We eat a lot of eggs in our house, and Eggs Benedict is a personal favorite of mine – and an old standby for most Americans. In fact, we celebrate Eggs Benedict Day annually on April 16, when we debate the murky New York origins of the dish (rumor has it that the dish is a hangover cure from 1894). I’ve eaten it at Trump Tower, in my own kitchen, and at every kine eatery in between. So I was happy to meet my old friend in Benedict Local Style on page 34 of Aloha Days Hula Nights in the Breakfast – Eggs section. Not surprisingly, I loved it – ono grinds (delicious food) for sure.
We all know the basic Benedict – English muffin, Canadian bacon, poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce (a creamy egg, butter, and lemon sauce). This recipe switches up the muffin for a fried rice cake and fries the eggs in lieu of poaching, in local Hawaiian fashion. I really enjoyed the crunchy rice bits amid my bites of fried ham and eggs.
I typically make an easy Blender Hollandaise from the Joy of Cooking, but I braved the double boiler for this recipe (a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water), and it came out great. This hollandaise has more ingredients than I’m used to, including cream, vinegar, and sugar, but they stabilized the egg and butter and kept the sauce thick, creamy, and bright.
Side note: If you use canned goods often, or if you make a sauce or dish that tastes rather dull or one-dimensional, adding acid can really kick it up a notch. The acid in a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar adds brightness without changing flavor, making jarred marinara or frozen veggies taste fresh and clean.
Ah, you gotta love a good Benedict! Crispy ham & rice and velvety eggs & sauce – yum!
Benedict Local Style
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch salt
- Pinch sugar
- Chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 8 slices Canadian bacon
- 4 eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
Rinse rice in a large fine-mesh sieve over cold running water. Drain well. Combine rice, water, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 10 minutes.
Stir rice from bottom to top. Lightly grease a metal 1-cup measure. Firmly pack enough rice in measure using rubber spatula to fill halfway. If spatula becomes sticky, dip in water. Invert onto a buttered plate, tapping to unmold rice. Repeat with remaining rice, greasing mold each time, to make four cakes. Chill, uncovered, at least 15 minutes.
Combine egg yolks, cream, lemon juice, salt, and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Stir until thick, approximately 3 minutes. Set aside, leaving pot over hot water. Thin, if needed, with a little chicken broth. Stir in the vinegar. Do not reheat or cover the pot.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add rice cakes and cook, until pale golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn cakes, add 1/2 tablespoon butter and cook until other side is golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plates.
Increase heat to medium-high and melt 1/2 tablspoon butter in skillet. Add Canadian bacon and cook, turning once, about 1 minute per side until browned. Place 2 slices bacon on each rice cake.
Melt remaining tablespoon butter. Crack eggs one by one into skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fry until whites are cooked and yolks begin to set, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook other side. Place 1 egg on each stack and top with some Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with scallion and serve.
Note: Sushi rice cooks up slightly moist and sticky, forming a cake easily. Chilling the cakes before browning helps to hold their shape. Rice cakes can be shape done day ahead. Allow to cool 15 minutes before covering and refrigerating. Allow 2 to 5 minutes longer to heat.
Serves 2 to 4.
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