Tuesday, 22nd March 2011
We had this wonderful dish for a simple late lunch last friday. It’s easy and not time-consuming.
Since it was Friday we hadn’t much vegetables at home, anymore. Just one fennel. So I combined it with the idea of a potato gratin. As an accompaniment eggs suited just fine. And lately I began with making poached eggs. I’m not a huge fan off eggs, as in form of fried, scrambled or boiled. Maybe then I like it best fried. But the poached eggs are really nice. They are such moist. Unfortunately you cannot season them while cooking. So you have to season them on your plate.
Now, if you are already thinking “oh no, not poached eggs, those are really difficult and I do not have the guts at lunch time to try these”, let me say you, it is not THAT difficult. I thought that, too. Ever. I’ll give you some tricks and advices. With those you are ready for poached eggs at lunch time, or even for breakfast. I mean look at those beautiful eggs, and those were only my third attempt to make poached eggs!
The gratin is the hearty component of this meal. If you don’t want to layer your gratin as nicely as did (I understand. I just had too much time.), just throw it all in your baking dish. It will turn out great, too. I only have one, ok two recommendations to you for the gratin. First season every layer of vegetables (or season everything while tossing it) GENEROUSLY. Really, really, do it. Lots of salt, pepper and nutmeg (or whatever you like). The potatoes adsorb it. And don’t ask whereto… Second use a cheese, that has a lot of flavour, like feta, goats cheese, Emmentaler or something similar (not mozzarella!). Gratin is nothing without a good cheese flavour, and the crispiness of the cheese crust. Also it goes wonderful with the eggs.
So this makes a delicious vegetable meal. Of course you can cheat and make some fried bacon, too. But then don’t forget to drizzle it with some maple syrup!
One year ago: Chocolate Macarons with Raspberry Filling
yields: for 4
about 400g potatoes
1 medium fennel
butter for greasing the baking dish
freshly ground salt, pepper and nutmeg
100g grated or crumbled cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Peel and wash the potatoes. Slice thinly. Wash the fennel and slice thinly, too. If there is some feathery green on the fennel wash, chop finely and put aside. Layer the potatoes and fennel in a buttered baking dish (mine is 26×17 cm). Season every layer generously with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Whisk the eggs with the milk. Season it, too. Pour it over the potatoes and fennel slices. Add the cheese on top.
Bake for about 35 minutes.
a generous splash of white vine vinegar
freshly ground salt and pepper
Fill a large pot with water. It should be filled for about two thirds. Bring it to a simmer. Add a generous splash of the vinegar, that prevents, that the eggs will float apart immediately.
Position a ladle in a small bowl, so it’s standing upright without holding it with your hands. Crack one egg in the ladle. Stir the water with a cooking spoon, until a “tornado” builds in the water. Now give the egg in the ladle in the “eye of the tornado”. The eye, where the egg is, is calm. The water floating around prevents, that the liquid egg floats away. Wait for about a minute, before you add the next egg with the same procedure, until the first egg has formed a firmer skin and won’t break apart immediately. For the second egg, the first egg has to be floating around, too. You don’t want to mix up the two. Stir the water, not the egg!
This works good for two eggs. As I am a newbie to this, too, I found it easier to remove the first two eggs, for making the third and fourth. So after they made up their skin I carefully transferred them to a flat bowl with a slotted spoon. I added them again, when the two other eggs were formed, too.
Poach them for 5 minutes (5 minutes after they were all again in the pot).
Arrange the gratin with the poached eggs. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and if you have, the chopped fennel green.