An innovative twist on eggs Benedict
Discover a new rendition of the classic eggs Benedict from Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, complete with a recipe for you to enjoy at home. | By Elizabeth Wellington | September 3, 2021
Decadent eggs Benedict are at the heart of every good brunch. People toast to birthdays, holidays and life milestones over the perfect combination of breakfast flavors. The dish has evolved into a global favorite, with substitutions aplenty. Would you like it with sausage instead of bacon? Or a vegetarian version with avocado? In this article, we’ll share some current renditions worth traveling for. Here’s what you’ll learn:
Where eggs Benedict was invented: As legend goes, the dish originated at the one and only Waldorf Astoria New York in 1894.
The chef evolving the age-old dish: Discover the Scottish restaurant at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian reinventing this tradition for a new generation and a new locale.
How to make it at home: Use our recipe to create eggs Benedict at home for either a special occasion or for your regular Sunday morning.
Global twists on a classic dish
Eggs Benedict was invented at the original Waldorf Astoria location on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, where the Empire State Building now stands, and the tradition of culinary innovation continued when Waldorf Astoria New York moved uptown in 1931. The Art Deco icon, celebrating its 90th anniversary on Park Avenue this October 1, is undergoing a meticulous restoration to reopen in 2023.
Eggs Benedict has made such an indelible impression on modern culinary culture that it even boasts its own national day in the United States, celebrated on April 16 every year. As its popularity rose in the 20th century, creative twists were made to the dish around the world. You can find everything from eggs Benedict with guacamole and chorizo to an eggs Benedict burger topped with a poached egg.
Of the many varieties served at top hotels and local cafes, our favorite twist on the classic is from Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian’s eggs royale. The hotel is an icon in the city’s former, antique railway station on Princes Street in the heart of the Scottish capital. Biagio Zapparrata, senior chef de partie at the hotel, whipped up a new recipe that has soared in popularity, replacing Canadian bacon with Scottish smoked salmon.
“The eggs royale recipe represents the essence of Scotland and the luxury service that we’re known for at the Waldorf Astoria. The fantastic, local Scottish smoked-salmon and the hollandaise sauce create the perfect alchemy,” says Zapparrata.
He shares a quick tip for anyone making eggs royale. “One of the secrets to making a nice hollandaise sauce is to add a tiny bit of water in with the egg yolks before whisking them, and to add salt only at the end. The water for the poached eggs has to simmer, not boil, otherwise your eggs will not be perfect. Gently stir the water with a spoon and wait for a few seconds before dropping the egg in,” he shares. Follow his detailed directions in the recipe below to bring the magic of this dish home until your next trip to Edinburgh.
Contributed by Biagio Zapparrata, senior chef de partie, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Difficulty: Medium | Prep and cooking: 15 minutes | Serves 1
Ingredients for the hollandaise sauce:
4½ ounces unsalted butter 2 egg yolks About 2½ teaspoons white wine vinegar Sprig of rosemary About 1¼ teaspoons hot water Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the poached eggs:
2 medium eggs (for poaching) ½ cup white wine vinegar Smoked salmon 1 English muffin
Melt the butter in a pot on your stovetop at low heat, but do not allow it to boil. Separate the butterfat from the buttermilk and set the buttermilk aside.
Put the white wine vinegar and rosemary in a small pot over low heat to reduce the liquid by half.
Place a bowl above a pot of simmering water, and then whisk the egg yolks with the 1¼ teaspoons of hot water in the bowl until it looks creamy.
Continue whisking the yolks and slowly add the melted butter.
While whisking, adjust the consistency with the vinegar reduction and some hot water if needed.
Taste and adjust with salt and vinegar reduction to your liking.
To poach eggs:
In a pot with simmering water add ½ cup of white wine vinegar.
Crack open the eggs into two small containers.
Gently stir the water and add the eggs one at a time.
Wait for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Gently spoon the poached eggs out of the water and place on a plate.
Cut an English muffin in half and toast it before placing the halves on the plate.
Add the smoked salmon on top of the English muffin, creating a nest for the eggs.
Lay the eggs on top of the muffin and garnish them with two spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce.
Top with freshly ground pepper and enjoy.
After tackling the eggs royale recipe at home, take your renewed culinary prowess on a food tour across the globe. Whether you start in New York or Edinburgh, you will be sure to find an innovative twist on this Waldorf Astoria legend.
Elizabeth Wellington is a travel writer and brand copywriter whose work has appeared in Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and BBC. When not writing in her Vermont farmhouse, she's usually en route to a new destination with a notebook in hand.