By John Havel
There are at least two stories about the original Eggs Benedict,
though both date to 1890s New York City. One story names Delmonicos
as the point of origin, in 1893. A Mrs. LeGrand Benedict was tired of
the usual fare at the restaurant, and negotiated the new dish with
the help of Chef Charles Ranhofer. The other story credits Mr. Lemuel
Benedict, who requested toast, bacon, poached eggs, and a small
pitcher of hollandaise to help treat a hangover one morning in 1894
at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Regardless of it's origin, Eggs Benedict is the reigning queen of
the brunch. Rich as any European kingdom, this simple, elegant repast
can elevate a gathering of commoners to an almost royal status. With
four basic ingredients it's not hard to get it right.
The English muffins should be as fresh as possible. Don't use the
frozen muffins you bought for Aunt Martha last summer. Tearing the
halves apart with a fork or with hands, rather than slicing them,
increases their surface area, and therefore also their flavor and
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