Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Coddled Eggs with Chanterelles and Scones

This was a Christmas breakfast I cooked for my wife this year. She usually makes the weekend breakfasts in the house so I thought it'd be a nice gesture to treat her to one for a change. I found this in my most recent favorite cooking publication, Saveur magazine, and used most of it for these two recipes.

The first recipe is for scones. As this was really the first time I'd made scones I found out that it's best to refrain from kneading the dough too much. Problem was that it was an extremely dry day here and by the time I realized the dough required considerably more liquid than the recipe called for, I'd already worked the dough quite a bit trying to get it together.

The second recipe is for the eggs. We didn't have real ramekins so I used small glass oven safe bowls instead which worked fine as a substitute. The cream used to cook the chanterelles lent a really nice texture in addition to the flavor of the overall dish. I followed the recipe for 4 dishes but 2 would easily suffice for 2 people. The leftover eggs heated up well the next day using the same procedure heating the bowls in a pan with boiling water in the oven.

Sultana scones

6 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1 3/4 cups milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk flour, sugar, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two table knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal flecked with pea-size pieces of butter. Stir in sultanas. Add milk and stir until dough just comes together.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust hands with flour and gently knead with the heels of your hands several times until dough forms a rough ball. (Do not overknead dough, or scones will be tough.)

Divide dough into 20 equal pieces, gently shape each into rounds, and arrange on prepared baking sheets 1"–2" apart. Beat egg and 1 tsp. water together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of dough rounds with egg wash.

Bake scones until golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Set aside to cool on wire racks for 5–10 minutes. Serve warm with butter and marmalade or jam.

Coddled Eggs

3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
3 cloves garlic 
4 tablespoon unsalted butter 
8 ounces spinach, stemmed 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
8 oz. chanterelle mushrooms chopped
1⁄3 cup heavy cream 
4 eggs 

Make the garlic confit: heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, 15–20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a cutting board; let cool. Thinly slice garlic confit lengthwise. You can reserve the oil for another use, such as making vinaigrettes or poaching fish.

Poke the remaining garlic clove with the tines of a fork and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat until foamy. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally with fork used to poke the garlic (to perfume the spinach), until tender, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer spinach to center of a tea towel and wipe out skillet. Gather up ends of towel and squeeze out excess liquid; set spinach aside. 

Melt the remaining butter in skillet over medium heat. Add remaining garlic clove and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add heavy cream and cook 5 minutes more. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let mushrooms steep for 15 minutes. Discard garlic. 

Heat oven to 400°. Divide the spinach and mushroom mixture between four 6 ounce ramekins. Add reserved slices of garlic confit. 

Crack 1 egg into each ramekin. Transfer ramekins to a 9" x 13" baking pan and pour enough boiling water into pan to come halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover pan with aluminum foil and transfer to oven; cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes.

 To serve, arrange ramekins on 4 plates, and season the eggs with salt and pepper.

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