Monday, June 14, 2010

Eggs Florentine

This morning I made Eggs Florentine. Originally my friend Melissa had requested I teach her how to poach an egg. She had Eggs Florentine recently and wanted to make it herself. So I decided to make Eggs Florentine for myself... and Adam, but mostly for me. I was going to take a bunch of photos because there are several steps to making this but I forgot. I basically made up this recipe myself, I did read several different versions on the Internet last night but when it came down to making it I made it up as I went along. Basically there are 4 different parts, the English muffin, spinach, poached egg and white sauce. They are all pretty easy to make. I ended up making the sauce that I make when I make Croque Monsieur. Which is basically a white sauce with the addition of cheese and some nutmeg.

To serve 2 people you will need

For the Spinach layer
1 package of frozen chopped spinach ( or 1 1/2 pounds fresh)
Pinch of Salt

For the White Sauce
2 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 smoked Gruyere cheese

For the Poached eggs
4 egg
1/4 cup vinegar

For the Base
2 English Muffins (cut, toasted and buttered)

1) On a medium heat, heat a saute pan and put in spinach. The package of spinach I used was still frozen so I put a lid on the pan so it would defrost quicker. If you are using defrosted spinach squeeze would the extra water before putting in the pan. Cook the spinach for about 10 minutes, or until defrosted and no water remains in pan. Lightly season with a pinch or two of salt.
2)In a small pot melt the butter, add the flour and stir to combine (this is called a roux). Cook the roux over medium heat, cook for 3 minutes stirring the pot every 30 seconds or so.
3)Add 1/2 cup milk to the roux and stir, once combined add an additional 1/2 cup. Let simmer for 5 minutes. If the sauce is to thick add the extra 1/4 cup milk and stir to combine. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more milk. But remember you will be adding cheese to the sauce. The cheese will thicken the sauce as well.
4)Add the cheese and stir until melted. If the sauce is to thick add a little more milk until desired consistency.
5)Bring water to a simmer in a pot, add vinegar.
6)Crack one egg into the pot. Using a spoon(I used a regular eating spoon) spoon the egg whites over top of the egg yolk. Some of the white will float to the top of the pot, this is ok. If the egg sticks to the bottom of the pot gently scrap it off the bottom. I like to turn the egg as I spoon the whites on top. Let cook for 5 minutes. The yolk should still be runny, it will cook some more in the oven.
7)In a oven safe dish(I used individual severing dishes) place the English Muffins, top with the spinach then a poached egg. Cover the top with the sauce and add a dash of nutmeg to the top and a slice of smoked Gruyere.
8)Put in oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.


1)You can poach the egg and make the sauce at the same time. This will save you some time. I found that the sauce was done before all my eggs were so I left the sauce on the burner with a very low heat on. If you do this, a skin may form on the top of the sauce, just stir it before assembling the dish.
2) The amount of vinegar will depend on the size of your pot and the amount of water you are using. Feel free to taste the water before putting the eggs in. You should be able to taste that there is vinegar in the water but it shouldn't be overwhelming. If there is too much vinegar the eggs can taste a bit like vinegar.
3)There are several different types of roux. The only difference is the amount of time the roux had to cook. The darker the roux the richer the flavour, but the darker the roux the darker your sauce will be. For this recipe you should make a blond roux, which means it should look like blond hair. If the roux isn't cook enough the sauce can taste a little like flour. So make sure to cook the roux for at least 3 minutes so you cook the flour.
4) You can add the nutmeg to the sauce when you add the cheese. Add about a 1/2 tsp.
5) You don't have to use smoked Gruyere cheese. I've made the white sauce with Swiss cheese before and it tasted great. Experiment with different kinds until you find one that you like.

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