Eggs Benedict is an iconic American breakfast dish originating in New York City at the end of the nineteenth century.
This simple combination of toasted English muffin, Canadian bacon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce is a delicious treat that’s well worth the effort it takes to prepare.
Eggs Sardou is similar to Eggs Benedict in that the main components are poached egg and hollandaise sauce, but instead of being served atop an English muffin and Canadian bacon, they’re served in artichoke bottoms on a bed of creamed spinach.
In the authentic version, the creamed spinach is prepared with bechamel sauce and the eggs are served in hollowed artichoke bottoms, but we make a slightly lighter (and easier) version using sautéed spinach and chopped artichoke hearts.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 4 slices Canadian bacon
- 2 English muffins, split
For the Hollandaise sauce:
- 4 egg yolks
- 10 tablespoons butter, 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons, melted
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cayenne
Prepare the hollandaise sauce:
- Place 1/2 to 3-4-inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Find a heatproof bowl that will fit over the simmering water without actually touching it during cooking. A distance of about 1-1/2 inches between the water and the bottom of the bowl is ideal. We generally use a stainless mixing bowl over a 2-quart saucier.
- Place the egg yolks and lemon juice into the heatproof bowl and whisk together until blended. Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk vigorously as the eggs thicken and increase in volume, scraping the sides frequently to keep the mixture cooking evenly. You must whisk continually until the eggs have thickened to the point where you can see thin ribbons form when you lift the whisk. This should take about 5 minutes.
- To finish the sauce, whisk in melted butter in a very slow drizzle. The sauce will thicken and develop a glossy sheen. Stop adding butter when you feel the sauce has reached the right consistency even if you have a little butter remaining. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm while you poach the eggs and prepare the muffins and bacon.
Prepare the Canadian bacon and English muffins:
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook until very lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Lightly toast the muffins, top each half with a slice of bacon and keep warm.
Cook the eggs:
- Add 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water and 1 tablespoon vinegar to a large nonstick sauté pan and bring to a very gentle simmer (about 170°F). Do not boil. Break each egg into a separate prep bowl or custard cup and gently slip them, one at a time, into the hot water. Using a spoon, carefully nudge the whites toward their respective yolks and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the eggs).
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the eggs to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess water. Plate the bacon-topped English muffins and set an egg on each. Top with hollandaise sauce and serve immediately.
Recipe Variation: Eggs SardouEggs Sardou is similar to Eggs Benedict in that the main components are poached egg and hollandaise sauce, but instead of being served atop an English muffin and Canadian bacon, they’re served in artichoke bottoms on a bed of creamed spinach. In the authentic version, the creamed spinach is prepared with bechamel sauce and the eggs are served in hollowed artichoke bottoms, but we make a slightly lighter (and easier) version using sautéed spinach and chopped artichoke hearts. To make Eggs Sardou you will need the following ingredients in addition to the ones listed in the Eggs Benedict recipe above. Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 10 ounces fresh spinach
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream (optional)
- Prepare the hollandaise sauce and poached eggs as directed for the Eggs Benedict.
- Roughly chop the artichoke hearts, discarding any leaves that seem tough. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium heat, add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, tossing with tongs as it begins to cook down. Season with salt and pepper and add the cream. Toss to combine and divide the spinach between 4 serving plates. Top each with a portion of artichokes, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.
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