Let me be the first to admit that this recipe is not necessarily the healthiest choice. But, OMG, how I love Eggs Benedict and so I’ve made an executive decision. This is a special occasion — summer has arrived! — and we’re going to celebrate with Eggs Benedict.

We got the recipe and some cooking secrets from the chefs at Eve’s at the Garden, which is nestled in the Portland Harbor Hotel in Portland, Maine’s Old Port. Regional Executive Chef Tim Labonte and Executive Sous Chef Anthony St. Peter have both been at the restaurant for five years.

Eggs Benedict cooking tips

Eggs Benedict is such a brunch staple but many home cooks are intimidated to try it. What tips can you offer home cooks to ease their minds?

Do not fear the egg. Poaching eggs and making hollandaise can be overwhelming, and somewhat of a foreign language to some, but with the many Internet resources available, this can be a stress-free language to master.

What’s the secret to a perfect poached egg?

We personally believe in the importance of having an ample amount of simmering acidulated water – at least three quarts for a small batch of eggs. It is also helpful to swirl the water (just before placing eggs into the water), creating a whirlpool effect.

This may be heresy, but can you make any suggestions for a healthier version of Hollandaise?

If a substitution had to be made, a lemon-pepper vinaigrette would work well. Otherwise, there is no substitute for the flavor that butter lends to a beni …

(You could also try a vegan version of Hollandaise. Here’s a recipe from Vegetarian Times.)

Any other wisdom you’d like to share?

Be happy with a less than perfect egg and focus more on your progress through time.

Eggs Benedict from Eve's at the Garden

Source: Eve’s at the Garden

Classic Benedict with Lemon Pepper Hollandaise


  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1tsp water
  • 1tsp salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, melted
  • 4 English Muffins/ thick cut
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 8 Slices of Canadian Bacon / good quality

Poaching the eggs

  1. Fill medium saucepan ¾ with water and add 1-ounce white distilled vinegar, bring to a light simmer.
  2. Crack eggs and carefully drop them into simmering water, stir very slightly once, to keep eggs from sticking to the bottom of the pan or to one another.
  3. Allow eggs to cook to your desired temperature (runny eggs about 3 minutes).
  4. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on griddled English muffin.

Griddled Canadian bacon and English muffins

  1. Apply a small amount of butter/oil to a sauté pan (cast iron preferred) and heat until butter is melted or oil is hot.
  2. Sear Canadian bacon until browned on each side, about 1 minute on each side.
  3. Follow the same procedure to griddle the English muffins

Lemon Pepper Hollandaise

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks, juice from 1 zested lemon, 1tsp cold water, 1tsp salt, 1tsp cracked black pepper & the zest from the lemon. Whisk mixture over double boiler* until double in volume.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Gradually whisk butter into egg yolk mix.
  4. Continue whisking until sauce is thickened.
  5. Keep covered in a warm spot until serving, but best if you serve immediately. 

*Notes for double boiling

  • This method of cooking gives you more control of immediate temperature used when heating delicate sauces.
  • You can reduce the heat of your sauce by simply removing sauce bowl from steam, while still whisking.
  • You will need a metal mixing bowl and a saucepan.
  • Fill sauce pan ¼ full of water and bring to a boil, cover the pot with the mixing bowl and egg mixture and begin whisking while very slowly adding the butter.
  • To avoid scrambling the eggs remove from steam while stirring in butter and return to steam when tempered.
  • Repeat this process until all butter has been added and sauce is smooth and thickened.

Assembly & Plating

  1. Assemble Benedict – place the griddled muffins on plate followed by the seared Canadian bacon.
  2. Place eggs from hot water bath onto the Canadian bacon and generously ladle Lemon Pepper Hollandaise over both eggs.
  3. Sprinkle some Maine Sea Salt on them and garnish with Parsley & Lemon Zest.