When I first moved to the house of the enormous pantry, I didn’t do much grocery shopping. It just seemed wasteful – we already had so much food. This led to some forays into uncharted food territory, but mostly I ended up making a lot of substitutions in recipes that I already used. No sweet potatoes – I have carrots. No cinnamon – I have cardamom. No rice – I have tiny pasta. No spinach – I have kale.
Side-note. They sell kale by the bag up here, which I think is awesome. Kale is tasty and good for you (it has tons of Vitamin C, K and calcium), but because you have to remove the stems I don’t cook with it much. (I objectively know it’s not that much work, but it seems like a lot of work. What can I say, I’m lazy). Bagged kale to the rescue! It’s super easy, plus it’s a huge quantity (2 lbs) so it lasts for a while. What I’m trying to say is that I’m using a lot of kale.
One Sunday I decided I wanted to make a fancy brunch. I’d seen a pack of English muffins in the pantry, and I knew we had eggs and spinach so I decided to make Eggs Florentine. When I wandered into the kitchen my plans seemed doomed. The English muffins were actually an empty container of bagels, the spinach was gone, and we only had four eggs. But I had my heart set on Eggs Florentine, so I barreled forward.
I decided that biscuits were close enough to English muffins and whipped up a batch. I solved the spinach problem with my handy bag-o-kale. And I solved the egg problem by making a mornay sauce instead of hollandaise. The end product wasn’t very authentic, but it was quite tasty. Who knows, it might be a healthier version of the dish.
The traditional way to poach eggs involves creating a vortex of water and praying (so far I have not tried this method). What I have done is follow these instructions which are pretty fool-proof and allow you to do multiple eggs at once. Alternatively, there are also a gazillion products out there to help you poach eggs.
Biscuits or English Muffins (I use the Clabber Girl Biscuit recipe)
1 Tbsp vinegar (optional)
1 Tsp oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups kale, chopped
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup tasty cheese (Parmesan, Swiss, whatever you fancy)
1/2 tsp nutmeg or cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
If you’re making your own biscuits/English muffins, do that first.
Begin boiling water for the eggs.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, and then sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
Meanwhile, make the mornay sauce. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for a few minutes until the flour no longer smells raw. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg or cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk.
Add the kale to your onions and cook until bright green and softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Poach your eggs using whatever method you’re comfortable with. Prep your plates by placing a sliced biscuit/English muffin on each and topping with the sautéed kale. When the eggs are done place one on each biscuit-half and pour the mornay sauce over the top. Enjoy immediately.