parma bacon (called parma bacon in English). The Scottish chef places the egg, boiled in a roll with a little white vinegar, on top of a sliced ​​English muffin, adds a little Dutch sauce and sprinkle on top of a pinch of fresh greens.

In one of his video recipes, he initially says he likes to cook simply and without stress, but immediately adds that some dishes, like Benedict eggs with fried Parma bacon, are worth a little more effort. The secret is a good Dutch sauce made from egg yolks, which you place on a water bath with a little vinegar (kifka). Stirring constantly, then slowly add the melted butter and finally a little more lemon juice.

Ramsay, perhaps the most brutal judge at MasterChef, occasionally prepares this cult dish with some other ingredient: bacon and replaces it with crab meat and sprinkles a little sweet pepper instead of fresh herbs. Along the way: Benedict eggs are the fear and trembling of all competitors in the aforementioned cooking show due to all the possible complications we know during egg hunting and the persistence and precision required of mixing or seasoning Dutch sauce.

Abbreviation of Nigella Thermos by Jamie

Also a kitchen lady Nigella Lawson she adores that dish. As he explains on his page, he prepares it according to a borrowed recipe: instead of Dutch sauce, he takes a shortcut in the form of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and minced peel and orange juice. Use English muffins, fried bacon, this fake Dutch sauce and finally some fresh basil or parsley.

The third from the group of famous chefs (television), Jamie Oliver, he says: “I love Benedict’s eggs. Hot fluffy muffins are a must, but a good smoked ham is really important. and a version of roast meat – roast pork with bbq sauce.

We notice two more interesting things in the video of Oliver’s recipe, which has more than three million views: two eggs wrapped in transparent paper before soaking them in a boiling bath, and the Dutch sauce, which he apparently prepares it for stock, adds to it. dish.right from the thermos!

If we mention another culinary legend, Martho Stewart. She does not allow herself to deviate from what is considered a classic recipe. In her recipe, in addition to boiled eggs, Dutch sauce and fried English muffins, she mentions lightly fried Canadian bacon.

It’s still here Heston Blumenthal, for whom Benedict’s eggs are “a classic breakfast, not merely everyday, but a decadent breakfast.” First start chopping the onions, which are cooked in white vinegar and add a few grains of crushed white pepper. Then mix the yolks insistently over the steam bath, add the melted butter drop by drop and then, at least it seems to us, instead of the lemon juice in the sauce use aromatic vinegar with onion and pepper.

There is also a special way of boiling eggs without permission: heat the water to exactly 80 degrees Celsius, then carefully insert the egg into it (so it does not add vinegar or salt, nor does it create vortices that would turn the eggs into a wild. jump during poaching). Add the fried bacon to the side, add a little black pepper to the egg tied with the English muffins, the Dutch sauce and a little chopped parsley. “They’re not exactly classics, but they’re great,” Blumenthal said.

Not everywhere in Australia, not here yet

While in the English-speaking world this dish is very popular and found at every turn, it is a rare bird in our country. But almost everywhere Benedict eggs are on the agenda, they are very interesting. In the popular Maribor bistros, for example, they are prepared in five shades: here is a classic, then have Benedictine with spinach, salmon, roast beef or vegetables.

In one of Ljubljana’s bistros, ground beef, pumpkin oil and seeds are added to a boiled egg, while at the Kempinski Palace Hotel in Portorož, where we brought an OK recipe, they swear by a more classic version. They also have Florentine eggs on the menu: here they add smoked salmon or spinach to boiled eggs instead of bacon.

Eggs Benedict

So prepare them Marjo Povšnar, chef of the Kempinski Palace Hotel Portorož. We cook for one person.

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • kiss
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 100 gr butter, bacon, bread


1. Boil water and add a little vinegar. Stir the water to make it swirl or become a vortex.

2. Then lower the heat to low, kill the egg in the middle of the whirlpool and cook for 3 or 4 minutes (3 minutes for those who like it more liquid, 4 for those who like it stronger).

3. Then grab the egg with a spoon and drain the water.

4. Dutch Sauce: Beat the egg yolks, a pinch of salt (one pinch to two) and the lemon juice over a water bath. When it starts to thicken, add warm refined butter while mixing, which should be heated to 50 to 55 degrees Celsius. We add it very slowly to make a beautiful emulsion. Then try and if necessary add salt and pepper.

5. Bake the bacon in a pan to the desired size. When we take out the bacon, we can heat the freshly prepared bread in the same pan.

6. Follow the composition: first place the warm bread on a plate, place one or two slices of bacon on it and add the boiled eggs. Sprinkle with Dutch sauce and then sprinkle with minced chickpeas or parsley at the end, and you can serve cherry tomatoes on the side.

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Photos: PeteerS / Getty Images and the Kempinski Palace Portorož Hotel archive

Spela Ankele

Journalism and Kranjçanka. I love the Gorenjska hills and the writer Isabel Allende. During the day I write, take pictures and cook, in the evening I read (cookbooks).

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