December 2, 2014

Florentine Deliciousness

I poached an egg!

I finally conquered my fear of this seemingly daunting task...
then I smothered that beautiful, shimmering, healthy egg with butter, cream, cheese and bacon.

We have to keep things real people!

I derived this recipe from a Florentine egg dish I had at a brunch years ago in New York City.
The place was over-crowded, noisy, and flirted with filthy, but their food was delicious.
So delicious, that I have been thinking about making this dish since.

The only problem is that I don't like breakfast. 
At least not at breakfast time.
Much to my breakfast-loving spouse's dismay, he is usually in charge of this meal...not to mention that he would never make this.
So, for years I have just kept this tucked in my sensory memory bank, just waiting to break free.

Well, to cut this long story short, over this past Thanksgiving weekend of pure gluttony, I actually woke up early and cooked! Zoiks! 
The timing seemed right and I had most of the ingredients.

I am very glad I did, because I may have to make this again;
Just maybe for dinner, and in the summer when the tomatoes are ripe for picking.

Serves two hungry, hungover people


4 eggs

1 small onion, sliced thin or chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

5 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 tablespoon of flour
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
2 cups of Parmesan/Romano cheese
s/p to taste

4 generous handfuls of fresh baby spinach

2 Thomas' English muffins, or homemade crusty bread, toasted and buttered

4 strips of bacon or pancetta, cooked until crispy and drained

2 generous slices of a juicy, ripe tomato:
*I used canned San Marzano tomatoes today because this was the only ingredient I didn't have: I drained four small plum tomatoes (2/serving) and cooked them briefly in a sauce pan. You don't have to do this with a fresh tomato; just slice and enjoy.

1. Prep all ingredients (cut, chop, slice and measure)
2. In a large pan, saute onion until tender in two tablespoons of butter, add garlic for 1-2 minutes at the end. Be sure not to burn the garlic.
3. Add the remaining three tablespoons of butter and stir until melted.
4. Add flour and stir to make a paste
5. Add nutmeg
6. Add the heavy cream and stir until hot
7. Add the Parmesan cheese, a little at a time, stirring gently. 
8. If the sauce is too thin, add more cheese. s/p to taste
9. Add spinach, a handful at a time and cook until wilted. Keep warm.
10. Meanwhile, cook your bacon and poach your eggs and place in a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to drain
11. Also, toast and butter your bread component

*To poach the egg, bring water to a boil with the juice of half a lemon. Crack the egg and gently slide it into the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the white is cooked and the yolk is set, but still runny. With a slotted spoon, remove and put into a fine mesh sieve to drain.

For assembly:
1. Place your bread component on the bottom of a medium-large shallow rimmed bowl. 
2. Top the bread with the slice of tomato (or cooked San marzano tomatoes). 
3. Top with poached eggs. Season with salt and pepper. 
4. Top with spinach/onion/cheese mixture. 
5. Finish by topping with cooked bacon or pancetta. 
6. Serve with a giant cranberry mimosa
7. Eat immediately

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
Let us believe that it is healthy because of the spinach, tomato and the poached egg.

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