Brunch for dinner

Oeufs Mollets Avec Épinards Mornay – The name is all fancy sounding but this is just soft boiled eggs over a bed of spinach and covered in a rich, cheesy sauce. The original is à la Florentine, meaning it is served over cooked spinach, which I detest. So instead, I serve it over fresh spinach leaves. It makes a great brunch meal or, in our case, a luxurious dinner.

This recipe also supposedly caused Julia Child to failed at Le Cordon Bleu because she forgot that oeufs mollets meant soft boiled eggs.

The eggs tore a bit when I shelled them, so the picture is of the pretty gratin dish plus the heaping amount of spinach.

The eggs tore a bit when I shelled them, so the picture is of the golden browned breadcrumbs in the gratin dish plus the heaping amount of spinach. Trust me, the eggs are under there!

Oeufs Mollets Avec Épinards Mornay

Mornay Sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup cold milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 oz Gruyere or cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

4 eggs
1/4 cup Gruyere or cheddar cheese (whatever you used above)
1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
2 lbs fresh spinach leaves

Melt the butter with the flour in a small saucepan to make a light roux. Stir for 5 minutes over medium heat before slowly whisking in the milk. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Slowly add the cream to the pan and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the cheese, stirring constantly until melted.

Meanwhile, bring water to boil and place in the eggs. Cook for 5 minutes for soft boiled. Remove to an ice bath and, as soon as you can safely handle them, carefully peel them without breaking them. I find peeling them under running water can help get the shell off more easily.

Coat a gratin dish with butter. Place the eggs in the gratin and pour the sauce over. Sprinkle on cheese and breadcrumbs and place under the broiler. Keep an eye on it but in a couple of minutes it should be golden brown and done.

Wash the spinach and drain well. Place on the plate and spoon over the eggs and cheese. Devour!

You notice that no where do I call this a salad! Regular readers of my blog know my philosophy is that salad is what dinner had for lunch. Whatever you call it, this dish is easy elegance and darn tasty to boot!

 

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