Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deep-Fried Poached Eggs with Creamed Spinach and Crispy Prosciutto

Somehow I've made it through all these years of cooking with never making a poached egg. Not sure exactly how it happened. I've only begun to like runny eggs in the last few years so that's probably part of it. I've always love fried eggs but when I made them myself I would cook them all the way through and in a restaurant I'd also ensure that they knew I wanted no runny yoke. Now I love to have that yoke running over a piece of toast, and yet still never a poached egg. Until tonight that is. And now I'm in love.

Then again this wasn't just your regular egg. It took a poached egg, dredged it in flour, egg and bread crumbs and then quickly deep fried it. Now that's my kind of egg. The great part of this is that the quick cooking maintains the runny yoke while giving it a light crispy exterior. Then it places it over a bed of creamed spinach and accompanied by crispy prosciutto strips.  It was a fantastic meal that would work for a weeknight meal or even a brunch.

Deep Fried Poached Eggs with Creamed Spinach and Prosciutto
adapted from Gourmet

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 oz fresh baby spinach or 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from firm white bread)
4 poached large eggs >(click for poaching instructions)
3 oz thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto
7 to 8 cups vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

If using fresh spinach:
Heat 1/4 cup water to boiling in large pot. Mix in half the spinach and cook for three minutes. Add in the remaining spinach and stir just until wilted. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. After slightly cooled press the spinach to remove all the water. Set aside.

Whisk together cream and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until just combined. 

Cook shallot in butter in a 9- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until shallot is softened, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until excess liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir cream mixture, then add to spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until cream is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Stir together bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Spread remaining 1/2 cup flour on a plate and set aside for dredging. 

Gently blot any water from top of poached eggs with paper towels, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. 

Carefully dredge 1 poached egg in flour, dusting off excess. Transfer to beaten egg, spooning to coat completely, then transfer with a slotted spoon to bread crumbs, letting excess egg drip off. Coat with crumbs and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining poached eggs, 1 at a time. 

Cut sliced ham crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. 

Heat 1 1/2 inches oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan (about 1 1/2 inches deep) over high heat until deep-fat thermometer registers 375°F. Fry ham in oil, stirring occasionally with a clean slotted spoon to separate strips, until crisp, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer ham to paper towels to drain. 

Return frying oil to 375°F. 

Lower 2 eggs (1 at a time on slotted spoon) into hot oil and fry until golden brown, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer fried eggs to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs.
Reheat spinach over low heat, stirring constantly and adding more cream or water to loosen mixture if necessary, about 1 minute. 

Divide creamed spinach among 4 plates, then top with poached eggs and ham.


  1. Wow, what a beautiful dish...not a fan of poached eggs myself, but I'd certainly be willing to try a deep fried one :)

  2. I just tried poaching an egg for the first time too yesterday...just couldn't get it right! Deep-frying it is such a great idea :)