Treat yourself to a brunch with a difference with these richly indulgent Italian Eggs Benedict.
Brunch is an infrequent treat, but there are times when pottering around in the kitchen in the morning, probably at the weekend when there’s a bit more time, is the perfect way to start the day. I think that eggs Benedict are the quintessential brunch dish: whenever eating out on a weekend morning and I see them on the menu, my decision is easy. But I don’t only enjoy them in restaurants; they are more of a treat than a simple fried breakfast, but when making them at home (especially if using ready-made hollandaise), they’re not so complicated the little extra work isn’t too daunting.
With eggs topped with hollandaise sauce, this is definitely a dish at the richer and more indulgent end of the spectrum, but then that makes it perfect as an occasional treat on a special occasion. The sort of thing that looks great served as breakfast in bed, with a glass of prosecco, Bucks Fizz or similarly suitable cocktail. Normally, the thing that holds me back from making eggs Benedict more often is making hollandaise sauce, but now that good quality pre-made sauce is readily available, it’s one of those situations where I’m happy to go with the ready-made, rather than feel that I have to go through the whole rigmarole of bains marie and terror of scrambling or curdling sauce.
We have taken the standard recipe for eggs Benedict, and given them a bit of a twist. Rather than ham, we’re using Prosciutto di San Daniele, and we’ve also added some cheese, with salty tasting Grana Padano.
Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele are quality artisan products that are perfect for embellishing and enhancing a simple dish like this to turn it into something rather more special. They both have PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin status, and are made following strict rules by skilled, passionate artisans, so they deserve to be served in a way that shows them off. You can read more about my visit and learn how both Prosciutto di San Daniele & Grana Padano are made, and see lots more images and read more about the artisans below.
You don’t need an egg poacher for the perfect poached egg: there are really two real secrets to perfect results when poaching directly in water. The first is to find the absolute freshest eggs you can. The fresher the egg, the more that the white stays together when first added to the water. The second is not to have the water boiling too fast. A very gentle simmer is perfect. I break the egg into a small cup or ramekin dish first; this speeds up how fast you can add the egg to the water. Once the water is simmering, and everything else is ready, give the water a gentle swirl and drop the egg into the middle.
Eggs Benedict with Grana Padano & Prosciutto di San Daniele
- 1/2 English muffin
- 1 egg
- 2 slices Prosciutto di San Daniele
- 5-6 thin slices Grana Padano (A vegetable peeler is perfect for slicing the cheese.)
- 2 tbsp hollandaise sauce (Use ready made for convenience.)
- Extra Proscuttio di San Daniele and Grana Padano for garnishing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Warm the hollandaise sauce according to the instructions on the packet.
- Break the egg into a small cup or ramekin dish. Lightly swirl some gently simmering water, and tip the egg into the middle of the saucepan.
- Slice the muffin and toast one half. Spread with butter.
- Lay the slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele on the muffin, and top with the slices of Grana Padano.
- Once the egg white is cooked, but when the yolk is still runny, using a slotted spoon take the egg out of the saucepan. Pat dry with some kitchen paper, and place onto the muffin.
- Spoon the warm hollandaise onto the egg
- Top with little pieces of Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano.
- Don't wait! Enjoy immediately.
Recipe for Italian eggs Benedict with Grana Padano & Prosciutto di San Daniele commissioned by Grana Padano & Prosciutto di San Daniele. All opinions our own.
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