Saturday 14 August 2010

Eggs Florentine

If there's anything that'll get my perpetually lazy arse out of bed, it's Eggs Florentine. Toasted muffin, spinach, topped with a poached egg and covered in eggy buttery Hollandaise sauce? Yes please. You can't go wrong with such a fat-fuelled breakfast.

There are many versions of the dish; Benedict uses a slice of ham, Blackstone uses streaky bacon and a slice of tomato. Wikipedia tells me there is a Country Benedict, or Eggs Beauregard; the muffin is replaced with biscuits, the meat with a sausage patty with country gravy, a b├ęchamel-type sauce with the roux made from meat drippings with black pepper and mild sausage added. Ooof.

The only Hollandaise I've ever made is Delia's foaming version. The base of it is made from the egg yolks, while the whites are whisked to stiff peaks and then folded in, to create a lighter, fluffier sauce. It may be slightly time consuming, but it's well worth it. Often when I have Eggs Benedict or Florentine in restaurants or caffs I leave feeling mildly sick, the richness of it all sitting uncomfortably in my belly.

Eggs Florentine

Serves 2

4 fresh free range eggs
200gr frozen whole-leaf spinach
110gr butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
2 English muffins
Salt & pepper

Separate 2 of the eggs. Place the yolks in a warmed bowl. Place the lemon juice and the vinegar in a saucepan and heat until it bubbles. Whisking the egg yolks, pour this into them in a steady stream.

Set a pan of water on to boil and add the spinach. Simmer for a couple of minutes until it has all defrosted and then drain, squeezing all the water out. Melt the butter in the same saucepan and again, drizzling it in a steady stream into the egg yolks, whisk like hell. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Slice the muffins in half, toast each side. Poach two eggs. To serve, place a mound of spinach on each half of the muffins and place one poached egg on a half. Fold the egg white into the Hollandaise sauce, and drizzle it on top of the egg and spinach. You can have two poached eggs, one to go on each half of the muffin, but I find this too much.

Any leftover Hollandaise sauce can, according to Delia, be frozen.


catty said...

Man I could go a serve of this right now! I like the sounds of your light hollandaise sauce, you're right about it sometimes being too heavy! Is this what got your housemate out of bed today??

Unknown said...

Looks great Lizzie - I make the Delia version as well - but have found the freezing thing to be a bit of a myth - Hollondaise is almost impossible to reheat - and do you really want to freeze and reheat what is basically raw eggs anyway?

Unknown said...

I love it too... there's something naughty about hollandaise with eggs that feels quite decadent but I still really love it, but never made it myself... so thanks for this post, I will give it a go

Kavey said...

Need. Some. Now.

gastrogeek said...

this looks scrumptious. My hollandaise has a tendency to split though...

tim_g said...

florentine is not w/ hollandaise!! it's w/ white sauce

Chris said...

Fab, this looks so good, one quick question though....Does therecipe use 6 eggs in total (if using one poached egg per person) ? i.e. does the hollandaise need 2 or 4 eggs here?

Hollow Legs said...

Catty - This is the very thing!

GC - I've managed to reheat hollandaise in a bain marie. I don't think reheating raw egg is a problem as you're then cooking it; I've made meringues from frozen egg white. It might change the texture of the sauce, though.

Dom - Quite naughty indeed! Do try it though; lovely and decadant.

Kavey - Absolutely. Get cookin'.

Gastrogeek - you need to whisk like hell.

Tim - All the recipes I've seen are with Hollandaise. Older versions of Eggs Florentine used Mornay sauce, but not straight up white sauce.

Chris - sorry, you're right, I have amended the recipe now. You separate two eggs for the sauce, the other two are for poaching.

PDH said...

This is truly a breakfast of kings, though I think I want to try the Eggs Beauregard one of these days.

Helen said...

Good old Delia eh. Glad the book came in useful. I've never cooked that recipe myself so I'll have to give it a whirl. I like the idea of the sauce being lighter and agree about the OOFNESS of the regular hollandaise. Especially if one is er, feeling the effects. It starts out well and often ends in disaster and lying down.

Joshua said...

Got to love a light version that still has 110gr of butter between 2.

Jonathan said...

Try eggs pontchartrain as well... It's a muffin topped with smoked trout, poached egg and hollandaise sauce. It's money.

Greedy Diva said...

I have bookmarked these for Saturday morning - I already know I'm going to need them.

sarah P said...

Leftover hollandaise? I know not of what you speak. It is my absolute favourite.