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Breakfast/Brunch, Pork, Spicy, The Drink

A Bloody Benedict Brunch

by Nick

Ok. If you read Macheesmo regularly (and you should!), you’ll probably know that I’m a brunch fanatic. I love making a really good brunch, having a few drinks and relaxing with friends. After I got back from Europe, I was ready to make something delicious. I decided to serve a few different eggs Benedicts (vegetarian and bacon versions) and some really awesome, spicy Bloody Marys.

We’ll get to the benedicts later. First, let’s talk about the drink because your guests will be thirsty while they wait for you to make the meal.

A few years ago, I used to moonlight as a bartender and my favorite shift I would work was Sunday brunch. In general, people are always in a good mood for brunch and the restaurant I happened to work at had a bottomless mimosa/bloody mary deal that was huge hit. After working that shift for about a year, I got pretty darn good at making various versions of bloody marys.

Yield
4-6 drinks and 4 benedicts
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Bloody Mary and Benedicts

Ingredients

  • A Bloody Mary Recipe (makes 4-6 drinks)
  • 32 ounces tomato juice
  • 2 Tablespoons horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce, adjust accordingly
  • 1 Tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basic Hollandaise (Makes enough for 4 plates of benedicts.)
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar (opt.)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

Directions

Bloody Mary
1) Mix all of the ingredients together and feel free to add more of any of the ingredients depending on your taste. Some other things you might consider adding (although I wouldn’t recommend adding them all at once): Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, or clam juice just to name a few.

2) Use about a shot and a half to two shots of vodka per 6 ounces of mix.

3) Garnish with olives, celery, cucumber, oyster.

Eggs Benedict
1) Toast English muffins and cook bacon.

2) Sauté spinach it in a tablespoon of oil for a few minutes until it wilts and turns bright green.

3) Start hollandaise by making a basic double boiler. Fill a medium sized pan with water and get it boiling and then place a metal bowl over the pan. If you don’t have a double boiler setup you can make this directly on the stovetop, but just make sure you keep the heat on low and watch it very carefully. It is very difficult to do without a double boiler though.

4) Add the cider vinegar, salt, and egg yolks to the top pan of the double boiler and whisk together. Keep whisking! After a few minutes it will start to steam a bit and foam up. Once the yolk mixture triples in volume (it will do that very quickly), start drizzling in the melted butter, whisking the entire time.

5) The butter should emulsify with the yolks perfectly. If the mixture starts separating, take it off the heat and whisk continuously. If it starts to coagulate, add a few drops of water. At the very end, add the lemon juice and cayenne and whisk until it is silky and thick.

6) If you aren’t using it immediately, turn off the heat and you can keep the sauce on the double boiler for 30 minutes or so without a problem. Whisk it every 10 minutes or so just to make sure it stays together.

Poaching the Eggs
1) Bring water to a boil in a large pot with a dash of vinegar. You don’t want a rolling boil. You want the water simmering, but not boiling.

2) Crack the egg into a measuring cup or small bowl. Don’t crack it right into the water or you might end up with shells.

3) Give the water a quick stir to create a small whirlpool. This will help the egg stick together.

4) Slowly roll the egg out of the cup or bowl and into the water.

5) After 2 minutes you will have a perfectly poached egg. If you want it poached medium then go for 3-4 minutes.

6) Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg gently from the water. Get a paper towel to dab off extra water. Then all you have to do is slap it all together and you have Eggs Benedict!

Turns out the recipe for a stellar bloody mary can vary greatly. My very few rules are:

– Don’t use a mix dude. Use real tomato juice. Most mixes suck.
– I think heat is important. Make it spicier than you would think because it will get diluted.
– Make sure your acids balance. This usually means adding something like lemon juice.
– Don’t overdo it on the extras. Sometimes I’ve had bloody marys that have so much stuff in them they just taste like CRAZYTOWN.

What you need for a bloody.

What you need for a bloody.

Now the above recipe is just a base, but basically, just mix all of that together and feel free to add more of any of the ingredients depending on your taste. Some other things you might consider adding (although I wouldn’t recommend adding them all at once): Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, or clam juice just to name a few.

Action shot!

Action shot!

I usually use Tabasco for my bloody marys, but I was out this time so I tried Frank’s Red Hot. The problem is that Frank’s just doesn’t quite have the heat I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I love Frank’s, but I need some more spice.

I added a few shots of this to the mix to spice it up a bit more.

BAM.

BAM.

You can make this mix even a week before you are ready to use it. Just make sure you relabel the bottle so people don’t think they are getting tomato juice. There is no vodka in this yet, just the mix.

The mix.

The mix.

For the end drink, I use about a shot and a half to two shots of vodka per 6 ounces of mix. But use your own judgment depending on what kind of a Sunday you want to have. Need a good garnish? Try: olives, celery, cucumber, oyster… anything else?

Good way to start the day!

Good way to start the day!

Ok. Let’s talk about the eating part of this brunch. So there are four basic parts to a good egg Benedict and we will handle them in turn.

The English Muffin

I always toast my English muffin for a Benedict. For this round I also made them, but buying them is perfectly fine. It is definitely not essential to make them.

The Filling

Normally, the thing between the muffin and the egg is a thick slice of ham. I definitely like that, but there are tons of other things you can use. For these versions, I used bacon and sauteed spinach. The key thing about the filling is that you don’t need too much of it. You don’t want it to overflow.

For the spinach, I sauteed it in a tablespoon of oil for a few minutes until it wilted and turned bright green. Then remove it from the heat right away.

This part is easy.

This part is easy.

The hollandaise

Eggs Benedict is simply not good without a good hollandaise sauce. That’s just my personal opinion. And frankly, I think that a lot of restaurants don’t make the best hollandaise sauce and with reason. It is hard to keep it good for hours. It’s best within 30 minutes or so of making it.

So let’s make it. These are the things we will need.

The start of something beautiful.

The start of something beautiful.

The standard recipe I used I got from Ratio, although I simplified it a little bit.

Start by making a basic double boiler. Fill a medium sized pan with water and get it boiling and then place a metal bowl over the pan. If you don’t have a double boiler setup you can make this directly on the stovetop, but just make sure you keep the heat on low and watch it very carefully. It is very difficult to do without a double boiler though.

Add your cider vinegar, salt, and egg yolks to the top pan of your double boiler and whisk together. Keep whisking! After a few minutes it will start to steam a bit and foam up. Once the yolk mixture triples in volume (it will do that very quickly), start drizzling in your melted butter, whisking the entire time.

The butter should emulsify with the yolks perfectly. If the mixture starts separating, take it off the heat and whisk continuously. If it starts to coagulate, add a few drops of water. I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make though. At the very end, add your lemon juice and cayenne and whisk until it is silky and thick.

If you aren’t using it immediately, turn off the heat and you can keep the sauce on the double boiler for 30 minutes or so without a problem. Whisk it every 10 minutes or so just to make sure it stays together.

The eggs

I’m also a purist when it comes to eggs on a Benedict. I’ve seen fried eggs and scrambled eggs, but a runny poached egg is the only way for me. I’ve talked about how to make poached eggs before, so check out this post if you need some help on how to make them. HINT: You don’t need one of those fancy poaching dishes. All you need is a pot, some water, and some vinegar.

Then all you have to do is slap it all together!

The bacon version.

The bacon version.

I guess this is kind of an advanced meal, but if you take it one thing at a time, it is very doable. And very delicious. I love make a few different fillings and giving people options.

Mid brunch action shot.

Mid brunch action shot.

Obviously, this isn’t the healthiest brunch ever, but if made correctly, I think it is worth every calorie.

This was my second helping.

This was my second helping.

So, make the bloody mary’s from scratch. It is very doable. Once you have some liquid courage, give the benedicts a shot. Honestly, even if you don’t get it perfect, it will still be better than most that you find in a restaurant these days.

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9 comments on “A Bloody Benedict Brunch

  1. You are talking my language! Bloody Marys and eggs benedict are two of my favorite things! I am emailing this to myself immediately. And I completely agree that most bloody mary mixes just don't cut it.

  2. My husband and I went to the Twin Cities, MN this past weekend and went had a great brunch. Jesse got crab cake benedict. It was an english muffin, tomato, the crab cake, egg and then hollandaise sauce. It was amazing!!

  3. On the bloody Mary tip, I like to get some vodka and then pepper it. Usually a jalapeno or two halved, a pablano halved and a habenero I don't open it, just cut off the stem. You could cut it in half to if you're adventurous. Put it all in a sealed jar, mine was a big mason jar. Then let it sit for a week or so, or even longer if you desire. Turned out great, and made great Bloody Mary's. I also like to use Clamato Juice as well.

    Nothing like a good bloody Mary.

  4. Oh yea. The crab cake benedict is really popular here in DC as well. I love that variation.

    I've been meaning to infuse some vodka… habenero vodka sounds ridiculous.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

  5. I love the photos. Sitting here at work contemplating menu ideas for brunch tomorrow, and your post inspired me: Bloody Eggs Benedict. Basically, take the components for the bloody marie, and add them to a Bearnaise sauce for the poached eggs. Kind of like a sauce Choron, but with a kick to it.

    I am a long time lurker here, and I just want to pipe up and say, very nice work. If you can inspire me, then that is something!

  6. Yeah! I'm really looking forward to hosting a brunch soon since I eat brunch for dinner most nights anyway, and love making it far more than any dinner I can think of. The bloody mary route is a wise one. Although, I'm more of a froufrou mimosa girl m'self.

  7. What a great idea to squirt a little Sriracha into the Bloody Mary. I'd squirt a few on the eggs, too, only because I like a little kick to my eggs.

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