My affection for eggs started with a love for hard-boiled egg whites. Just the whites, yolks were pawned off to those around me. My dad was usually glad to oblige, I think, because he knew then what I know now: the yolks are just as good. After the egg white preliminaries came a long stretch of loving the whole egg, but only in its pure state. If it had mayonnaise or ketchup, I would lick them off before savoring the egg. If they were my grandmother’s curried eggs, I snuck into the kitchen to rinse them before eating (shhh, don’t tell her).
That lasted a while, but now I just love eggs. I’ll take them in any way, shape or form, as long as there is no noticeably raw egg white. (An egg sunny side up with translucent white makes me shudder a little.) Which is how I met this beauty:
This is an “oeuf en gelee” (jellied egg, I suppose), bought at the Marche Monge. Clotilde Dusolier inspired me to buy one when she mentioned that she loves oeufs en gelee so. Ah, the rewards of trawling food blogs. What plopped onto my plate after my visit to the market was a poached egg with a runny yolk, a firm sliver of tasty ham, a slice of tomato (the only off note: it looked like a carrot coin and tasted correspondingly) and a little aspic to hold them all together. I feared that the whole, cold thing might have little flavour, but I was wrong. There was plenty of creamy egg and savory ham flavour in each bite, and the aspic provided a nice punch of saltiness every now and again.
Another egg adventure with a French note led me to similar success. I had leeks to use and poked around Molly’s blog to find something to do with them. I came up with this recipe for French-style scrambled eggs with softened leek. I chose it because it sounded good yet easy, and was a little embarrassed about not trying harder to learn something new in the kitchen. Completely unnecessary, as it turns out, because I learned something new to v. pleasing result.
What Molly has you do is combine eggs, a little water, salt and melted butter before anything goes into the pan. Then you heat a small sauce pan and pour the mixture into it. You start stirring when curds start to form, and keep doing so over gentle heat (removing the pan from the fire if things heat up too quickly) for a while, until you have a pan full of soft, creamy curds. These you serve with thinly sliced leek that has spent enough time in a pan with plenty of butter, a bit of salt, a tiny pinch of sugar and perhaps a little water (if things start to stick at any point) to become a soft, perfumed tangle of green. A few crunchy salt flakes on top won’t go amiss, and some sturdy, toasted bread to pile the eggs and leek onto would be perfect. Simple, and so tasty.
France, I am ready for your next eggy revelation.