These Southern eggs Benedict sort of sprung themselves on us on a Sunday morning. I’d decided I’d been spoiling O for too long, cooking for him every single night, and I felt it was time to reignite his self-sufficiency in the kitchen. What if I got hit by a speeding moped on my walk to the grocery store? What if I contracted flesh-eating bacteria and went the way of the zombies? What if I accidentally shoot myself in court while demonstrating to a jury how my client’s alleged victim accidentally shot himself?* …what if… WHAT IF?!
I don’t want O to starve if I’m attacked by a flesh-eating moped on the way to court to demonstrate how to shoot oneself, so lately I’ve been asking him to cook with me to get that independence-mojo back. The man survived for decades without my assistance, but I just don’t know if he could go back to those bachelor meals after years indulging in truffle mac and cheese, Dijon-tarragon chicken with leeks, or homemade salted caramel (even if it was made in the microwave!).
We decided on some simple breakfast foods: canned biscuits, packaged gravy, and bacon. I offered to make eggs, then began envisioning a poached egg sitting atop a Southern eggs Benedict-inspired open-face sandwich! The results were awesome. The crisp saltiness of the bacon married beautifully with the velvety, rich egg yolk, all atop a fluffy biscuit, absolutely smothered in creamy, peppery white gravy.
Naturally, you could make your own gravy or biscuits, but using these pre-packaged ingredients makes this dish perfectly simple and still delicious. The only remotely complicated part is the feared poached egg, but my method is fool-proof and so easy.. requiring no in-pot cyclones, plastic wrap, or sacrificing of virgins.
You could also replace the bacon with breakfast sausage patties, which would be delicious. As much as I love bacon, I love a sausage appearance at breakfast. Let’s be honest: I put bacon in approximately 50% of our meals (modest estimate), so sausage is a welcome indulgence.
Any sort of biscuits would work! Buttermilk biscuits will be the most traditional, of course, but there’s something about those flaky layered Pillsbury biscuits that are so tempting and comforting, an unassuming reminder of childhood and squeeze margarine (though I don’t recommend that trans-fat party ever again).
Make these! Make these for breakfast; make these for brunch. Make these for… elevenses. I won’t tell.
- 4 biscuits, made from scratch or using canned, like Pillsbury, any variety
- 8 slices bacon, halved & cooked til crisp but not burned
- 1 package white gravy (or homemade), about 2 cups
- 8 eggs, poached, see notes for how-to
- freshly ground black pepper
- Half each biscuit and lay cut-side up on individual plates or serving platter. Place two half-slices of bacon side by side, followed by poached egg. Top with gravy. Tada!
- How to poach an egg: Fill a nonstick saucepan with about 2" water. Pour in about 1-2 tablespoons wine vinegar or other flavored vinegar (you can use white vinegar, but use something else if you have it) to the water to acidulate the water and help the egg whites coagulate. Place over high heat. Crack your eggs into small bowls. When the water is JUST about to boil, and you see little bubble streams coming from the bottom, turn heat to low. Don't allow to boil--if it begins to, pour in just a bit of extra room temperature water, or uh, wait.
- Gently lower a bowl with a cracked egg to the water and gently slip the egg into the water. Using a spoon, gently push the egg white strands closer to the whole of the egg, helping it stay together. Set a time for 3 minutes. When the egg is formed and sticking together, you can lower in another egg and repeat that process. Set another timer for 3 minutes, or generally guess how long it took you to add that second egg and get it sticking to itself. Poach about 3 at a time--too crowded and you'll have morphed Siamese twin eggs, which is not what we're going for (this time). Very, very gently try and push the eggs around just a bit, so they don't stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
- After the 3 minutes is up, remove the first egg with a slotted spoon and very gently slide your beautifully poached egg onto a plate (you can line with paper towels to absorb extra water but it will be much harder to slide the egg off the plate this way). After 3 minutes (or about as long as it took you between setting the first timer and getting the second egg in and sticking to itself) for the second egg, remove it the same way. Do the same for the third egg, then repeat the process from placing the pot over high heat. You can recycle the water or start again, if you like, depending on how many rogue egg white strands you have.