|Sous vide mollet eggs Florentine|
Mollet, means soft in French, refers to eggs that are soft boiled in water to the texture when the yolks are creamy and the whites less watery than in soft-cooked eggs. Egg mollet is a stage between soft- and hard-boiled. How many times have I attempted to cook soft- or hard-boiled eggs and hit the mark? In less time than I’d like to admit. Timing is everything; those of us who toil, and play, in the kitchen know all too well.
Pepin gave very detailed instructions; I greatly appreciate that. Use a shallow saucepan about 8 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Puncture the round end of each egg with a pushpin to prevent the shells from cracking. Use a small sieve to lower the eggs into the boiling water and let it come back to a simmer. Cook for about 6 minutes. Pour the water out and shake the pan to crack the eggshells. Cool thoroughly.
So the key is 6-minute cooking time. Well and good! I’ve been relying on an even more precise and most forgiving cooking method. You’d get the same consistent results and with a high degree of confidence at that. No matter whether you are doing it for the first time or 100 times, provided you adhere to the same set of simple instructions regarding time and temperature. Think science lab. Better still, you can get the same predictable result whether you are cooking one egg or 100 eggs.
This cooking methodology involves modern equipment such as a water bath. I use an immersion circulator to hold the water bath at a specified and constant temperature, or a sous vide setup. Sous vide works for me: relieve me of any stress or anxiety of what could go wrong when I am not 100% at my game. Imagine having a reliable and trusty sous chef, with no attitude, as your assistant. Really cool!
I went right to the immersion circulator to make the mollet eggs. Set the water bath at 74°C /165°F and cook the eggs sous vide for 40 minutes. Eggs develop a fairly predictable texture when heated to a particular core temperature. After 40-45 minutes at around 140°F, the egg white begins to become opaque, whereas the yolk is not firmly solid until 165°F. You can dial in a core temperature and hit the texture you desire.
Both time and temperature are under control, mollet eggs are firmly at hand. The kitchen god is smiling, so am I!
When the eggs were slowly being transformed from pasteurized but raw to a solid state, of both whites and yolks, in the water bath, I prepared the mornay sauce and cooked the spinach as outlined in Pepin’s recipe.
The outcome: a perfectly executed mollet eggs florentine that I know I can proudly put on the table with the consistency of what a seasoned chef could produce. Clearly, I don’t consider myself a chef, let alone a seasoned one. I just have a super duper helper. I need all the help I can get!
This week’s theme at IHCC is the incredible egg. Take away the eggs, I’ll be at a loss. I would not be able to produce most, if not all, of my favorite brioche, scones, cakes, custards and savory dishes like this mollet eggs Florentine. Let’s celebrate the egg, a rich source of life and nutrients. Please see the bounty IHCC’s home cooks bring to the table by visiting the site.