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Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

 

Usually on weekends we have one fancy egg breakfast. This morning I wanted something special and red, on account of the Hallmark-manufactured holiday happening on Monday. So I made poached eggs on whole-wheat biscuits, with creamy red pepper sauce and some garlic-sauteed spinach on the side.

The biscuits were cribbed from a King Arthur Flour recipe, but I haven’t yet tweaked it to my liking so I won’t include it here yet. However, the sauce is an old favourite. This recipe makes way too much for a few poached eggs, but then it also tastes divine as a pasta sauce, or as a drizzle over baked chicken, turkey or fish. It also freezes well for a later time, so that in a month or so you can randomly have fancy poached eggs again without having to do as much work.

Red Pepper Cream Sauce

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. tamari soy sauce
1/4 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
pinch salt

Equipment: immersion blender

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine, and let cook for a few minutes until it turns from yellow to a whiter shade of yellow. [Cooking Fact! This is called a white roux. It’s used as a thickener for bechamel, or white sauce. A brown roux, cooked a few steps further till it’s a nutty golden brown, is used to thicken brown sauces.]

2. With a whisk in one hand and the cup of milk in the other, pour in the milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Let cook until thickened until it coats the back of a spoon. If you draw a line with your finger on the back of said spoon, the line should its shape. It’s okay if you end up with a few lumps, because you’re just going to puree the whole thing soon. 

3. Pour the sauce into a large glass measuring cup or other vessel you like to puree stuff in. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

4. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

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I love brunch.

It’s the wonderful meal that’s partly breakfast, substantial enough to be lunch. Involves sleeping in, leisurely coffee, a newspaper and something eggy – for me, usually on the savoury side, rather than the sweet.

 There was a time in my life when I made everyone else’s brunch on a weekend but couldn’t enjoy it myself, what with all the 6 am wakeups. This honed both my love of coming up with new combinations of flavours to eat with eggs, and my desire to get out of the restaurant world, so I could sleep in and have my own damn lesisurely brunch.

My favourite brunches involve poached eggs with toast and a sauce of some kind. At most restaurants, Eggs Benedict is the only dish that meets this description – a dish I’m not that fond of, so I tend to eat poached eggs at home.  And although making some kind of tasty sauce is an extra step, the enjoyment I get out of it makes it totally worthwhile.  The sauce varies depending on what’s in the fridge: cheddar, roasted red peppers, or roasted tomatoes, mixed in with a little milk- or cream-based sauce.

Recently Andy’s sister and husband stayed a weekend at our house, and here’s what I made for brunch. The sauce is not overly rich, but fresh with the taste of spinach and dill, slightly tangy from the feta.

Poached eggs with spinach-feta sauce
Serves four

8 eggs
1/4 cup white vinegar (for the poaching liquid)
special equipment: you need a slotted spoon for lifting out the eggs.

For the sauce:
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. white, all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (I use 1%) – you might need extra to get the right consistency
1/4 to 1/3 cup crumbled goat’s milk feta
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped fine
fresh dill and chives, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

Bread for toast

1. First, start your poaching pot: Fill a large saucepan with water, add the vinegar and heat to just below the boiling point.

2. Then, start your sauce: In a medium saucepan or frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and sprinkle in the flour.  Stir to combine, and let cook for a minute or two. Whisk in the milk and stir to make sure it’s free of lumps. Add the feta. Turn the heat to low and keep it warm until ready to serve.

3. Poach your eggs:  Your water is ready when it has small bubbles surfacing, but is not at any kind of boil. Keep the heat set to medium. Use your slotted spoon to give the water a  gentle spin before cracking the eggs and dropping them in. Keeping the water moving helps them keep their shape as they cook.

Once you’ve added all the eggs, let them cook approximately 5 minutes until the whites are completely set – lift one out and prod it gently with your finger to be sure.  For runnier yolks, the eggs will still be a bit soft. If you like your yolks more cooked, leave them in longer.

4. Drain your eggs. Either in a fine-mesh sieve, or on a clean kitchen towel.

5. Make your toast. On this particular day I used whole wheat baguette. I tend to favour a crusty bread, cut thick – ideal for sopping up sauce and yolks.

6. Finish your sauce. Add the spinach, dill and chives, season to taste.

7. Put it all together. Eggs on toast, sauce on eggs. Like this:

‘Kay, I need to go make this again. Right now.

*One of these days I promise to do an egg-poaching tutorial, once I get up the courage to take photos during a cooking process where timing is crucial.

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