05 Jun עופר איתן Assert: How to make Delmonico’s Eggs Benedict according to Chef Bil…
- Delmonico’s Chef Billy Oliva teaches an amateur how to make eggs benedict through video chat.
- Eggs Benedict is widely considered to have been created at Delmonico’s in the late 1800s.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Medha Imam: Today, we are making eggs Benedict with chef Billy Oliva.
Billy Oliva: That doesn’t look so good.
Billy: It should feel like you’re touching a, almost like a balloon.
Baba: It’s good enough.
Medha: Hello, lovely people! My name is Medha from Food Insider, and I have been craving brunch for quite a while now, so I thought, you know what? I report on food, I know a lot of professional chefs in the industry, so why not have them teach me how to cook? So, today we’re gonna learn how to make eggs Benedict with chef Billy Oliva from Delmonico’s, which is credited for creating eggs Benedict in New York City. So, let’s go. So, let’s get cooking. So, let me call him.
Well, hello, chef Billy! How are you doing today?
Billy: I’m good.
Medha: So, since I’ve never made eggs Benedict before, what do you think I’ll struggle with the most?
Billy: Well, the two trickiest parts of making eggs Benedict has to be the poaching of the eggs, which is a little tricky, but I think we’ll get you through it. And then the second-hardest thing is the hollandaise. Those two are the, if you’ve never made them before, they can be a little daunting.
Medha: Yeah, I’ve never made either of those, so I am nervous.
Billy: It’s not as hard as you think it is.
Medha: All right, let’s get started!
Billy: The first step you wanna do would probably be the poaching of the eggs. So, you’re gonna need a pot to poach your eggs, some vinegar, obviously some water, a slotted spoon, and an ice bath.
Medha: All right, so, I have this pot. Is this OK? Is it too big? Billy: It’s a little big. [laughs] Medha: OK. Billy: It depends on how many eggs you’re poaching.
Medha: We have this saucepan.
Billy: I think that saucepan will be easier for you to control.
Billy: So, I would maybe do it in the saucepan.
Medha: I found white balsamic reduction. I hope that it can be used as a substitute for white vinegar. I don’t know if it will.
Billy: It would be a good idea to actually taste the white balsamic, and just to see how syrupy it is.
Medha: Oh, yeah, [laughs] it’s really syrupy.
Billy: It’s too sweet, right?
Billy: Yeah. We could go find another vinegar if you want.
Medha: Yeah, actually. Mom? Mama? I think she’s on the phone. [laughs] Mama? I’ll be back. Mom!
Do we have any vinegar?
Mama: Yeah, in the fridge.
Medha: OK, this fridge?
Medha: Oh. White distilled vinegar. Got it!
OK, is this fine for the angle? Tell me if I should go lower or higher.
Billy: I can see the stove pretty good, yeah. I would give it, like, two or three capfuls, maybe.
Medha: Two or three capfuls. I’m, like, so scared of under performing in front of you. [laughing]
Billy: I’m actually the easiest person to cook for. As long as I don’t have to make it and somebody else is making it, it’s gonna taste good.
Medha: All right, chef, I’m just showing you, it’s starting to boil. I know this is literally the easiest part of the process, so I didn’t really have to show you, but I’m just mimicking.
Billy: Yes, you’re ready to start poaching! Lower the heat so we don’t have a rolling boil, though.
Medha: OK. So, what does a roaring boil look like?
Billy: A rolling boil. When the bubbles are kind of rolling on top of one of each other. You wanna lower it down so you have a nice, gentle simmer. ‘Cause if it’s boiling too hard, when you add your eggs, and the bubbles are coming up, it’s gonna kind of mess up your poached egg. The guy that does most of my poached eggs down in the restaurant cracks them with one hand and drops them in as he goes. He’s done thousands of them. For you, yeah, maybe crack the egg into a small bowl and then slide it out of the bowl into the pot. Or you just go ahead and go for it and crack the egg on the side of the pot and drop it in and see what happens. Those are the two ways I would do it.
Medha: I think I will do the former option, where there is a little bowl to help me out.
Billy: Give the water a stir before you do that. Give it, like, a little whirlpool bath. OK. Once that water is spinning nice, then you can go ahead and drop your egg in.
Medha: OK, so I let it… should I stop twirling?
Billy: That’s good, yeah. You have a nice spin on the water.
Medha: And now?
Billy: Now go ahead. Bring the bowl closer to the water.
Medha: I think I –
Billy: That doesn’t look so good.
Billy: It was a little high.
Billy: You kinda, you kinda plopped it in.
Medha: And that’s not what it’s supposed to do.
Billy: So you don’t want it to – when you have it in the bowl and you dump it, the yolk is the heaviest part, so the yolk just kinda sinks.
OK, OK, wait a minute. Wait a minute. You could have put the bowl a little bit closer to the water, but it doesn’t look so bad.
Medha: Does it look bad, bad, though?
Billy: No, it doesn’t look that bad.
Medha: What I see is that the entire egg itself is now coated in a white kind of coating.
Billy: You just wanna have it in there long enough to set the white. So you’re probably almost ready to come out. So maybe about three or four minutes, if the water is the right temperature.
Medha: OK, and then I have to pop it right into the ice water, correct?
Billy: We’re gonna scoop out our egg very gently, and we’re gonna lower the spoon into the ice water. Again, we don’t wanna, we don’t wanna dump it into the ice water because we don’t want our yolk to break. Scoop out the egg and lay it real gently into the, into the ice water. The ice is, you know, got some sharp, not sharp edges but some square edges on it, and you could puncture the egg, and then it would just leak out.
Medha: Now just gently pour it in the water.
Billy: Right down into the ice water.
Medha: Stuck to the spoon. All right. Should I put more ice in this water? It just floated to the bottom.
Billy: That’s OK. As long as the water is pretty cold.
Billy: That’s good, that’ll stop the cooking process, and that’s what we wanna do. If you’re gonna cook and serve right away, you won’t need the ice bath. But if you’re gonna poach the eggs first, go back and get all your other stuff ready, the ice bath helps just so you don’t overcook the eggs, and it makes it a little bit easier for when you’re going to reheat the eggs.
Medha: This first essential part wasn’t too difficult. I know I didn’t do it perfectly, but I think I can get the hang of it after a couple tries. So, this time around, I’m going to try poaching two eggs. So, just crack. It’s on a low simmer.
Billy: OK, give your water, don’t forget to give your water a little swirl.
Medha: Oh, yes, correct. So, swirling.
Billy: That should be good.
Medha: There you go. And I’m just going to slide it in?
Billy: Closer to the water than the first one.
Medha: Do it again?
Billy: Yep. How do we look? OK. They might stick together a little bit, so we’ll see.
Medha: What do I do? How do I break it?
Billy: You can break it with a spoon, but let it set a little bit. Let it set a little bit first. How do we look?
Medha: I think they didn’t stick, but I don’t know about it being stuck to the bottom. So I think I needed to have a more aggressive swirl in, and I didn’t, and so that’s why it kind of floated directly to the bottom this time around. The first one looks pretty good, I have to say. The second one looks like… a Harry Potter dementor. [laughing]
Billy: OK, we’ll be able to make it work, though.
Medha: OK. I don’t know if it’s ready yet. But should I take it out?
Billy: Let’s take a look.
Medha: OK, let me show you.
Billy: The white looks all, the white looks set, right? There’s…