I interviewed for this job in February 2020, and … then we all know what happened. The pandemic put everything, including this newsletter, on hold. A few months later, when interviewing resumed thanks to Zoom, I found myself face-to-face with Post managing editor Tracy Grant. After grilling me on my experience, she asked what I planned to make for dinner that night. I think I said I was making lamb braised with red wine, carrots and prunes. Then, I threw the question back at her. She said she planned, as she did once a week, to make breakfast for dinner — bacon, eggs, the works.
“How are you going to cook the bacon?” I asked.
“In a skillet, on the stove,” she replied, her eyebrows cocked.
“Consider baking it,” I suggested. “Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil and lay the bacon out in a single layer. Bake it at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it’s as crispy as you like.”
She said she’d never cooked bacon in the oven before, but promised to try it. I explained that it was far less messy, and hands off. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat, helping to render most of the fat out of the bacon as it cooks, leaving it perfectly crisp. When I sent a thank-you note by email, I asked how the bacon turned out. “It was a huge success,” she wrote, adding that it was her new go-to way to make bacon. A week later, I got the job.
I guess you could say I owe it all to bacon.
Bacon or no bacon, these cheddar biscuits with eggs and sauteed spinach are a glorious way to take a page from Tracy’s weekly plan and make breakfast for dinner.
This particular recipe is one I adapted from chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s book, “Cook with Me.” In the original, she pan-fries the bacon and poaches the eggs. “When the poached egg breaks and links up with the sharp cheddar in the biscuit, it’s magic,” Guarnaschelli writes. You could poach the eggs, if you like them like that, or fry them until their edges get lacy, or scramble them into soft curds (which is my preference).
Heavy cream makes these biscuits extra tender, and it made me want some sauteed spinach in these sandwiches, so I’ve added that to the recipe here. One thing I didn’t change? The biscuit recipe makes six instead of just four, and I love that, because who doesn’t want extra biscuits? “I always end up devouring one, piping hot, with some strawberry jam while the eggs poach,” Guarnaschelli writes. Give that a try when you make these, the next time you’re in the mood for breakfast for dinner.
There are lots of ways to play around with this recipe:
- If you’re gluten-free >> use a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour instead of the all-purpose.
- I’d never skip the biscuits >> but you could, of course, just serve the eggs atop a pile of spinach, maybe with some shredded cheddar melted over the top.
- If you don’t like cheddar >> try any other aged, firm cheese. This also works with soft cheeses like brie or goat, broken up into chunks.
- The heavy cream ensures these biscuits are supremely tender >> though you could also make them with half-and-half or well-shaken, full-fat canned coconut milk.
- Not into bacon? >> Skip it. Thin slices of eggplant, brushed with oil and roasted with honey and white miso could be a nice replacement.
- Spinach cooks very quickly, which is why I like it here >> but you can use any dark leafy green, chopped and sauteed, instead.
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For the biscuits
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 1/2 cups (600 milliliters) heavy cream
For the sandwiches
- 12 slices (about 7 ounces) thin-cut bacon
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 3 ounces (about 3 packed cups) fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
- 4 large eggs
- Fine sea salt or table salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack in the lower third and another one in the center of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.
Make the biscuits: Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. (Sifting not only ensures that the dry ingredients will be lump-free, it also mixes them together.) Stir in the cheese and pour in the cream, then using your hands, mix until the flour is moistened and a shaggy dough forms. Do not overmix.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Using lightly floured hands, gently press and shape it into a 9-by-6-inch rectangle that’s 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Patch up and press together any cracks. Using a dough scraper or dull knife, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise and then cut each half into thirds to make 6 biscuits. Separate the biscuits, leaving about 1 inch of space between them, then bake on the middle rack for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the biscuits start to lightly brown. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, prepare the bacon: Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay the bacon slices on top in a single layer. Slip into the oven on the lower rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until done to your liking. Remove from the oven.
While the biscuits and bacon cook, in a large skillet over medium heat, combine 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, the spinach and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and remove from the heat.
Make the eggs: If making scrambled eggs, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the eggs and, using a rubber spatula, stir until large and small curds form. Cook to your desired doneness.
If making poached eggs, fill a medium-size shallow pot with about 3 inches of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar and reduce the heat to medium-high. (This will help the eggs take shape more easily as you poach them.) Crack an egg into a small bowl and gently slide the egg into the water. Repeat with another egg, leaving some distance between the two, repeating until all 4 eggs are added. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the eggs until the whites are firm and opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a kitchen towel to drain. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble the sandwiches, use a small serrated knife to split 4 biscuits in half across the equator. Place a large spoonful of spinach on the bottom half of each biscuit, followed by 1 scrambled or poached egg and 2 to 3 slices of bacon. Top with the other biscuit half and serve.
Per serving (1 biscuit, 3 slices of bacon, about 1/4 cup spinach and 1 egg; excluding the 2 extra biscuits), based on 4
Calories: 831; Total Fat: 58 g; Saturated Fat: 31 g; Cholesterol: 350 mg; Sodium: 941 mg; Carbohydrates: 55 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 22 g.
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
Adapted from “Cook With Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook” by Alex Guarnaschelli (Clarkson Potter, 2020). Tested by G. Daniela Galarza.
Tested by G. Daniela Galarza; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Catch up on this week’s Eat Voraciously newsletter recipes:
Tuesday: Grilled Eggplant Parm
Wednesday: Kinnikinnick Farm Tomato Soup