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Eggs Florentine... aka Deliciously Tempting a Heart Attack

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Eclecticisms: Eggs Florentine... aka Deliciously Tempting a Heart Attack

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eggs Florentine... aka Deliciously Tempting a Heart Attack

Eggs Florentine is one of those dishes that I have to get when it's on the menu if I'm out for breakfast, mainly because I had never made it at home, which means I've passed up lots of dishes that I'd like to try while out. The idea of poaching an egg really was a frightening idea to me. Cooking eggs in water? What? I'll let the guy in the kitchen do that for me, thank you very much. All of that changed today.

Some people like eggs over rice or noodles. I had a fried egg on rice once, and I wasn't a huge fan. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty, but I like my eggs seperate and my rice with other delicious goodies. (Unless we're talking scrambled egg in thai food!) Leslie sent me a recipe today that involved an egg over noodles. I can't remember if it was poached or not, but it gave me the idea to finally trying to make eggs florentine for myself. She sent me some links to hollandaise sauce recipes (I've had the jarred stuff and wasn't impressed) and I ended up using one from The Pioneer Woman's blog. I'll tell you more about that later.

I watched several YouTube videos and read several instructions on how to poach an egg when I got home, and was surprised at all the conflicting info out there! Some people tell  you to salt the water while others tell you it is a horrible idea and that it will ruin the eggs. Some sites tell you to cover the pan and remove from heat, some tell you to keep the heat on and not cover it. Some tell you to bring the water to a boil and then bring back down to a simmer, but most have you only bring it to a simmer. I combined everything I saw and read and combined the techniques, using my own best judgement. Here's how it went.

Poaching an Egg
*I did this step last but feel that it deserves front and center attention*

Vinegar (White or Apple Cider)

Don't be afraid. It isn't as hard as it sounds, and after a bit of practice I have a feeling I'll really have this down pat! You'll probably want to watch some youtube videos to see how this is done. I only got a couple of pictures, because you really need to be focused on what you're doing and not fiddling with your camera while making these.

Fill a large sauce pan with enough water to cover eggs with 2-3 inches of water. Add vinegar, which will help coagulate the egg white. I used about 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, but I don't think it was quite enough. I'll try at least 1 Tbs next time.

Have eggs ready (Don't cook too many in one pan. 2 or 3 will work, depending on the size of  your pan) and crack the first one into a shallow bowl. You will add each egg to the water directly from this bowl, one at a time.

Bring water to a simmer, so that bubbles are just starting to come to the surface. (This is my fake-out picture. The water wasn't ready but I felt like some sort of image would be helpful!)

Swirl the water with a spoon and dip the edge of your bowl into the well that forms in the center and slide the egg out. Leave it alone for a few seconds while it sort of collects itself. You can add the other egg(s) now, but I found that the stirring method only really worked for the first one. (For me, anyways.) Not all directions I found told you to swirl the water... play around with it and see what works best for you. I will be doing the same!

Allow eggs to cook for at least 2-3 minutes on medium/high heat. When the egg is done, the white will appear firm and the yolk will still be a bit jiggly. The longer you cook the eggs, the firmer they will be. You can use the spoon to gently check that they aren't sticking while they cook. Running the spoon over the top of the water gently will help the eggs to form. You know they are almost ready when they start to float off the bottom of the pan.

When done, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water, and place on a paper towel so the moisture will be removed. You don't want wet toast! It's a good idea anyways. I, on the other hand, was so worked up over my eggs at this point that I forgot to do this step. At one point I thought the yolk was leaking out and I sort of yelled at the egg. I'm a bit neurotic I suppose. I'd held the egg in the spoon long enough for pretty much all of the water to drain though, so it turned out ok.

If you are preparing the eggs ahead of time, you may keep them in ice water. The eggs will keep for 2 days in the fridge. Putting them in ice water will also stop the eggs from cooking but I skipped that part. (I do however, use that method when I make hard boiled eggs.)

Ok- here's how to make eggs florentine!


Poached Eggs
Sauteed fresh spinach
Sliced tomato (Optional... and I forgot to add it anyways. Oops!)
Hollandaise Sauce (recipe below)
English Muffin (I used sourdough)


Hollandaise Recipe

2 sticks (you read that right!) butter
3 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
Cayanne Pepper (I used about 2 tsp)

Start seperating the eggs and putting the yolks into a blender.

Juice the lemon. The recipe says to squeeze the juice right in, but I wanted it to be ready. Juicing the lemon first also ensures that you don't get a bunch of seeds in the sauce.

Melt butter in a small sauce pot

When butter is melted, turn blender on low. Slowly pour butter mixture into eggs. I had the instructions for this printed, and the pictures didn't print out. Having gone back to the website, I now see that you should take the center of the blender lid out. I had the lid off. Butter. Everywhere. Do not repeat my mistake. Ugh.

Mess, mess, mess.

Immediately add lemon juice, followed by cayanne pepper while blender is still running. I didn't do this as quickly as the recipe suggests, because at that point I had the blender covered completely with the lid. I didn't have any trouble with the consistancy (sauce with thicken a bit after sitting) but you can hold off on some of the lemon juice if your sauce is looking too thin.

Put sauce aside. (It's done!)

Now sautee the spinach in about 1 Tbs butter for about 4 minutes. It tastes better and retains more vitamins if you don't overcook it. Set aside.

Very lightly toast an English Muffin. I used two muffin bottoms, which will work out great later, because when served alone I much prefer the thinner tops. Lightly butter if desired. I don't really tink it's necessary... the sauce has enough butter in it!

Top muffin with spinach, then poached egg, then top with sauce. Use black pepper if desired.

This dish is delicious but super filling and rich! I can't wait to try poaching more eggs... and this time I won't be such a chicken about it.


At April 14, 2010 at 8:13 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Oh man, this is David's favorite breakfast dish whenever we go out! Some of them also include sautéed mushrooms, which is the only way he could love them more. =)

At April 15, 2010 at 6:13 AM , Blogger Leslie said...

Oh they came out so good! I can totally hear you yelling at an egg... It just seems like something you'd do. :)


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