This take on a brunch classic is rich, creamy and oh-so-tasty. The flavorful hollandaise sauce is silky smooth and packed with vitamin C from a yellow bell pepper (surprise! no yolks or butter!). And while the signature dish calls for poached eggs, you can easily swap in sunny side up or scrambled, because, really, this dish is all about the sauce. Happy hollandaise, everyone!
Yellow-Pepper Hollandaise Sauce
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into eighths
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) light or reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 4 slices Canadian bacon
- 1 ripe tomato, each cut into 4 thick slices
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 whole-grain English muffins, halved
- paprika, regular or smoked
For the yellow pepper hollandaise sauce:
Place the bell pepper in a microwave-safe bowl and add 1 tablespoon water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until the pepper is easily pierced with a paring knife. Drain and immediately transfer it to a blender.
Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, mustard and salt to the blender. Puree until the sauce is silky smooth with no visible bits of yellow pepper. Set aside.
For the eggs benedict:
1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and mist with nonstick oil spray.
2. Arrange the Canadian bacon and tomato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven of the middle rack and broil for 4 minutes. Flip the bacon and tomato slices over and broil for another minute or so, until the bacon is crispy and brown around the edges (watch closely so it doesn't burn). Remove the baking sheet from oven and loosely tent it with foil to keep it warm.
3. Place a double layer of paper towels on a platter or small baking sheet; this will be used to hold the poached eggs once they are cooked.
4. Fill a saucepan with about 3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low so the water is at a gentle simmer. Add the vinegar and stir. (Note: the vinegar will help to keep the whites of the egg somewhat intact, but some scatter is normal.)
5. Crack each egg into its own small bowl or container. (For best results, use containers with narrow bases and wide tops to help the eggs keep their shape. Teacups work well. You can also use an oversized spoon.)
6. Slip each egg carefully into the simmering water by lowering the lip of each small container or cup half an inch below the surface of the water.
7. When all four eggs are in the water, use a slotted spoon to gently nudge the egg whites closer to the egg yolks by swirling the water around them in a circle as they cook. For medium-firm yolks, cook for 3 minutes. (Adjust the time for runnier or firmer yolks, cooking no more than 5 minutes.) To tell if the yolk is cooked to your liking, remove an egg from the water with a slotted spoon and gently press on the yolk to determine the degree of doneness. Remove the cooked eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the paper towel-lined platter.
8. Just before assembling the eggs Benedict sandwiches, toast the English muffin halves and reheat the hollandaise in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds or, in a small saucepan, stirring over low heat for a few minutes until it's warm to the touch.
Place a slice of tomato on each toasted English muffin half and top with 1 slice Canadian bacon, 1 poached egg, and 1 to 2 tablespoons hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle paprika over the sauce for a pretty pop of color. Each serving includes 2 English muffin halves layered with Canadian bacon, tomato, egg and sauce.