Eggs Florentine over Polenta Cakes

Well, it’s Sunday again.  And on Sunday’s, WE BRUNCH!  It’s a perfectly great way to spend the end of a weekend.  We can often be found brunching in the city,  at local restaurants, and of course at home, in our jammies.  One of our favorite spots to brunch is Boulevard 572, located in Kenilworth, New Jersey.  They have so many delicious brunch items, and to top it off, unlimited mimosas!  But, this winter has been brutally cold, and during these brutal winter months, brunch is best spent in the comfort of our home.  One of our favorite brunch items to indulge in at Boulevard 572 is their Eggs Florentine.  So, we decided to recreate it.

In the culinary world, Florentine refers to a recipe that is prepared in the style of the Italian region of Florence.  Florentine recipes feature spinach- what better way to get those greens in than to serve it up with eggs and polenta?!

Over the years, we’ve spent a ton of time trying to create the perfect poached eggs.  One rule of thumb is to add white vinegar to the pot of boiling water.  Because eggs are mostly protein, the vinegar prevents the eggs from dispersing in the water.

Now, we are huge fans of The Kitchen on the Food Network, and learned a very cool trick from one of the hosts, Sunny Anderson.  After creating a whirlpool in the boiling water, we crack the egg into a ladle and slowly submerge the bottom of the spoon into the boiling water, letting a tiny bit of water into the spoon.  When the whites of the egg just begin to turn pure white, we tip the spoon, allowing the entire egg to drop into the whirlpool.  Trust us, this trick is foolproof!

These Eggs Florentine are such a great twist on the classic Eggs Benedict, and so much fancier, don’t you think?  Perfect for a vegetarian option, to lighten things up a bit, or a fun way to introduce greens into your meal.

You can totally whip up a homemade polenta recipe, but why bother?  Store bought polenta is just as great, and already formed, so all you have to do is slice it into these perfect rounds and cook em’ up on a cast iron skillet.  Perfect time saver.

At this point in the process, your mouth will definitely begin watering.  I mean how perfect are they starting to look once they are being assembled?!  It’s like a polenta and spinach cupcake 🙂  What’s better than polenta on polenta?  NOTHING!

Of course, no Eggs Benedict recipe would be complete without Hollandaise Sauce.  You can choose to buy the Hollandaise Sauce packet and follow the instructions.  But, if you are like us, and always seem to forget that one staple item, it is super simple to whip up from scratch.

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe:  In a small bowl, whisk together  3 egg yolks, juice from 1/2 a lemon,  1 tsp. cold water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Melt 1/2 a cup of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into butter. Continue whisking over low heat for 8 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

Pour the sauce into a sauce beaker, and pour a generous amount over the Eggs Florentine.  Then, of course, pour yourself a mimosa and ENJOY!

Eggs Florentine

  • Yield: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 eggs (4 for poaching, 3 for hollandaise sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 polenta log
  • 1 tsp. cold water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and onion and saute until translucent (about 3 minutes).

  2. Add washed and dried spinach to pan and saute until spinach is wilted (about 3-5 minutes). Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside in a bowl.

  3. Cut polenta log into eight even 1/2 inch rounds (two for each serving).

  4. Heat remaining tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet. Once hot, add the polenta rounds and cook on each side until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes on each side).

  5. Transfer polenta cakes to a paper towel lined plate and allow oil to absorb.

  6. Prepare hollandaise sauce (recipe above in description) and transfer to a gravy dish.

  7. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add 1/2 tsp white vinegar.

  8. Using a spoon, create a whirlpool in the boiling water.

  9. Crack an egg into a ladle and submerge the bottom of the spoon into the boiling water, allowing the edges of the egg to turn white. Then, drop entire egg into the whirlpool. Cover and cook for 3 minutes Repeat steps for each additional egg.

    note: cook eggs separately and transfer to an ice bath with a slotted spoon as they are done.
    note: keep water at a low simmer for later use.

  10. Begin assembling by putting 1 cake down on the plate and top with sauteed spinach. Repeat step once more to create a layered tower.

  11. Transfer poached eggs from ice bath back into the simmered water to reheat (this should only take a few seconds). Remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the polenta and spinach tower.

  12. Sprinkle each egg with salt, pepper, and paprika.

  13. Drizzle with warm hollandaise sauce and serve immediately.

 

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