6 Minute Egg on Polenta with Ham

Chuck whips up a picture perfect soft boiled egg atop creamy polenta and crisp Serrano ham

Easy, Moderate, Complex

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time:  1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Serrano ham
  • For the eggs:
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 bunches kale
    • 1 tablespoon of butter (15 ml)
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Salt and pepper
  • For the soft polenta :
    • 2 cups chicken stock (500 ml)
    • 2 cups milk (500 ml)
    • 3 sprigs cilantro
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 cup of corn meal (250 ml)
    • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (250 ml)
    • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven at 180 ˚C (350 ˚F).
  2. On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, arrange the slices of Serrano ham and cover them with another piece of parchment paper and another baking tray on top. This technique will ensure the Serrano stays flat while it cooks. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy. Remove from oven and set aside on paper towel.
  3. For the polenta: In a heavy saucepan, combine the stock and milk.  Add the cilantro and garlic and bring to a boil.  Let simmer on medium heat for 2 minutes to flavor the mixture.  Remove the cilantro and garlic.  Whisk in the corn meal and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon until the grains are soft.  Fold in the Asiago cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm and covered.
  4. For the egg: In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil and drop in the eggs for 6 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, run under cold water to shock the eggs and reserve. Before serving, rattle them around to crack the shell and peel them.
  5. In the same saucepan containing boiling water, cook the kale for 1 minute.  Drain and reserve in an ice bath.
  6. In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter.  Squeeze out the excess liquid from the kale with your hands and chop it in half. Sauté the kale with lemon juice for 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  7. For Serving:, Place a large spoon of polenta on each plate.  Top with the kale, a soft boiled egg and garnish with more grated Asiago cheese and 2 slices of Serrano ham.  Serve immediately.

Note:  The polenta can be made ahead and reheated: add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or stock, cover the dish, and reheat in the microwave or over low heat. Whisk well before serving. Grate a dusting of Parmesan or other favored cheese over the top just before serving.