The Most Common Mistake People Make With Eggs Benedict, According To An Expert

When it comes to eggs Benedict, there are plenty of missteps that can happen, from overcooking the eggs or overheating the hollandaise sauce to under-toasting the bread (one of Anthony Bourdain's biggest peeves). But, some or all of these issues can possibly be avoided by taking the advice of Nelson Serrano-Bahri, Director of Innovation at American Egg Board, who told Food Republic in an interview that he believes the biggest mistake people make is not getting organized before cooking.

"Do a mental 'mise en place,' also known as a mental preparation session, before you begin to cook to get all your ingredients ready," Serrano-Bahri advised.

Having all of your ingredients handy makes the process of cooking go much more smoothly, which is key for a recipe like eggs Benedict that has multiple components with varying cooking times. As well, when you're lining up everything you need before cooking, Serrano-Bahri suggests thinking ahead when it comes to the amount of eggs you need.

"Make sure to have more eggs than you're planning to make in case anything goes wrong. If you're making eggs Benedict for six to eight people, I like to have a whole dozen. That way, if all the eggs come out perfect then you can serve and eat them all, but if they don't, you have the flexibility of having extra."

Variations on a traditional eggs Benedict

When it comes to making the dish, expert Nelson Serrano-Bahri is a big fan of the traditional style of eggs Benedict, but he likes to change things up, too. First, he likes to get creative with the base by swapping out the English muffin.

"Leaning into my Latino heritage, I like to play around with the influences of our cooking by using things such as arepas or pupusas as the base. You could even serve your eggs Benedict on top of Mexican tostadas, or I've even done a version with chilaquiles."

Serrano-Bahri also likes to elevate his sauce. While a basic hollandaise sauce calls only for egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice, he adds some fresh flavor and a pop of color with herbs like chives and tarragon.

Finally, when it comes to the protein, Serrano-Bahri is a fan of sometimes swapping out the Canadian bacon for other meaty options. While bacon is at the top of his list, he also likes to use chicken, turkey sausage, and breakfast sausage. "If you want to really elevate the dish, you could use seafood, too," he said.

Tips for poaching eggs for the best Benedict

Even with your ingredients in place, there can be some challenges to making the best eggs benny. One of the top obstacles is poaching the eggs correctly. And while there are tons of tips for how to cook poached eggs, one of the most basic ways to achieve the perfect result — with runny goodness enveloped in firm whites — is to use the freshest eggs possible.

Another way to ensure the eggs will be just right when you perch them atop the bread and Canadian bacon base is to use them when they're at room-temperature. You'll also want to pay close attention to the water: Be sure to have plenty in the pot and that it's at a low boil or simmer, as opposed to a rolling boil. Also, remember to add a bit of vinegar to help the whites to stay together.

A final tip that can help take your eggs from meh to marvelous is to strain them before adding them to the simmering water. This will eliminate thinner egg whites so that you can achieve the ideal thickness around the delicious, golden yolk.