Market basket: Not just for brunch, Eggs Benedict satisfies

Market basket: Not just for brunch, Eggs Benedict satisfies

Tammy Algood  |  Special to The Tennessean

If there is one food I would indulge in every weekend it’s eggs Benedict. I love the contrast it brings to the table. Toasted English muffins, salty Canadian bacon, soft poached eggs and the topping off of a buttery lemon tangy hollandaise sauce.

It doesn’t have to be brunch food as I am just as happy to have it for lunch or dinner. In fact, lunch is what inspired the invention back in the late 1920s. Dr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict were regular customers at Delmonico’s in New York City. They complained to the maître d’ that there was nothing new and exciting on the lunch menu. Eggs Benedict was born.

All of the layers work together in harmony, but it can go south quickly if the eggs aren’t poached correctly. I have seen many utilize a soft fried egg because poaching seems too complicated, but actually, it’s not at all.

Poaching is when you gently cook food immersed in liquid that is just below boiling. In this case, the eggs are added just as the water begins to noticeably quiver. Pull out a large wide pot or pan and fill it halfway with water. Add a tablespoon of distilled vinegar for every quart of water. This addition will help the eggs hold together better.

Break each egg into a saucer, then just as the water shimmers, slide it in. Add each egg one at a time. My pot will hold three easily. After the eggs have cooked about 30 seconds, I give the water a gentle swirl with a wooden spoon. This helps them cook evenly.    

After three minutes, remove the eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon and drain well. If you have an egg poaching pan, the individual cups give you uniformly shaped eggs every time.

You asked for it

Jack Sherman of Mobile writes, “I know this is elementary, but could you help me perfect frying eggs? I have just retired and would like to treat myself with a couple every week or so.”


Start with a heavy nonstick frying pan. Place it over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of butter per egg. Just when the butter begins to foam, add the eggs one at a time. Then reduce the heat to low and with a tablespoon, baste the eggs with the warm butter until the whites are set. Then cook until your desired doneness.    

Tammy Algood is the author of five cookbooks and can be seen on “Volunteer Gardener” on PBS stations in Tennessee. Follow her at