two cal-bennies on a plate with potatoes

Another recipe from my archives, just in time for this year's international avocado shortage!

Eggs Benedict, or "Benedicts", or "Bennies", in their many variations, are quite popular restaurant brunch items in California. This is probably because they fall into that class of food which is easy for a restaurant to make, but both annoying and too decadent to make at home. Today, you can order dozens of different "benedicts" which none of the various Benedict families would recognize, including Florentine (sauteed spinach), Cajun (chile-cream sauce and bacon), New York (smoked salmon and tomato), and the Northwestern paragon, the Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict.

This "benedict" aims to be quintessentially California, simple and easy to make at home, and comparatively healthful. The secret is in the organic free-range extra virgin heirloom handmade ingredients. Hence I christen it the "Cal-Bennie". Recipe follows ...


per person:

  • 1 sourdough English muffin (preferably handmade from organic flour in a worker-owned cooperative bakery like Arizmendi)
  • 1/2 to 1 ripe avocado, depending on size (preferably an organic California Haas avocado)
  • 2 eggs (free-range, locally farmed)
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro (organic, but you saw that coming, didn't you?)
  • Water and white vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt & black pepper (hand-harvested sea salt and fresh ground organic three-pepper mix, of course)
  • Optional: 1oz grated or crumbled parmigiano, feta, or cotija cheese.

Fill a wide saucepan or deep frying pan mostly full of water and bring it to a simmer. Add a couple tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to make it slightly acid (this helps the poached eggs set)

While you're waiting for the water to boil, split and toast the english muffins. Pit and peel the avocados. On each 1/2 muffin, mash 1/4 to 1/2 avocado with a fork; you should use enough to make a nice 1/4" thick layer of mashed avocado. Salt lightly.

Poach the eggs until set but with runny yolks.

Drain and carefully place one poached egg on each muffin. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro, some salt & pepper over the top, and cheese, if using. Serve.

Accompany with organic heirloom diced potatoes fried in extra virgin olive oil and/or organic free range naturally cured bacon. Also, it helps to give each diner a steak knife so that they can slice the bennie easily.

Note: this is probably still good made from regular supermarket ingredients. I wouldn't know.

cal-bennies with bacon