Eggs Benedict Goes Southern

Here's the classic, but be sure to try the regional twists.
Cynthia Ann Briscoe

Eggs Benedict Galore:


Eggs Benedict is a lavish dish. Open-faced English muffins layered with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and rich Hollandaise sauce make a showstopping brunch when paired with seasonal fruit. Though it's hard to imagine how it can get much better, we've added some fresh ideas to this tried-and-true classic.

Lyda Jones, our Test Kitchens Director, is passionate about these richly flavored delights. She developed three regional variations, merging traditional Southern ingredients with a variety of bread bases. We thought the popular Lowcountry dish shrimp and grits couldn't be improved. Yet Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill in Charleston put a delicious twist on this recipe using fried grits squares, asparagus spears, and a creamy shrimp sauce.

All the versions received high ratings, but it was the Country Ham Eggs Benedict that captured my Kentucky heart. The recipe was also inspired by a Charleston restaurant--The Baker's Café. How can you go wrong with tender cornbread pancakes, fried ham, and eggs all smothered in a Swiss Cheese Sauce?

You'll find these recipes may take a little extra time, but they are worth the effort. Some variations offer make-ahead tips so you can get a headstart before company comes. Don't let the thought of poaching eggs scare you.