Showing posts with label poached eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poached eggs. Show all posts

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mushroom hash and eggs

By Victoria Abbott - aka those brunch-loving Maffini women.

We love brunches and lunches around here.  We particularly appreciate the fresh and unusual meals you can make with veggies and eggs. For those of you who are seeking low carb or low GI foods, these can be a boon and introduce much needed variety.

This mushroom hash is a variation on a mushroom-hash recipe from Steven Raichlen’s High-flavor, Low-fat Italian Cooking. It is an inspired cookbook.  Of course, we weren’t seeking low-fat so there’s a bit of butter and oil.  The original is served with polenta and that was ‘off the table’ for us at least for a while.

We served ours with poached eggs.  It was a huge hit and had to be made again the next week as we’d all enjoyed it.  The egg poaching was less than stellar, but we’ll try again. Third time lucky, as they say.  

You could serve yours with polenta if carbs are not an issue. The mushroom hash and polenta are a marriage made in heaven.  

Mushroom hash - you will need:


1 ½ pounds sliced mushrooms. We used a blend of cremini, white mushrooms and baby portabellas.  You can mix it up with other types of mushrooms to suit yourself and you don’t have to be too finicky about exact amounts of anything!

4 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for a half hour, then chopped
½ cup of chicken or veggie stock.
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup finely chopped parsley (or 4 tablespoons prepared parsley)
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

This serves two with lots of leftover mushrooms.  They reheat beautifully .

You will also need:

4 eggs – poached (good luck with that)
2 ounces or more of good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano.  



In a large heavy skillet, heat the butter and oil until foamy. Sauté the green onions and the garlic over medium heat for five minutes.  Don’t singe the garlic!  

Add the mushrooms and cook for about ten minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, and stock. Cook for another ten minutes or so.  Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm. 

Meanwhile, convince someone to poach the eggs. Around here people will jump ship like rats. But never mind. We love poached eggs so …  Our new egg poacher was a bit of a letdown.  Our experiment with the rings from mason jars not much better. Our attempts to poach them without constraint in boiling water led to a so-so result.  Of course, they tasted fine. We were just trying to make them pretty for the pix.

Heat a large pan with about an inch of water.  Place egg poacher or rings inside and bring to a boil.  Crack eggs into poacher or rings.  Cook until white is opaque.  Hope for the best. Try not to overcook them or use bad language. 

Place a serving of mushrooms on each plate.  Remove eggs from poaching device and top mushrooms. 

We thought our mushrooms were much prettier 'in person'. They may look like a Sesame Street monster here, but they tasted great.

Don't forget to grate cheese on eggs. 

Okay, who are these people?  Here's a little bit more about Victoria Abbott, author of the book collector mysteries. 

Victoria is an artist and photographer and MJ is the author of 13 books in three other series, as Mary Jane Maffini.  They really really like dogs. They try not to fight when they're working on their books or recipes.

Deep down, they really love each other and they really really love their book collector mysteries and are happily waiting for The Wolfe Widow, third in the series, due September, 2014. 

    Pre-order it here!

They're very excited about the The Sayers Swindle which is out now!

The Sayers Swindle, the second in the book collector mysteries is now available.

You can click here to order The Sayers Swindle!

Or here for the Kindle version!

Or order through your favorite bookstore - in person or online.


The Christie Curse, the first book collector mystery, launched in March 2013 to great reviews.

The Christie Curse is also available in Large Print! Tell your local librarian!

 Walter, the pug in the series is a dead ringer for Peachy, Victoria's new best friend. 

 Come over and friend Victoria on Facebook

Tell  her  you love the pug!

and check out Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Abbott

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lighter Eggs Benedict?

One of my favorite indulgences is Eggs Benedict. I know, I know! It's loaded with fat and cholesterol. But it's so good! I usually reserve it for special brunches. And it's a hassle to make Hollandaise sauce, so I don't eat it often.

But wait! In a recent Stonyfield Farms newsletter, they mentioned a recipe for Hollandaise sauce that they lightened up by using Greek yogurt. Could it be true? Could I indulge without all the guilt?

So this past weekend, I put their recipe to the test. It's close, but unless you're particularly fond of the tart flavor of plain yogurt, it's not quite there. They used 1/8 teaspoon of hot sauce that I omitted because I'm not much of a hot sauce person. It's possible that the hot sauce took the slightly sour edge off.

I solved the problem by adding, gulp, 4 tablespoons of butter. Most recipes contain 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter. In spite of that, my mom suggested adding just a pinch of sugar to take off that edge.

I do have to say that it was the easiest Hollandaise sauce I've ever made. It cooked beautifully without curdling or seizing up.

We were tough on that sauce, trying it on a poached egg on toast. No ham or veggies to soften the blow. After all, if the sauce wasn't good, all we were left with was an egg on toast. Would I make it again? Yes! But with the 4 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of sugar.

To assemble your Eggs Benedict, use your favorite toasted bread or the traditional split English muffin on the bottom. Add Canadian bacon, or regular bacon, or (yum!) a crabcake. A slice of tomato or a leftover grilled veggie can be fabulous, too. Then add the poached egg and top with the sauce.

I read recently that while vinegar in the egg-poaching water makes the egg white seize together better, it also makes the egg white more tough. So this time I dared to do the unthinkable (the things I do for you), I poached them in plain water. Nothing else! They came out better than ever.

Lightened Up Hollandaise Sauce

3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon or Horseradish mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place all ingredients *except butter* in the top of a double boiler and whisk together. Bring the water underneath to a very slow boil. Cook, whisking constantly for 5-10 minutes until an instant thermometer reaches 145.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Keep warm, stirring occasionally, until ready to assemble the dish. Makes enough for 6-8 servings.

Toast or warm bread at this point.

Poached Eggs in Plain Water

Crack the eggs and place each one in a small heatproof bowl.

In a large pot, bring three inches of water to a very gentle boil.

Lower each little bowl about 1/2 inch into the water and turn to let the egg slip out. Repeat for each egg.

Cover the pot and cook (do not bother the eggs, no poking!) for 3 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted or pierced spoon.


Serve immediately.

(Note, 3 minutes is right for runny egg yolks, but they may not have reached a temperature high enough to kill salmonella or other bacteria.)