Classic Eggs Benedict

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INGREDIENTS
For the hollandaise sauce:
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the poached eggs:
8 cups water (2 quarts)
4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
To assemble:
2 English muffins
Unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces thinly sliced ham, warmed
Sweet paprika (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
For the hollandaise sauce:
Fill a large saucepan about halfway full with water and bring it to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender and blend on medium speed until the mixture lightens in color, about 30 seconds.
Reduce the blender speed to low, remove the small cap from the lid (the pour lid), and slowly drizzle in all of the melted butter. Turn off the blender, add the salt and pepper, and pulse to combine.
To keep the hollandaise sauce warm, place the blender pitcher directly in the reserved hot water while you poach the eggs.

For the poached eggs:
Bring the measured water to a simmer in a medium pot over high heat (the water should be at least 2 inches deep). Reduce the heat to low to keep the water at a bare simmer. Stir in the vinegar.
Break 1 egg into a small cup or ramekin. Gently slide the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs, making sure to evenly space them in the water. Cook until the whites are just set, about 3 minutes. Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon. Place in a bowl of warm water to keep warm.

To assemble:
Split and toast the English muffins. Coat the cut sides of the muffins with a thin layer of butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the muffins on serving plates and divide the warm ham slices among them.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the warm water. Blot any excess water from the underside of the spoon with a paper towel or kitchen towel and slide the eggs onto the ham. Top the eggs with the desired amount of hollandaise sauce (you may have some left over to serve on the side). If desired, sprinkle paprika over the eggs, then serve immediately.

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