December 2, 2022

Marconi’s Mushrooms, Poached Egg and Brown Butter

Recipe: Mehdi Brunet Benkritly

“Chef Mehdi Brunet Benkritly [pictured, right] worked at Toqué and Au Pied de Cochon – two of Montreal’s all-time greats – before opening Sardine and Fedora in Manhattan’s West Village. In New York, he met partner and co-owner Molly Superfine-Rivera and the couple returned to Montreal to reimagine a former dépanneur into an ethereal corner bistro. Flavors and ideas combine in dishes like marinated Arctic char with dashi jelly and crispy rice, or a sweetbread and celeriac tartlet with mustard sauce. Then there are mushrooms with brown butter and a poached egg – a dish so popular they can’t take it off the menu.” – Amy Rosen



For the Brown Butter

2/3 cup unsalted butter

For the Mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup oyster mushrooms, cut into medium-size pieces

1 cup stemmed shiitake mushrooms, cut into half or quarters, depending on size

1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped

3/4 cup dry white wine

3 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 tbsp soy sauce

Salt to taste

For the Bread

1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)

2 tsp sherry vinegar

4 slices sourdough bread, crusts off, cut into 1/2-inch slices, 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

1 tsp unsalted butter

For the Eggs

4 poached eggs (see directions) or 4 eggs cooked at 145F for 1 hour in water with an immersion circulator

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 small bunch chives, finely chopped

Finishing salt, such as Maldon salt or fleur de sel


Yield: Serves 4

  1. To prepare the brown butter, melt ½ cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, until it gets bubbly. Lower heat and continue cooking until it gets darker in colour and smells nutty. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. For the mushroom mixture, heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add oyster and shiitake mushrooms and cook until lightly coloured, about 5 minutes. Add shallots, cook 1 minute more, then deglaze with the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add dark chicken stock and let it cook and reduce by half, about 8 to 10 minutes, then add cubed butter and soy sauce and continue to reduce the sauce while stirring, until it reaches a nice saucey consistency, coating the back of a spoon. Taste for seasoning, then set aside.
  3. For the bread, mix cream and sherry vinegar together, then lightly soak the prepared bread in the cream mixture.
  4. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, melt the final teaspoon of butter, add the soaked bread, and cook until the pieces of bread resemble the colour of French toast. The slices should be golden on the outside and moist on the inside. Set aside.
  5. To make poached eggs, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Crack eggs into four small ramekins. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the boiling water and stir to create a vortex, then add one egg to the vortex and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a plate. Repeat with remaining three eggs. When ready to serve, dip eggs in simmering water again for a few seconds to reheat, then dab on a paper towel to remove excess water before plating.
  6. To serve, reheat all elements and warm 4 shallow bowls. Place a square of bread in the centre of each bowl and evenly distribute the mushrooms and a generous amount of sauce over each dish (if sauce has reduced too much, add a tablespoon of water to the pan). Sprinkle chopped chives over the mushrooms and sauce, then place the egg in the middle of each pile of mushrooms, finishing with a hit of Maldon salt and a spoonful of brown butter.
Author: Alexandra Whyte



Recipe excerpted from Canada's Best New Cookbook edited by Amy Rosen, published by Indigo Press.