My wife Jan had requested blue cornbread, which I served with chicken chili. There was a lot of cornbread left over, so today I thought to use it one of our favorite breakfasts, Eggs Benedict. I have done variations of Eggs Benedict (1, 2, 3)—by replacing the English muffin with whatever bread like substance I have on hand or substituting avocado for the Hollandaise sauce and new variations are born.
Note: Hollandaise sauce is not exactly a health food—and Jan does not like it anyway—so we tend to leave it out. We call this sauce-less variation Eggs Benedict Arnold—since it is a betrayal of the original recipe.
My wife has friends on Third Mesa and blue corn meal with Hopi culinary ash is an integral part of the Hopi diet. While the Hopi might never make a cornbread like the one I made, she suggested that it be called Third Mesa Eggs Benedict. Ideally though, I should have used a slice of rabbit rather than Canadian bacon—but that is not something I keep on hand.
After Breakfast Note: This idea worked only moderately well. While the flavor was good, the cornbread was not sturdy enough to hold together as you tried to cut through the bacon—it actually crumbled under the pressure.
Karl’s Third Mesa Eggs Benedict
1 wedge Karl’s blue cornbread, split and toasted
2 pats European butter (optional)
2 slices Canadian bacon
(optional) Hollandaise sauce
1. Poach the eggs, for about 5-6 minutes in hot simmering water.
Tip: You do want your water to be hot enough to cook your egg through, but you do not want it to be at a roiling boil as it will knock the egg about creating an excess of foamy whites.
Note: Many people poach eggs in a large pot of boiling water. I personally do not care if I end up with smooth, fluffy-white free eggs. I put about an inch of water in a small skillet, which gives me more control over the process. I put 1-4 eggs in the simmering water. After about a minute I slide a small pancake turner under the egg(s) to make sure they are not stuck to the pan. After another minute I flip the egg(s) over—you want the bottoms to be well set before doing this as the whites may break and your egg will fall apart. You must also be careful not to poke into the yolk with the corner of the turner. After another two minutes turn the egg(s) over a second time. Continue simmering the egg(s) until they are done to your satisfaction—lift the egg slightly out of the water and poke at the edge of the yolk— you want the white fully set, but the yolk still thick and runny.
2. Lightly fry the Canadian bacon.
Assembling the Eggs Benedict
3. Set two wedges of cornbread on your plate.
Tip: Add the butter at this time, if you wish.
4. Lay the Canadian bacon on the cornbread.
5. Set the poached eggs on top of the bacon.
Note: I fold a paper towel and as I remove the egg(s) from the water I set the pancake turner on the paper briefly to blot away any excess water. If you go straight from the pot to the bread you hazard ending up with soggy cornbread.
6. (Optional) Spoon the Hollandaise sauce over the eggs.
Note: Since we generally do not use the Hollandaise, we grind some pepper on the eggs.
7. Serve warm.