Lovely sunny morning, maybe we could go out for breakfast? Maybe someplace by the water, that would be nice.
On second thoughts, why should I leave my nice comfortable house on a Sunday morning? That would require hair brushing and the like. Seems like effort, pants to that. I’m a food blogger, aren’t I? I can make Eggs Florentine; it can’t be that hard, surely.
Well, it appears Eggs Florentine are a wee tiny incy bit more effort than I had initially thought. Full epic fail instructions are as follows:
- Clatter about in pots and pans cupboard, making as much noise as possible. Wake boyfriend and possibly neighbours; if you’re up they can’t need much more sleep.
- Put toast under grill and promptly forget about it.
- Perfectly poach the eggs (gold star!) and feel immensely proud. So proud that electric kettle is inadvertently placed on the hot stove ring (which has obviously been left on. Obviously).
- Vaguely smell burning toast, ignore.
- Melt butter for the hollandaise sauce.
- Realise that toast has been charred, curse loudly and put fresh bread under the grill. Resolve to pay much more attention in future.
- Think the burning toast smell has a funny plastic tinge to it. Must be imagining things.
- Scramble the eggs making the first batch of hollandaise, damn it. Stomp about a bit in frustration.
- Remember to check the toast (hooray!).
- Suddenly realise electric kettle is melting rapidly, filling kitchen with noxious kettle fumes.
- Curse. A lot. Very loudly. In multiple languages.
- Run out into garden with melted kettle and flail about for a bit, not knowing what exactly to do with it.
- Open all windows and doors.
- Snap at emerging boyfriend enquiring about burning kitchen. He should be grateful that breakfast is being made for him.
- Stand back, take one large (kettle filled breath) and start again
The second time around I faired much better. However, this dish does require good timing and quick thinking and so maybe it’s not ideal for first thing on a Sunday morning.
For the poached eggs:
2 free range eggs, at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vinegar
For the hollandaise:
2 free range egg yokes, at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge
150 g (5 oz) butter
2 tsp lemon juice
handful chopped chives
pepper to season
2 English muffins (although I have to admit, I used two slices of rye sourdough instead, and really you could use what ever tickled your fancy)
Handful of baby spinach leaves, wilted
To start with I poached the eggs one at a time:
Add a dash of salt and a teaspoon of vinegar to a pot of water and place on a medium heat. Once the water is simmering steadily; crack the egg into a little saucer. Stir the water in the pot so that it’s swirling in one direction (like a little whirlpool). Get the saucer in as close as possible to the surface of the swirling water and let the egg drop. Poach for 2-3 minutes (or to taste, I like my poached eggs very runny). Once the egg is cooked, transfer it with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water, this will stop the egg cooking. Just before you’re ready to serve the eggs you can transfer them back into the hot water to heat them slightly. This is a great little way of cooking the eggs slightly ahead of time, giving you a bit of a break in the timing department.
At this stage you may want to put on the toast. I have a grill, not a toaster, so my toast needed a little bit more time (and attention).
Next I started on the hollandaise (this is how my Mum taught me how to make hollandaise. She’s a cracking cook and this method is pretty non-fail-able, unless of course, you get impatient with it or have the pan too hot):
Gently warm a large ceramic bowl over a pan of hot water that’s on a very low heat (similarly to how you’d melt chocolate, but on a lower heat). Separate the eggs and place the yokes in the warm bowl. Melt the butter in a separate pan. Once the butter has just melted, take it off the heat. Then very very slowly start whisking the melted butter into the egg yokes. To begin with you need to do this a few drops at a time; however as the emulsion starts to form you can start to add more, whisking all the time. Allow the sauce to thicken, increasing the heat slightly if you need to. The real key here is controlling the heat, so that the egg yokes don’t scramble. Once all the butter is added and the sauce has thickened sufficiently, squeeze in a little lemon juice and you’re done.
Next, I wilted the spinach in a pan with a tiny bit of water for about 1-2 minutes.
Then I transferred the eggs back into the hot water pot, and warmed them through.
Finally I assembled the (buttered) toast, spinach, and poached egg all together and poured a generous dollop of hollandaise on top. I seasoned with a little cracked black pepper and a handful of chopped chives and tucked in! And I felt it was pretty well deserved.
In hindsight, perhaps just brushing my hair and leaving the house might have been slightly less effort. My kettle is still mortally wounded. However, The Fella thought the incident was so funny he drew me a little picture. Can you spot me?
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