I know that at least some of you are missing their favourite breakfast dishes from cafes around you. So until the quarantine is over and the world recovers from the corona crisis, wouldn’t it be nice if you are able to master the two most famous and very nutritious breakfast dishes?
Guys, these 2 recipes are from my ICCA (my culinary school) diary and if i managed to perfect it during my initial classes, I guarantee you that by the time this home quarantine is over, you’ll never want to go to restaurants to pay for these dishes.
I’m talking about world famous- EGG BENEDICT & EGG FLORENTINE!
Yes guys, as you would be thinking, the key to these recipes are perfectly poached eggs. But don’t worry, I’ve got a crucial chef’s tip to help you with this!
Why is this recipe special?
I know I don’t have to tell you why this recipe is special, but yeah let’s think about it again- it’s fancy, it’s nutritious, it’s yummy… after all it tops a egg lover’s dream breakfast list!
. Protein- eggs, dairy & spinach/ bacon are all rich in choline, albumin,..& a good lot of vitamins…
. Poaching- I must say, even if you people screw up with the gourmet sauce recipes to complete these 2 dishes, you’ll still be able to get perfectly poach eggs for breakfast.
History of Egg Benedict & Egg Florentine
Its said that Egg Benedict was named after Lemuel Benedict, a diner who happened to order a toast, poached eggs , bacon and hollandaise sauce , all separately, purely out of coincidence -which made Chef Charles Ranhofer thinking about how great this combination could work !
And naming of Egg Florentine was nothing of a story. It’s associated with a French phrase ‘A La Florentine’, associating spinach with Florence.
What you’ll need-
. 2 good quality eggs
. 2 teaspoons vinegar
. 1 teaspoon salt
. 1 litre water
. 4 teaspoons butter
. 2 square slices of your favourite bread or English bread muffins, as you prefer.
. Salt & pepper (optional)
. 2 strips of bacon
. 30g of spinach
For Bechamel sauce–
. 10g flour
. 10g butter
. 200 ml milk
. 1 piece (~30g) small onion
. 3 cloves
. 1 Bay leaf
. Salt & white pepper- As required
For Hollandaise sauce–
. 125 ml butter
. 15 ml water
. A pinch of Cayenne pepper powder
. Salt – as required
. Lemon juice- if required
. 15 ml Vinegar
. 1 or 2 pinches of crushed peppercorns
How to prepare-
Blanched spinach- Put washed spinach in boiling water and remove onto an ice bath when wilted. Drain well.
Fry the bacon strips.
For toasts- Spread butter on the slices of your favourite bread and toast it till browned according to your preference .
Top each slices of bread with spinach and bacon respectively.
For Bechamel sauce–
-Heat the milk along with the clove studded onion and bay leaf – to infuse the flavours. But do not allow to boil. Set aside.
-Make a white roux buy melting the butter and the flour stirring constantly to avoid lumps (under a very low heat ). Be careful so that the roux does not start changing colour. Cool it slightly after cooking it for 3-4 minutes.
-Whisking continuously, add the milk into the roux under a very low heat , avoiding lumps. Continue this till it reaches a boil.
-Simmer this mixture for 10 minutes, stirring/whisking- until raw taste is gone.
-Pass this through a chino sieve (rechecking to avoid tiny lumps) and season with salt & white pepper.
For Hollandaise sauce–
-Clarifying the butter- Heat butter under a low flame and remove the white milk solids that settle on its top , once the melted butter is cooled .
-In a small sauce pan heat vinegar with the peppercorns and reduce to 1/3rd. Strain it into a clean bowl.
-Add a fresh egg yolk into this and whisk until the reduced vinegar and egg yolk has turned into a nice pale yellow mixture that has doubled in volume.
-Add the clarified butter little at a time to this mixture, continuing to whisk (to avoid curdling) to emulsify.
-Finish with lemon juice, pepper & salt to taste.
For poached eggs-
-In a deep thick bottomed pan , heat water adding vinegar and salt, till it reaches reaches boiling point -100 degree Celsius (starts boiling- be patient) and then simmer to a simmer a bit suddenly, so that the temperature is maintained slightly below boiling point – 95 to 98 degree Celsius.
-Now gently drop one egg slowly into the centre of the pan with water and cook for ~ 2 minutes (it’s perfectly when u can see the whites formed together into a good enough ball structure).
-At this point you should carefully gather it with a big (blunt) spoon and place onto the prepared toast.
-Do the same with the second egg.
Pour a laddle each of Hollandaise sauce and Bechamel sauce on the bacon- egg stacked toast and the spinach- egg stacked toast respectively (just enough to cover and coat the poached eggs)
Sprinkle with cayenne and black pepper powders respectively.
Notes, tips & suggestions-
. The way of controlling water temperature by first boiling it and then lowering the flame (from 100 to 95/98) is a chef tip that’s the only tip you’ll ever need to cook the perfectly poached eggs by never struggling for the right temperature.
. Blanching of spinach avoids overcooking your greens without loosing its bright colour and nutritional content along with it.
. Never over cook your eggs. A runny yolk covered in supple white is what is expected from a poached egg.
. I use cayenne pepper, black pepper & micro greens to garnish these dishes so as to make it look fancier.