Because I work on Sundays, Saturday mornings are my special time with Scott. We used to love to go to brunch, but since most local restaurants do not offer a Saturday brunch, I decided to create my own. I try to think ahead and grab a couple of ingredients on Friday at the grocery store, but I have to admit, a lot of mornings I am trying to create something from our pantry. Luckily, there are a lot of breakfast foods that can be “thrown” together to create quick, delicious breakfasts. I love cooking in my pjs, sitting down to a real breakfast, and then relaxing after in those same pjs (can’t do that at a restaurant brunch, now can you?)
Usually presenting pancakes, scrambles, or french toast for our Saturday brunches, I was looking for a change. I had half a bag of left over spinach that I needed to use up. Browsing the internet for breakfast recipes that included spinach, I came across this “spin” on eggs benedict. (Florentine refers to dishes that are presented on a bed of spinach and topped with morney sauce – a cheesy white sauce.) While this particular breakfast choice is not the quickest of preparations – relax, enjoy the cooking process, and create a luxurious breakfast for yourself – it’s the weekend after all.
Instead of english muffins as the base to your benedict, this recipe calls for potato pancakes. I love potato pancakes and frequently make them for breakfast by themselves. I was immediately sold on any breakfast dish that starts with a potato pancake and then adds eggs and cheese! (However, you can easily substitute an english muffin for a quicker version.) Layered next is a sauteed spinach mixture with shallots and a little nutmeg to spice it up. A poached egg tops off the tower and a decadent cheese sauce is poured over top. Although this dish has a lot of elements, each component is easy to prepare.
To make this recipe more approachable, break down the steps and cook in the right order. Start with the potato pancakes and after they are fried, place them on a cookie sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Next saute the spinach and cover to keep warm. Get the eggs poaching and while they cook, work on the sauce. If you follow this game plan, the meal actually comes together in about 30 minutes (I promise it tastes like you spent hours).
This recipe also expands very easily to feed a larger crowd. Because many of the components can be prepared ahead of time, you can easily poach the eggs and assemble the morning of to create a very impressive brunch for a group of friends.
Recipe: Eggs Florentine