Many tasty variations exist on the classic eggs Benedict, each embellishing a poached egg and muffin with luxurious hollandaise sauce. This version adds crisp bacon and sauteed spinach, but you could incorporate crabmeat or tomato slices instead for an equally delicious spin.
Lemony Eggs Florentine
4 large egg yolks
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
1 cup plus 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 1/4 lb. spinach
3 Tbs. finely chopped shallots
8 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, halved crosswise
4 English muffins, split
8 poached eggs
To make the hollandaise, in a blender, combine the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon water, the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper. In a small saucepan, melt the 1 cup butter over medium heat. With the blender running, slowly add the warm melted butter through the vent in the lid, processing until the sauce is thick and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water to thin it. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover, and set aside.
Stem the spinach, rinse well but do not dry, and coarsely chop. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cover, and cook until the spinach is tender, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Drain the spinach mixture in a sieve, pressing gently to remove excess liquid. Return to the pan, cover, and set aside.
In a large frying pan, fry the bacon over medium heat, turning once, until crisp and browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Place the muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil until toasted, about 1 minute. Poach the eggs and keep them warm in hot water.
To serve, place 2 toasted muffin halves, cut sides up, on each plate. Top the 2 halves with one-fourth of the spinach and 4 pieces of bacon. One at a time, using a slotted spoon, remove the poached eggs from the hot water, resting the bottom of the spoon briefly on a clean kitchen towel to blot excess moisture, and perch 2 eggs on each serving of bacon. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the hollandaise over each pair of eggs. Serve at once, passing the remaining hollandaise on the side. Serves 4.
Find more nostalgic, soul-warming dishes in our cookbook Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers.