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Poached Eggs with Creole Sauce & Fried Eggplant
Serves 4

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 med onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped or 2/3 cup chopped, drained canned tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 tsp thyme, fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
1/2 tsp paprika
1 small bay leaf
1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
Cayenne pepper

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, fresh
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated (preferably imported)
1/4 tsp thyme, dried, crumbled
1/4 tsp basil, dried, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten with 1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 stir unsalted butter, (3/4 cup)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cold water
2 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 Tbsp chives, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
8 eggs
vegetable oil
fresh watercress sprigs

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add
onion and bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent, stirring
frequently, about 8 minutes. Mix in tomato, stock, tomato juice,
thyme, paprika and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover
and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cornstarch mixture
and boil until slightly thickened, stirring constantly, about 2
minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cover partially and
simmer 10 minutes. Puree sauce in blender or processor. Return to
saucepan. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Cut eggplant into eight 2-1/2-inch
rounds, using biscuit cutter. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, thyme,
basil, salt and pepper in shallow dish. Dip eggplant rounds into
flour; shake off excess. Dip into egg mixture, then breadcrumbs,
coating thoroughly. Transfer to prepared sheet. Refrigerate at
least 30 minutes.

Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat
and spoon white foam off surface. Pour clarified butter into cup,
discarding milky residue. Combine 2 yolks, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
and water in top of double boiler. Whisk over barely simmering
water until eggs thicken, double in volume and are pale yellow,
about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in clarified
butter. Add lemon, salt and pepper. Stir in chives.

Add 2 inches salted water to large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar
and bring to simmer. One at a time, break eggs into cup and slide
into water. Poach until whites are set but yolks are still runny,
about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl of cold water using slotted

Pour 1/2-inch oil into another heavy large skillet. Heat to 350F.
Add eggplant rounds in batches (do not crowd) and cook until tender
and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, reheat Creole sauce over medium heat. Coat heated plates
with Creole sauce. Place 2 eggplant rounds in center of each plate.
Add eggs to large skillet of simmering water and reheat, about 30
seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and drain briefly. Place 2 eggs
atop eggplant on each plate. Nap each egg with hollandaise and
garnish with watercress. Serve, passing remaining hollandaise sauce


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