Sunday, March 16, 2014

Baked eggs in creamy spinach

Another installment of weekend egg time! Two weeks ago I served up poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce on savory steel-cut oatmeal. It was truly a perfect breakfast, and today I have something to match its awesomeness.

Baked eggs cooked in a creamy spinach sauce. And yes, it tasted as incredible as it sounds.


I love me a baked egg, but what takes this dish over the top is the creamy spinach sauce. Sauteed spinach, bechamel sauce, and gruyere cheese.


It sounds quite decadent, but the proportions are perfect without too much bechamel or gruyere. The result is a perfectly creamy spinach that isn't overly greasy or cloyingly fatty.


And then, when you bake the dish, the edges of the creamy spinach caramelize a bit while the egg stays perfectly tender. Perfect when you've got a slice of toasted crusty bread to dip in!


It actually tastes a lot like a creamy spinach dip you might find served at a party with tortilla chips. But with the egg it goes from a party dish to main brunch meal. A hot meal, in more than 1 way!



I overcooked the eggs a teeny tiny bit for my taste (I like them a bit more runny), so hopefully with more practice I'll get the timing down for a perfectly baked egg. So if that means I have to keep making this dish over and over again to get that flawless end product, well then that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make!


Yours in still loving her weekend egg-stravaganzas,
Jacqueline

Baked eggs with creamy spinach, from Marc Mastsumo

Ingredients

220 grams (7.75 ounces) fresh spinach (or 180 grams (6.5 ounces) cooked and squeezed spinach)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white truffle oil (I don't have this, but would love to try it next time)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
40 grams (1.4 ounces) shredded gruyere cheese
2 - 4 eggs

Directions
  • Blanch the spinach in large pot of boiling water and then drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach before trimming the roots off and cutting it into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the spinach to a bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir aggressively with a silicone spatula until the flour and butter are evenly combined and the mixture is bubbling. Do not let the flour brown.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, using a whisking motion with the spatula until there are no lumps left. If you still have lumps, use a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Return the pot to the heat and cook until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the salt, truffle oil and nutmeg and then dump the mixture into the bowl with the spinach along with the gruyere. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the mixture between two 12 ounce ramekins or a larger oven-safe dish. Level off the top and then make an indentation for each egg.
  • If you're preparing this ahead of time, cover the ramekin(s) with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to bake the eggs.
  • Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and put them in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 450 degrees F (230 C).
  • While the spinach is cooking, break each egg into a small bowl/ramekin. (This will allow you to add the eggs to the spinach quickly.)
  • When the spinach mixture is bubbly (at least 10-15 minutes), pour an egg into each indented well.
  • Bake until the whites are just barely set (about another 8-12 minutes). (Note: mine were a bit done after 10 minutes, so maybe start checking yours after 7 or 8 minutes to make sure they don't overcook.)
  • Serve immediately with toast.

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