Continuing down the synergy pathway, we decided to make Eggs Florentine (p. 197) which neither of us had ever eaten previously. We were entering blind with no expectations.
I wasn't very impressed with my previous stab at creamed spinach. I was hoping that Creamed spinach II (p. 305) would be tastier.
I boiled about a pound of baby spinach:
I cooked onion in butter until golden. I then added a bit of flour:
I stirred in hot cream and a little bit of sugar, finally adding the spinach. I covered the bottom of a baking dish with the creamed spinach:
I got Mornay sauce (Cheese sauce) I (p. 551) ready. It was simple, essentially just white sauce I with a fourth cup of grated cheese added:
Mornay sauce is the stuff dreams are made of. I don't think there is anyone out there who doesn't love a good cheese sauce (unless you hate cheese). This cheese sauce is simple, mild, and creamy. Truly delicious.
I poached my eggs:
One of the yolks broke but I thought 3/4 success was pretty good. It was stressful transferring them and trying not to break the fragile yolks! I think I'm getting better at poaching eggs, although they still aren't pretty.I layered the eggs on the spinach:
The Mornay sauce was poured over the eggs:
The poached eggs were covered with Au gratin I (p. 961) (essentially just breadcrumbs):
The whole thing was briefly baked:
And done! Delicious with toast and bacon:
This recipe is a perfect example of the whole being better than the individual parts. I don't particularly love poached eggs or creamed spinach alone but combined, and with delicious Mornay sauce, the dish was amazing. I thought it looked quite impressive too--I will totally make this again. It was SO good.
- Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, loved spinach so much, she insisted it be served at every meal. The labeling of spinach dishes as "Florentine" is because of de Medici--her hometown was Florence, Italy (Wikipedia)
- Spinach is very high in iron and calcium but most of it is not easily absorbed by the body (Wikipedia)
- Spinach is a member of the beet family (On Food and Cooking, p. 324)
- Usually Mornay sauces use Parmesan or Guyere cheeses (On Food and Cooking, p. 65)