This recipe was the second of two dishes we served for Snoozen and her family for brunch today. This recipe was learnt by B and I at a cooking school in our local area, called Urban Graze.
We amended the recipe we learnt very slightly by using baby spinach leaves instead of English spinach leaves, both are equally good, in my opinion. Oh, and there was supposed to be a pinch of nutmeg too, which I just realised now as I was typing it out . *ahem* oh well, it is fine without the pinch of nutmeg ....
Spinach & Egg Gratin
60g (2 oz) butter
60g (2 oz) flour
1 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
500 ml milk
50g (1.8 oz) vintage cheddar, grated
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
150g (5.3 oz) baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped fine
1/2 cup green onions (shallots), sliced fine
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 x small eggs
1/2 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs (found in asian aisle of supermarket)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Blend in flour using a spatula and cook for 1-2 minutes without the flour colouring.
Stir in mustard powder and cayenne pepper. Remove from the heat and using a silicone whisk (we just used a regular metal whisk), whisk in 1/3 of the milk. Use a spatula to get into the corners of the saucepan to make sure all the flour gets mixed in. When it starts to thicken return to the heat and add another 1/3 of the milk. Now whisk in the rest of the milk.
Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat. Continue to stir until sauce is no longer floury tasting (about 5-8 minutes) and season with salt and white pepper. Add grated cheese and stir until melted.
Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach in 3 separate lots so that it has time to wilt. Stir in the green onions. Squeeze in lemon juice to finish.
Divide amongst 4 brulee dishes and let rest for a few minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 deg C (392 deg F). Place brulee dishes on a baking tray.
Make a hole in the centre of the gratin and break one egg into the centre.
Dust with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Place in oven for 12-15 minutes.
Serve with toast.