Today, we're making Eggs Benedict Crostini!
Eggs Benedict Crostini
Here's the gameplan for today. We're going to toast up some baguette slices until they're perfectly crisp, top them with slices of warm Canadian bacon, top that with some jammy egg slices, then finish the whole thing with a drizzle of homemade hollandaise sauce.
This is basically best case scenario when it comes to brunchin' if you ask me.
Let's talk this through from the bottom up. To start, we're going to use a nice crusty baguette that we've sliced into ½ inch thick slices. We'll give the bread a light drizzle of olive oil, pop it on a sheet pan, and send it to the oven for about 10 minutes to get golden and crispy. Here's the thing to keep in mind about the crostini. Not every baguette is created equally. Some breads are more dense while some are more airy. Some are wider and thicker than others. Obviously, we want to give ourselves the most surface area possible, so get a thicker loaf if you can. But, we also don't want to turn our bread into croutons. We want it just lightly golden and crisp on the outside so that it will still be fluffy on the inside. So keep an eye on your toasts so that they don't over bake, because all of these factors will play into the cooking time.
While the crostini bakes, we can simultaneously work on our next layers...the meat and the egg. We're going to use Canadian bacon for this recipe which comes already cooked. So, all we really need to do is heat the ham in a skillet for a minute or two per side until it just starts to brown, and we'll slice it into quarters that will fit perfectly on our little toasts. That's it!
For the eggs, while poached eggs are traditional in an eggs benedict, we're going to make some jammy eggs to lay on top of our crostini. To do this, we'll bring a pot of water to a boil, carefully drop in our eggs, and let them boil for exactly 7 mins. After 7 mins, they'll go straight to a bowl of ice water for exactly 2 minutes. The ice bath actually serves 2 purposes when it comes to these eggs. One, it stops the cooking of the egg so that our yolks still have a gooeyness to them on the inside. And two, it helps make the shells easily peel right off the eggs.
Once the eggs have finished their ice bath, we'll peel off the shells. Then, we'll carefully slice each egg into fours, and each crostini gets a slice of egg. Now these are jammy eggs, after all. So, the whites will be firm but the yolk will still have a runny center. This can make it a little difficult to slice without losing all that creamy yolk. So, I actually like to slice the egg carefully from my hand right over the crostini so any lost yolk will be caught on the toast. But, you could always also cook your eggs a little longer to get a firmer yolk.
You can't have eggs benny without a hollandaise sauce, so we're going to make a super simple hollandaise to drizzle right over the top. If I'm going to be completely honest, I've always been intimidated by hollandaise sauce. It can be a little finnicky, and it can go from perfect to broken in the blink of an eye. But, I've found the trick to make the perfect sauce, and I don't think I'll ever go back. And, the secret tool is an immersion blender!
We're going to make our sauce right in the cup that comes along with our stick blender. So, we'll add our egg yolks, some lemon juice, some water, and a little salt and cayenne right to the bottom of the cup. Then, we'll melt a stick of butter in the microwave until it just starts to bubble. And, we'll let it sit for a few seconds while we pre-blend our egg mix. Then, we'll leave the blender running on high while we VERY SLOWLY drizzle in our melted butter. And when I say slow, I mean slow. It should take you 45 seconds to a minute to pour all of the butter into the cup. The heat from the butter and the blender is actually what cooks the egg yolks, and the end result is a perfectly thick, creamy, and velvety sauce. The sauce gets spooned right over top of the eggs on the crostini, and our brunch bites are complete!
These crostini are dangerous. It's so easy to keep coming back for another and another. And, all of the flavors we know and love about eggs benedict is right there. The bread is crisp. The ham is savory. The eggs are gooey. And, that sauce is rich and tangy. These are perfect to serve as an appetizer for a brunch party or to just switch up your breakfast routine with your loved ones at home.
THEY ARE SOOOO GOOD!
Okie dokes, everyone! Next up, we're going to make a fresh green side dish that compliments these bites perfectly. Any guesses what it is?
Until then, enjoy! And, let's eat!
Eggs Benedict Crostini
For the Crostini
- 16 slices baguette, sliced ½ inch thick
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 8 slices Canadian bacon
- 4 eggs
- minced chives, for garnish
For the Hollandaise
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 stick butter
- Prepare the baguette: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, and lightly drizzle the top side of the bread with olive oil. Alternately, you can lightly brush the baguette with about 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bread is lightly golden. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, warm the Canadian bacon: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Place Canadian bacon slices in pan, and cook for 1-2 mins per side until the ham starts to brown. Repeat in batches, as necessary. Cut each slice of ham into quarters, and place 2 quarters on top of each slice of baguette. Set aside.
- Soft boil the eggs: Fill a medium saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Gently add 4 eggs into the boiling water, and boil for 7 mins. After 7 mins, transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water, and allow eggs to chill for 2 mins. Remove from ice bath, and peel the shells off the eggs. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the hollandaise sauce: Place the butter in a glass measuring cup, and microwave until the butter is melted and just starts to bubble (about 1 ½ – 2 mins). In a tall cup that completely fits the base of an immersion blender, add 2 eggs yolks, lemon juice, water, salt, and cayenne pepper. Turn the blender on high, and blend for about 15 seconds to start to combine the ingredients. With the blender running on high, very slowly drizzle in the melted butter until you get to the bottom of the glass with the white solids. Stop drizzling when you reach the white solids, and discard what's left in the glass (about ½ tbsp). It should take about 45-50 seconds to drizzle all of the butter in and for the sauce to become thick and creamy.
- To serve, carefully slice each soft boiled egg horizontally into 4 slices. Top each crostini with an egg slice, a drizzle of hollandaise, and a pinch of minced chives. Serve immediately.
- *Cooking the eggs for 7 minutes gets us a jammy egg. Since the yolks are still slightly runny, they can be a little tricky to slice without losing the yolk. I like to gently make each slice right over each crostini so it can catch any yolk drippings. If you want a firmer yolk, cook the eggs for 10 minutes to get more of a hard boiled egg.
- *Most immersion blenders (or stick blenders) come with a cup that's the perfect size for blending. Use that to make your sauce if you have it.
- *It's very important to drizzle in the butter VERY slowly to make our sauce. If we pour it in too quickly, it won't blend with the sauce properly which will cause it to break and separate.