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Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Simple Brunch Menu: Simmered Mushrooms with Poached Eggs

One of the things I look forward to on the weekend is enjoying brunch with my husband. Our morning starts predictably with the sound of the coffee-maker pulverizing aromatic dark roasted coffee beans, my husband unfurls the weekend newspaper to glance at the front-page headlines then, we set about making brunch together. Some weekends, we want something sweet and fruity like blueberry pancakes topped with Quebec maple syrup. Other times, we prefer something savoury like a traditional English breakfast.

Eggs seem to be a necessary staple of our weekend ritual. I love them because they are utterly versatile and are absolutely delicious in so many ways: hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, poached, coddled, baked, salted, pickled, souffled, and meringued. (Although, not sure pickled eggs is something I'd want for breakfast...)

Usually, I have my eggs overeasy with an oozing, dribbling egg yolk that I sop up with a warm crisp multi-grain toast soldier. It is the simplest and quickest way to cook an egg properly. However, truth be known, my favourite egg is one that is gently poached: a rich golden yolk gently cradled by the tender egg white. A thick slice of smoked salmon and a spoonful of hollandaise and I am over the moon. It's a perfect way to start the day. I don't have a poached egg as often as I would like but when I do, I usually resolve myself to having it again soon.

I was flipping through an old issue of Gourmet magazine when inspiration struck me. There in its glossy pages, I saw two quivering poached eggs resting upon a plate full of roasted mushrooms, and I thought, “Now that would make an excellent brunch item.”

I had a small amount of chicken broth leftover, and I thought about slowly simmering the mushrooms. This is what I came up with...

Poached Eggs over Simmered Mushrooms
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb assorted mushrooms – cleaned, sliced into thick slices (shitake, button, cremini, oyster, morel)
1/2c chicken broth
¼ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp herbes de province

4 eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar

2 tbsp snipped chives
truffle oil

1. Heat vegetable oil in large pan. Add minced garlic and sauté until softened.
2. Add mushrooms and broth and simmer until the mushrooms reduce in size and the broth is thickened. This should take approximately 20-25 minutes.
3. Once mushrooms are almost ready, heat a separate shallow pan with water. Add 1 tbsp of vinegar to the water. (Before you add the eggs to the water, ensure you have a slotted spoon and your serving dish closeby.) When water begins to simmer, crack one eggs into a shallow dish. Carefully and slowly tip the egg into the barely simmering water. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
4. There should be enough water to fully cover the egg. Do not allow the pan to come to a boil. The water should continue to simmer and the whites of the eggs should start to take shape. The yolk will be extremely fragile and wobbly. It should probably take about 2 minutes.
5. Tumble mushrooms into a serving dish, and with the slotted spoon, carefully spoon the poached eggs out of the water and slide onto the mushrooms. Dust with chives and drizzle with truffle oil.
6. Serve immediately.


Alex Rushmer said...

Sounds wonderful. Perfect for a Sunday morning.

Laura Kelley said...

That recipe seems really delicious - I'll have to try it soon!

Another way I like to vary eggs a bit is to just sprinkle some capers on top of a scramble. It was an accidental discovery made at a breakfast buffet years ago and I've been enjoying it ever since.

Thanks for the post!

Cherie said...

This in my book is a perfect breakfast. I adore mushrooms.

Hungry Gal said...

@ Alex, Laura & Cherie

It's nice to know that I am not the only one who loves runny yolks over woodsy, flavourful fungi. Bon appetit.

Kevin said...

This looks like a simple and tasty meal!

V said...

Great idea, an alternative to omelet.

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