Thursday, 28 March 2013

Double-barrelled duck eggs

Its Easter soon so here is my egg-themed recipe. I am a massive glutton for Hollandaise sauce, so I am often torn between Eggs Benedict, Florentine or Arlington. I recently discovered I could have two of them at once by using delicate Parmaham with Spinach. My eggs Bennedict-Florentine uses duck eggs instead of regular eggs which both makes one egg big enough to have just one per person and intensifies the richness of the dish.

The Hollandaise recipe below isn't the one I usually use since I like it thick with a mayonnaise-like consistency, but I think this dish works better with it being more saucy. Adding the vinegar and lemon before the butter seems to create this effect and also makes it much less likely to split. People tend not to make Hollandaise at home and even think its a bit cheffy but it really is the simplest thing and usually better when you make it at home from scratch.

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 duck eggs
1 small pack of baby spinach
4 slices of Parmaham
2-4 slices of nice bread (to be toasted)
A knob of butter

For the Hollandaise
1 egg yolk (duck or normal)
1 dessert spoon of lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
55g salted butter

Put a pan of water on to boil and then tackle the sauce: place the egg yolk in a small bowl and whisk, ideally with an electric whisk, for 6 seconds until pale and airy.

Then heat the lemon and vinegar in a little pan and reduce by half.

Trickle this into the egg yolk while mixing on a high heat.

Now melt the butter in the same pan as you heated the vinegar.

Slowly drizzle the melted butter into the egg while whisking on a high speed until its all amalgamated. Add a good sprinkling of pepper and mix on.  You should end up with a delicious glossy, buttery sauce that is thick but pourable.

Now you can poach your egg. In my previous post on poaching eggs I was very precise but nowadays I just get a pan to the boil then add about 1/6th of its volume of cold water. I then return the pan to the heat and straight away crack the egg into it or pour it in carefully from a teacup. I don't do any of the vortex or rolling boil stuff since I find it unreliable. 

Meanwhile heat a very small knob of butter in a frying pan. When it begins to sizzle add your spinach and cover so that it wilts.

By now a foam will probably have formed in the egg pan. Skim it off.

Cover a plate with kitchen roll and check if the egg is done. The white should be set and no longer transparent, and the yolk should look a bit cloudy. Scoop it out very carefully with a slotted spoon and place on the kitchen roll to drain.

Put your toast on, butter it and assemble your ingredients - toast, spinach, Parmaham and egg. Give your sauce one last stir, drizzle over and enjoy.