Wente Vineyards partnered with America’s Test Kitchen to compile quick, easy, and impressive holiday recipes and wine pairings for holiday entertaining. We’ve given a few of the recipes a whirl here in the South Florida Food and Wine kitchen and have decided to share with you some of the more quick, easy, and impressive recipes to consider when planning your holiday menus. For Christmas Brunch or the day after breakfast we recommend Baked Eggs Florentine, paired with Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay. The best part about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time, 3 days to be exact. This particular recipe is ideal for planners. Individual Baked Eggs Florentine is ideal for both a sit down brunch or buffet; it was perfect for our brunch buffet, where guests just picked up a ramekin and moved on.
In order for the eggs to cook properly, it is critical to add them to the hot filling–lined ramekins quickly. Use 6-ounce ramekins with 3¼-inch diameters, measured from the inner lip. It is imperative to remove the eggs from the oven just after the whites have turned opaque but are still jiggly—carryover cooking will finish the job. We developed this recipe using a glass baking dish; if using a metal baking pan, reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees. This recipe can be doubled. If doubling, bake the ramekins in two 13 by 9-inch dishes and increase the baking times in steps 3 and 4 by 1 minute.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ cup half-and-half
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
Salt and pepper
⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil spray
6 large eggs
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to
2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add
shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3
minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in half-and-half; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly.
Simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened, 2 to
3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in spinach, Parmesan,
¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, mustard, nutmeg,
3. Lightly spray six 6-ounce ramekins with oil spray. Evenly
divide spinach filling among ramekins. Using back of spoon,
push filling 1 inch up sides of ramekins to create 1/8-inch-thick
layer. Shape remaining filling in bottom of ramekin into 1½-inch
diameter mound, making shallow indentation in center of mound
large enough to hold yolk. Place filled ramekins in 13 by 9-inch
glass baking dish. Bake until filling just starts to brown, about 7
minutes, rotating dish halfway through baking.
4. While filling is heating, crack eggs (taking care not to break
yolks) into individual cups or bowls. Remove dish with ramekins
from oven and place on wire rack. Gently pour eggs from cups
into hot ramekins, centering yolk in filling. Lightly spray surface
of each egg with oil spray and sprinkle each evenly with pinch salt.
Return dish to oven and bake until whites are just opaque but still
tremble (carryover heat will cook whites through), 6 to 8 minutes,
rotating dish halfway through baking.
5. Remove dish from oven and, using tongs, transfer ramekins to wire rack. Let stand until whites are firm and set (yolks should still be runny), about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
TO MAKE AHEAD
Follow recipe through step 3, skipping baking of lined ramekins.
Wrap ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To serve, remove plastic and heat lined ramekins, directly from
refrigerator, for additional 3 to 4 minutes (10 to 11 minutes total)
before proceeding with recipe.
Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay is 50 percent barrel fermented, giving it the creaminess that works well with the texture of runny yolk and weight of the spinach filling. The other 50 percent was fermented in stainless-steel tanks to preserve the natural fruit flavors of citrus and green apple making it a refreshing wine.
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