I love eggs. They may not be the fanciest of foods but they are an excellent source of protein (and fat if you don’t watch out)! I also have found in recent years the invaluability of a strong breakfast. It is Saturday morning and my day to get caught up on things that I never get a chance to do during the week. Cooking is one of these things. This morning I remembered that Julia Child had a delicious-sounding recipe for eggs. She devotes an entire chapter to eggs! I’ve cooked them a few creative ways before, but I’m always up for a fun challenge. I opened to the chapter on eggs and looked specifically for concepts I’d never played with before. I landed on Oeufs sur le Plat- Oeufs Miroir (shirred eggs.)
Although protein is fantastic for my cardio burns this week, I have found a new love of vegetables. It’s not so much the taste as I appreciate what they do for my body. Your mother was right, they’re good for you. There are plenty of suggestions following the recipe I chose and one of them suggested pipérade (peppered.) I didn’t really care for all the ham (as I don’t really eat pork – not good for you) and onions it called for but followed it omitting the ham and onions & peppers. I exchanged these with leftovers: fresh parsley from my Potage Parmentier, fresh spinach leaves, diced Roma tomatoes. Instead of butter, I chose a drizzling of olive oil in the cooking and a delicate sprinkling of sharp cheddar.
Toasted pumpernickel, half a tablespoon of sour cream and a big strong cup of my favorite tea – Lady Grey, round out the meal. The result: inexplicable.
“A shirred egg is one that is broken into a small, flat, buttered dish and cooked quickly under the broiler. The white is softly set & tender, and the yolk is liquid, but covered by a shimmering, translucent film. Shirred eggs should never be attempted in the oven, as it toughens them.”
For each plate, you’ll need: A shallow, fire-proof dish (I used a ramekin) about 4 inches in diameter; 1/2 Tb. butter (I used a drizzle olive oil), 1 (or 2) eggs, salt & pepper.
Preheat broiler to very hot. Place the dish over moderate heat & add olive oil. As soon as it is hot, break your egg into the dish & cook for about 30 seconds until a thin layer of white has set at the bottom of the dish. Remove from heat, tilt dish, and baste the egg with the olive oil. Set it aside.
A minute or so before serving, place the dish an inch under the hot broiler (this works best in a toaster oven with a broiler setting.) Slide in and out every few seconds & baste the egg with the olive oil. In about a minute the white will set with the yolk filmed and glistening. Remove & serve immediately.
For the pipérade:
Prep the pipérade mixture of greens & garlic & tomatoes, then proceed to spoon mixture around the egg before it goes under the broiler.
“This is a Basque specialty, and quick to make if the pipérade mixture has been prepared in advance.”
(For the purpose of this dish, I have omitted the first step.) Ingredients: 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 1/4 cup fresh chopped spinach leaves, 1/8 cup fresh diced Roma tomatoes, 1 clove minced garlic, a pinch of dried & crushed rosemary sprigs.
In a drizzling of olive oil cook the greens covered until they are tender, but not browned. Season to taste with salt & pepper & rosemary. Stir in the garlic and lay tomatoes over the greens. Cover & cook slowly for 5 minutes. Uncover, raise heat, and boil for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally untill the tomato’s juices are almost evaporated. Season to taste & spoon around egg(s) before putting under the broiler.
As Julia would say: Bon Appétit!