Friday, January 25, 2008


Poached eggs atop spinach and Manchego polenta croutons (recipe in the comments)
Sauteed grape tomatoes

Hot tea
This is a new recipe for us and what a winner! We were both overwhelmed by the presentation on this one. It's especially amazing given how easy this is to prepare. This is a "make-for-the-prospective-in-laws" recipe if I ever saw one - given that your prospective in-laws eat eggs and are ok with meals that don't contain meat! The flavors are very clean and you can really taste each ingredient. The original didn't have the tomatoes, but both M and I think they are integral to the finished product and so the posted recipe has the sauteed tomatoes as a component part. This was our first time using prepared polenta and we were not expecting it to be so wet when we removed it from the tube. It turns out fine, so don't worry. We do, however, note that this would be excellent and better for you (though not quite so elegant or quite as easy (close to as easy though!)) if you used quick cooking polenta (such as Red Mill brand). I would make a 1 cup recipe and stir the cheese into it once it was cooked. Regardless of how you end up making it, this is a winner.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Very easy
Chopping: Grate cheese
Time: 25 minutes
Make ahead: You could probably do the croutons ahead, but I would probably do it all last minute.

J: "Stacks of joy."
M: "Beautiful and tasty."

1 comment:

J said...

Poached Eggs Atop Spinach and Manchego Polenta Croutons – M & J (inspired by Whole Foods)
Serves 3

1 tube prepared polenta or 1 cup quick cooking polenta (see NOTE)
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese (about 4 oz)
1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves
1 T extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 pts grape tomatoes
6 eggs
¼ cup white vinegar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Unwrap polenta and slice into 12 rounds. Place on a foil covered baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly and brown, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until just barely golden. Add tomatoes and cook until juices are released and tomatoes are beginning to burst.

Fill a large wide pan with 3 inches of water and place on burner over high heat. When water simmers, stir in vinegar and then reduce heat until only a few tiny bubbles are visible. Crack eggs individually into small bowls or cups. After the croutons are removed from the oven, hold each bowl close to water and delicately slide egg in. Poach one or two eggs at a time. Cook for 4 minutes for liquid yolks.

Set 2 hot croutons on each of three plates. Layer a small pile of spinach leaves on top of each crouton and top with one of the remaining croutons. When eggs are done, remove from pan with slotted spoon. Touch spoon against a clean paper towel to absorb any excess moisture from egg. Top each crouton stack with an egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and ladle tomatoes and juice over the stacks. Serve immediately.

NOTE: This might be better for you (and maybe a bit better tasting, though less beautiful) if you used quick cooking polenta and mixed the cheese into the polenta after it was done. Serve a small pile of polenta, topped with spinach leaves and two poached eggs per person. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and ladle tomatoes and juice over all. OR Make polenta ahead, spread into a foil covered jelly roll pan to cool. Cut out small circles with a biscuit cutter and proceed as in the original recipe.