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Ruffly Poached Eggs on Brioche with Mushrooms

The best thing about cooking and experimenting with recipes for me is that it can be a collaborative affair and here is a product of this synergy. I love eggs: poached and boiled are favourite cooking methods and I make them for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. I first read the recipe for Poached Eggs on Toasted Brioche with Garlicky Mushrooms on Kitchen Culinaire where Julie references Fine Cooking April/May 2011. I had been meaning to try Dorie Greenspan’s Ruffly Poached Eggs for a while and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to blend the two recipes. The mushrooms, the egg assembly and the garlic olive oil can be done in advance, making it a good dish for entertaining. I’ve adjusted the recipe to make 2 servings, but you can easily double or triple the ingredients.

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. mixed mushrooms (oysters, shiitakes, and some buttons, or any mix you choose)
salt and freshly ground pepper

4 large eggs (or two, if your are serving only one per person)
olive oil, for brushing on plastic wrap

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 t. minced garlic
1 T. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 slices of brioche, cut 3/4″ thick
about 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach, washed and dried well

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

For the mushrooms:
Wipe the mushrooms clean of any dirt or grit and then tear or chop them into large pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and allow them to brown on one side for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip them over, season with some salt and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the skillet and roast the mushrooms in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes until the mushroom are tender and warmed through. Note: The mushrooms may be browned up to 3 hours ahead. Set aside in the skillet at room temperature. Add the water and roast shortly before serving.

For the garlic/parsley oil:
In a small skillet over medium heat place 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and the garlic. Stir for a minute or so until garlic becomes a light golden colour. Be careful not to brown the garlic as it will take on a bitter taste. Carefully add in the chopped parsley and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Note: This can be made several hours ahead.

For the eggs:
Assemble the following on your work space: eggs, plastic wrap, string, scissors, olive oil and a teacup. Bring a saucepan of water up to boil, then keep it at a simmer. Cut two pieces of plastic wrap, each large enough to generously wrap around the egg, and put one piece on top of the other.  Very lightly coat the top piece of plastic with oil and then fit the double layer of wrap into the teacup. Gently crack the egg and tip it into the cup, taking care not to break the yolk. Draw up the sides of the plastic, getting as close as you can to the top of the egg, and twist to tighten the plastic. Tie the string around the neck of the plastic to secure it. They’ll look like this:

Drop the eggs into the simmering water. Don’t worry – the plastic won’t melt. Allow the egg to poach for 4 to 6 minutes (I timed 2 large eggs at 5 minutes which was about right) then carefully lift them out of the water with a slotted spoon. (If the white doesn’t look set, poach a few seconds longer.) The easiest way to unpack the egg is to put it on a flat surface and to snip the plastic below the string; open the plastic. Gently lift the egg from the plastic to the plate without turning it over.  (It’s not a problem if it’s upside-down, it’s just that the ruffles are prettier on the top.)  Serve immediately.

Storing:  The eggs can be wrapped up and kept in the refrigerator for a few hours before you poach them, but once poached, they should be unwrapped and served immediately.

To serve:
Toast and butter the brioche. Lightly season the spinach with some salt and pepper and divide onto 2 serving plates. Drizzle with a bit of the garlic oil. Place a piece of toast in the centre of the plate with the spinach on and around it and then top with the poached egg(s). Top with some of the mushrooms and then drizzle with more of the garlic oil. Serves 2.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gorgeous and what a clever way to poach the eggs!

    March 18, 2012
  2. Thank you. I’m very pleased that you stopped by!

    March 18, 2012
  3. Sandi Laurie #

    I was the very lucky recipient of this delicious recipe. It was cold and blustery outside but inside Diane’s kitchen the welcoming smell of brioche toasting and mushrooms roasting made me feel warm and cozy.

    Diane had all the ingredients ready to go—-I sipped a specially made de-caffeinated latte and watched as she expertly assembled our lunch. The little egg pouches were removed from the simmering water and untied, the brioche was buttered and smothered with the mushrooms, then topped with the delicately tossed spinach. Now, I watched somewhat amazed as the perfectly poached and ruffled eggs were placed on top of the spinach—–amazed because I had sort of anticipated the eggs to stick to the plastic wrap or fall apart before hitting the spinach. No–a perfect landing!

    After photographing the masterpiece from several angles, it was time to enjoy.

    What a delightful combination of textures and flavors. I can’t wait to make this for my family for a Sunday brunch in the near future. As Diane explained this is a wonderful way to make poached eggs for a crowd as the little packets can be made in advance and dropped into the simmering water as needed–no special poaching pan required.

    Now my only question is– what will I make for lunch when Diane comes to my house? Perhaps there will be good suggestions on future Nourishing Vancouver posts!


    March 19, 2012
  4. Thank you for your lovely note, Sandi. I really did have fun experimenting on you, and you were such a patient guest while I fiddled around with the camera! But I’m glad you enjoyed it, and that you will try it for your family soon…exactly the nourishing ripples I hope will go out from my kitchen!

    March 19, 2012
  5. Barbara Shumiatcher #

    Dear Diane:
    Lovely to see you today.
    Your blog has so many surprises –
    the cut in half head of garlic for the chicken –
    and the chicken which has matured in the fridge!!!
    Frilly ruffly poached eggs,imagine!
    On toasted brioche with roasted mushrooms and spinach.
    C’est le dernier cri!
    I expected to be intimidated I now realize –
    (everything comes out of your kitchen so beautifully).
    But I’m not in the least – I’m encouraged rather because
    your instructions are so clear and are perfectly supported by the photos
    Thanks, dear Diane. A true inspiration.
    with fond regards, Barbara Shumiatcher

    March 22, 2012
  6. Barbara, you really made my day – earlier today with a surprise encounter, then here…thank you for your kind words and observations!

    March 22, 2012

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