This is something that I threw together one Sunday morning brunch because we had some oysters on hand, creamed spinach and fresh salsa. It is a baked whole-wheat wrap shell with a bed of creamed spinach topped with stewed oysters and then delicately poached eggs, then topped with a Beurre blanc sauce and a side of fresh chunky salsa with home fried new potatoes and garnished with chopped green onions. I named this dish after a small town in New Mexico that sits just north of Santa Fe and below Taos, nothing special there, just a small town with a great name…hence the salsa. This first image on the left shows the shell with creamed spinach and oysters, and with the side potatoes. Click on the image(s) for a larger view.
I suppose that a formal recipe could be written here, but this is just a variation on a theme. Poached eggs being the main event here, and really are quite easy to prepare, with a few tricks of the trade…that I will be happy to share.
A shallow sided saucepan works well for poaching eggs, or one that has a large broad flat surface area and at least a 3-inch wall straight up. Fill the pan about ½ way with cool filtered tap water. Then add about 1 ½ cups of white vinegar, this is the little trick I was telling you about, the vinegar helps the eggs to stay together and coagulate quickly. Otherwise, the eggs would spread out and be hard to stay together. The image on the right shows the poached eggs, salsa, sauce and garnish added to the base Florentine, oysters and shell.
Over a medium-high heat bring the liquid to a very slow simmer, you want tiny little air bubbles to form on the bottom surface of the pan. When the water is hot enough gently crack up to 6 or 8 eggs into the warm water, then using a slotted spoon gently push the eggs a slight bit to ensure they will not stick together or to the bottom or sides of the pan.
Continue to poach the eggs until the desired doneness, timing varies here so be sure to use the slotted spoon and lift one of the first ones out and gently press it with your thumb or forefinger to check. If you like the yolks runny then less time is required, on the other hand if you like your yolks hard then more poaching is required. Practice makes for perfect poached eggs; I cannot remember how many I have poached in my day.
In most major production kitchens there will a piece of equipment called a tilt skillet. These are massive gas heated skillets that can be tilted from a hand crank, or from the push of a button to pour out the finished product. In the case of mass egg poaching for banquet or buffets at hotels, the tilt skillet would be utilized to produce hundreds of them at a time. I can remember poaching four or more cases of eggs for Sunday brunch, do you know that each case contains 12-dozen eggs, which is 144 eggs per case. That is a lot of poached eggs, for buffet items such as Eggs Benedict, Eggs Rockefeller, Eggs Florentine, the list goes on…