Eggs Benedict with Spinach
A classic dish, such a treat to have when eating out but thought to be tricky at home – it needs care but is well worthwhile, have a go! Use smoked bacon if liked.
|8||thin rashers of streaky bacon Butter, for spreading and frying|
|2||English muffins, sliced in half|
|For the hollandaise sauce:|
|1 tsp||white wine vinegar, plus extra for poaching the eggs|
|100g (4oz)||unsalted butter, melted|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper|
You will need: a hand whisk.
1. Fry the bacon for 4–5 minutes until crisp, in a dry, nonstick frying pan over a high heat or under the grill, then set aside to keep warm.
2. To make the hollandaise sauce, use a hand whisk to whisk the yolks and vinegar together in a medium bowl until blended (see tip). Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Gradually pour in the melted butter in a thin stream, whisking continuously over the heat, until the sauce has thickened and become glossy. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat, cover the bowl with cling film and set aside.
3. Bring the same pan up to the boil, adding more water if needed – enough to poach the eggs. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add a dash of vinegar to the water. Crack each egg into a ramekin or cup, swirl the water with a spoon and then carefully drop into the pan. Leave until the white is just beginning to set and carefully turn with a slotted spoon to form into an oval shape (see tip).
4. Simmer for 3–4 minutes or until the white is set and the yolk is soft in the middle. Keep an eye on the heat: if the water starts to bubble again, turn it down to stop it disrupting the egg’s shape. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift out and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Toast and butter the muffins and arrange on four plates.
6. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and briefly fry the spinach until wilted, then season with salt and pepper.
7. Spoon some spinach on top of each muffin half, top with an egg and a spoonful of hollandaise and arrange two bacon rashers in a cross on top. Serve hot.
Mary’s Classic Tips:
* Using a hand whisk for making the hollandaise sauce gives better control over the final texture – you don’t want it to be whipped and become too thick to pour.
* Don’t panic when first tipping an egg into the poaching water. The egg white will naturally spread out, but it comes together as it cooks, and you can tidy the edges at the end when the cooked egg is draining on kitchen paper.
Prepare Ahead: The hollandaise sauce can be made up to an hour ahead and kept warm in a widenecked vacuum flask.