Sunday, May 08, 2005

Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Spinach and Cheese Sauce

Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Spinach and Cheese Sauce (Adapted from Canadian Living)

For the potato layer

2 pounds cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the spinach layer

20 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the cheese sauce

1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
8 hard-boiled eggs

To make the potato layer

In a large pot, add potatoes and cover with water - bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and return to the pot. Pour in buttermilk and season with salt and pepper - mash with a potato masher. Scoop the mixture into a 9" x 13" baking dish coated with nonstick spray.

To make the spinach layer

Rinse spinach and shake off excess water.

In a large pot, add spinach - cover and steam over medium-high heat, stirring once, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Place the spinach in a sieve, colander or potato ricer - press out the excess liquid and let cool enough to coarsely chop.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over mashed potato mixture.

To make the cheese sauce

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Stir in flour - cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk - cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg into sauce. Remove from the heat and add the cheese - stir until melted.

Thinly slice eggs and arrange, slightly overlapping, over spinach. Spoon the cheese sauce over the top.

Bake until the edges are golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

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