Whenever I’m visiting my boyfriend Paul in Baltimore, I try to cook as much as possible for him. He’s a good medium to test out some of the recipes I’ve been messing around with in my head. I love cooking for him because no matter how much I think I’ve screwed up the meal, he only says it’s delicious.
A few weeks ago, we learned how to prepare a dish in culinary school called L’OEUF MOLLET FLORENTINE, which is a soft-boiled egg with sauteed spinach and Mornay sauce (a very cheesy Gruyère sauce). The dish is assembled into a gratin bowl, which is then baked in the oven until the cheese starts to brown on top. The key is to make sure you don’t cook the egg to hard-boiled in the oven.
Not wanting to spend $50 on brunch Sunday morning, I decided to cook. It turned out, we had all of the ingredients, but only a tiny bit of Cheddar cheese. My rendition was not as “French” as L’Academie de Cuisine’s, but whatever. Here is what I did –
- Eggs, soft-boiled
- Sauteed spinach
- Any good melting cheese (such as Gruyère, Mozzarella or Swiss), grated
- Slowly lower eggs into boiling, salted water. Make sure the eggs are room temperature.
- Boil the eggs for 5-6 minutes. Immerse immediately in cold water.
- Carefully peel off the shells.
- Saute the spinach with butter and garlic/shallots if desired. Season as needed.
- Arrange the spinach like a nest in a gratin dish, if you have one. I actually used a shallow Pyrex bowl, which worked well too.
- Carefully lie the eggs on top of the spinach nest. Top with grated cheese, salt and pepper.
- Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese has melted (shouldn’t take long, just watch it). Serve hot!
Like the pizza, this dish not only tastes good, but looks pretty on the plate (or in the bowl), too. I served this with chicken sausage, already cooked but crisped in olive oil. A ham steak would also be really good. I think it would also be great with a loaf of crusty French bread. Okay, I need to stop – I’m already hungry again!