About one weekend a month, Tim and I (possibly under the influence of a glass of wine or two) spend an evening planning an elaborate brunch. We decide what to make, and in the morning he gets up early, takes the dogs out, and goes to the grocery store to get all the ingredients we need (I’m a pretty lucky girl). Sometimes we have bubbles or Bloody Marys while we cook together, and sometimes we have friends over, but we always end up with a fabulous meal and satisfied tummies on our day of rest.
These Eggs Florentine have been the brunch dish I have been most proud of. It involves a “fancy” French sauce along with my trick of the year – poaching four eggs at once (ta-da!).
P.S. Tim and I got engaged this weekend!!!
recipe from Emeril, with just a few changes: he made his with crispy potato cakes, which we weren’t interested in on this particular go-around, though I think they would be delicious. I also omitted the parsley garnish and the nutmeg from the spinach, and we don’t have white pepper – just minor things.
- Sauteed Spinach, recipe follows
- Mornay Sauce, recipe follows
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Prepare the Sauteed Spinach and Mornay Sauce and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the remaining components.
To poach the eggs: break the eggs into individual saucers or cups. Fill a medium skillet halfway with water. Add the vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Pour eggs into water, cover the skillet and remove from the heat. Allow to sit 4 to 5 minutes. When the eggs are ready, divide the potato cakes evenly between 2 dinner plates and top each with some of the creamed spinach. Remove the eggs from the skillet with a slotted spoon and gently place on top of the spinach. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Ladle some of the Mornay Sauce over the eggs and spinach and serve.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 pound spinach, washed, tough stems removed
Salt and freshly grated white pepper
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the spinach and saute, stirring to wilt and combine with the shallots. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and a pinch freshly ground nutmeg, to taste.
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch white pepper (I used black)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 ounce grated cheese, such as Swiss, Gruyere, or Emmenthaler
In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale yellow and frothy, about 1 minute. Do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese and whisk until melted. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with a little milk.
Use sauce immediately or refrigerate, surface covered with plastic wrap, for several days in the refrigerator.
Yield: about 1 cup