Brunch fit for a queen: Eggs a la reine

UPDATE: Find the round-up for the IWD in 2 parts at zorra’s site here, and at fiordisale’s site here.

Waffles w/ mushrooms, eggs and saffron-lemon sauce

Today is the international day to celebrate women. In honor of this joyous day, fiordisale and zorra have joined their considerable energies to organize a cyber-celebration of International Women’s Day 2008. Invitees to the potluck were asked to prepare something yellow to share. I’ve been contemplating the makings of a savory waffle dish for a few weeks now, so I combined two of my favorite flavors (they just happen to also be yellow), saffron and lemon, to create a new take on a brunch favorite. This Belgian-style waffle is topped with seared oyster mushrooms, eggs, and a saffron-lemon sauce, and christened to celebrate the queen that dwells in every woman. Move over, Eggs Benedict, Eggs a la reine are in the house.

I wish each woman today, a day filled with love and family, and yes, wonderful flavors!

(yields 8-10 Belgian-style waffles)
(from the New McCall’s Cookbook, c. 1973)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups plain full-fat yogurt or sour cream

Pre-heat Belgian waffle iron.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

In medium bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Gently fold in 1/3 of flour alternately with yogurt, ending with flour. Mix only long enough to barely incorporate — do not mix until smooth, it will toughen your batter.
Bake in waffle iron according to directions for your machine. Use or freeze.

1/2 lb. oyster or wild mushrooms
2 TBL. butter
pinch of sea salt

Bring wok or pan to smoking point. Add mushrooms to dry pan, and gently press to sear. Turn mushrooms over and press again. Add butter and salt, stir briefly and remove from heat. Do not let mushrooms weep.

Eggs, cooked to your liking

Saffron-Lemon Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of saffron threads in 3 TBL. warm water
1/2 cup dry white wine
juice from half a lemon
zest of 1 lemon (some reserved fro garnish, if desired)

Combine butter and flour in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly cook until flour grains begin to swell. Add 2-3 TBL. milk and incorporate into roux. Add more milk, and again fully incorporate. Continue adding milk while stirring until you have a smooth sauce. Add saffron, wine and salt. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, then add lemon juice, and remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, cover while plating.

Top each waffle with mushrooms, then eggs. Nappe Sauce carefully over eggs. Garnish with reserved lemon zest, fresh fruit and a sparkling beverage (I chose my second favorite, an Apfelschorle).

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