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Shirred Eggs with Benedict Arnold Sauce

This is an updated version of the classically retro shirred eggs. I am adding a Benedict Arnold mustard sauce that is lighter than a traditional Hollandaise, but every bit as delicious giving this recipe the familiarity of everyone’s favorite brunch dish, Eggs Benedict.

Shirred Eggs with Benedict Arnold Sauce

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eggs serve 4 with enough sauce for 8, because I know you’ll want extra sauce for so many other purposes. It’s great on chicken and fish and so many vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon creamy dijon mustard
  • 4 slice canadian bacon, fully cooked
  • 8 spears asparagus, cut into 1‑inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoon cream, half and half or milk
  • 8 large eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoon butter
  • 4 slice toast, cut into strips for dipping
  • thyme leaves for garnish

Directions

Prepare the sauce: Combine the wine and vinegar in a small non-reactive saucepan set over medium heat. Bring this to a simmer and gently reduce it to about ½ cup. Transfer the reduced liquid to a double-boiler set over GENTLY simmering water. Whisk in the lightly beaten egg yolks. Continue whisking even after all the egg yolks are incorporated. You want to beat plenty of air into those eggs. As the mixture cooks, the bubbles you create will set, adding heft and volume to the sauce without butter or cream. Eventually you will get a sauce that forms very light peaks. This should take 3–5 minutes. The perfect little bubbles should be consistent, uniform and noticeable. At this point remove the sauce from the heat and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pour it in a steady, slow stream until all the oil is incorporated. Whisk in the mustard. This sauce is best served immediately and warm, but it really does not suffer that much being made ahead and refrigerated.

Prepare the eggs: Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Canadian bacon slices in one layer. No oil is needed. Brown well on both sides about 3–5 minutes. Remove slices to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

Add the asparagus pieces to the same pan. No oil is needed. Cook the asparagus without stirring until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Then shake the pan and cook an additional minute or two. Transfer the asparagus to a small plate.

Choose 8 ramekins or small baking dishes that will comfortably fit the bacon slices. About 3 to 4 inches in diameter is perfect. But please note that the dish size will affect the cooking time. Pour 1 tablespoon of the cream, half and half or milk onto the bottom of each ramekin or baking dish. Top this with the Canadian bacon, and scatter the asparagus pieces on top. Choose the nicest pieces, especially the tips) as you may not need all the asparagus depending on the size of the dish and your appetite. Repeat with all the dishes.

Carefully crack 2 eggs into each dish, trying not to break the yolks. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon butter to each dish. Place the dishes onto the middle rack of the oven and bake until whites are set and opaque but yolks are still slightly wobbly, 7 to 10 minutes. Check them often as dish size can affect the cooking times. Remove them from the oven and allow them to rest about 3 minutes. They will continue to cook during resting so remove them just before they look perfectly cooked to you. But runny yolks are much better in this instance.

Serve the eggs with a dollop of the mustard sauce garnished with some thyme leaves. Don’t forget the toast for dipping into the creamy eggs and the sauce.