Someone just gave me a few duck eggs and I already had a stash of sauteed chanterelles and frozen puff pastry in the freezer, so this was pretty easy to put together.
However, the simple recipe below is made from scratch and as it’s rather rich, it would make a luxurious brunch or *drunch dish – either way it’s quite wonderful.
Duck eggs are almost twice the size of regular hen eggs, which explains the top heavy pic but they aren’t necessary and neither are the chanterelles. Good old chuck eggs and little brown ‘shrooms would do very nicely here.
*drunch = one of those lingering lunches accompanied by good wine.
POACHED EGG VOL-AU-VENTS WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, SPINACH, GOAT CHEESE & HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
4 uncooked puff pastry vol-au-vent cases
A splash of olive oil
3oz (85g) of soft mild goat cheese
5oz (140g) of ready-washed baby spinach leaves
3oz (85g) of fresh wild mushrooms such as porcini or chanterelles – or small crimini/brown chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
4 large eggs (hen or duck)
A few snipped chives to finish
Ingredients for the easy microwave hollandaise sauce:
2 large egg yolks
Juice of a quarter to ½ a lemon, to taste
A pinch of cayenne
A pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons of butter, melted
To make the pastry cases and filling:
To make the vol-au-vents, preheat the oven to 425F and bake them for 18 mins until puffed and golden. When cool enough to handle, pull off and discard the tops and any uncooked pastry inside, leaving a hollow, crisp shell. Keep warm.
(Can be made ahead; just keep in an airtight container at room temp)
For the filling and while the pastry is cooking, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan set over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, sauté the mushrooms until golden, add the baby spinach and cook, stirring until it’s wilted. Take it off the heat and stir in the goat cheese until it melts. Cover and set it aside while you poach the eggs and make the hollandaise.
(The filling can also be made ahead – cover and chill but bring it to room temp before stuffing the vol-au vents, then warm them through in a 350F oven while you poach the eggs and make the sauce)
While the vol-au-vents are heating through, bring a pan of salted water to a boil and poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes depending on size.
While the eggs are poaching, make the hollandaise. In a microwaveable bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne and salt. In a thin stream, pour the melted butter over the yolk mixture, whisking all the time. Microwave for 10 seconds then whisk. Repeat this 4 – 5 times or until you have a lovely thick sauce.
Serve right away on warmed plates – top each spinach and mushroom-stuffed pastry case with a poached egg and a couple of tablespoons of hollandaise followed by a sprinkle of snipped chives.