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Dinner Tonight! | Quick Fix

Poacher's Delight

January 23, 2002|MAYI BRADY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Creamed spinach is one of those old-fashioned, homey dishes, perfect with roast beef. But here it becomes the base for a simple Eggs Florentine. Serve this for brunch or an easy Sunday supper and forget the beef.

And don't fret about poaching eggs. The secret to a perfectly poached egg is to have the water at a happy simmer. That means more than just barely simmering but definitely not close to a boil. You want pea-sized bubbles bursting through at a steady pace.

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Eggs Florentine

Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

2 (6-ounce) bags baby spinach

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, divided

1 onion, minced

3 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup milk

Salt, pepper

Dash ground nutmeg

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 tablespoon white vinegar

6 eggs

6 thick slices French bread, toasted

Place the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cook until just wilted, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and cook another 2 minutes, until the flour has lost its raw taste. Add the broth, milk, salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook just to heat through, about 2 minutes. Keep warm.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Set aside while you poach the eggs.

Add the vinegar to the simmering water, then break 1 egg into a small bowl and slide it into the water. Repeat with another egg. Cook the eggs, 2 at a time, until the whites are set and the yolks look slightly pink, 3 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon.

To assemble, place 1 piece of toast on each of 4 plates. Divide the spinach on top of each slice, then top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs.

6 servings. Each serving: 431 calories; 749 mg sodium; 233 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 53 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams protein; 4.39 grams fiber.

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MENU

Eggs Florentine

Citrus Salad

SHOPPING LIST

French bread

Chives

1 grapefruit

2 oranges

2 bags baby spinach

STAPLES

Bread crumbs

Butter

Chicken or vegetable broth

Eggs

Flour

Milk

Nutmeg

Olive oil

Onion

Sherry vinegar

White vinegar

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GAME PLAN

30 minutes before: Make citrus salad, toast bread.

25 minutes before: Microwave spinach, mince onion, bring water to a simmer for eggs.

15 minutes before: Begin making creamed spinach.

10 minutes before: Poach eggs.

Just before serving: Assemble Eggs Florentine.

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Citrus Salad

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes

1 large grapefruit

2 large oranges

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped chives

Peel the grapefruit and oranges and remove any white pith. Break the fruit into sections and place in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil, vinegar and chives. Chill until needed.

6 servings. Each serving: 62 calories; 0 sodium; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 1.24 grams fiber.

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