Oeufs Farcis à la Chimay, Oeufs Mollets Florentine
I love eggs. They’re pretty, versatile, filling, and all things amazing. Too bad they bloat me like a blimp.
This week was supposed to be easier than our first few weeks. After all, we were only dealing with Greek vegetables, taboulleh and eggs. Eggs in the shell. None of these were particularly hard or complicated. It was just all down to time management which I did abysmally.
I cheated all throughout the Légumes à la Grecque, reusing the bouquet garnis and sac aromatiques (peppercorns and coriander seeds in a sac), plugging in various vegetables together, “borrowing” my bench mate’s carrot. I was super generous with the seasoning (or saltening rather). So when the Chef said my vegetables were perfectly cooked and seasoned well I was feeling an odd mix of pleased and perplexed.
Taboulleh wasn’t just taboulleh. We had three different kinds of grains: Semoule, Quinoa and Blé. It was a relatively simple recipe for each but there was an insane amount of prep, and when there’s an insane amount of prep I get a bit nervous and muddle things up. Which is just what I did. I was running low on pomelos brunoise, I undercooked the quinoa, under-seasoned and under-dressed the cous cous, and totally forgot the caesar dressing on the blé. Umm yeah, the Chef wasn’t fooled this time round. You should have seen his face. It was as though he’d just tasted a decaying poisoned rodent.
I knew I couldn’t be taking all sorts of short cuts as an amateur. Not in class anyway. I can’t really prod and poke eggs in the shells to gauge how cooked they were so I had to be really precise. Who knew there were so many factors to consider in the pursuit of the perfect boiled egg?
1. Always use room temp eggs. If they are cold out of the fridge they’ll bring the pot’s boiling water’s temperature down and mess up the cooking times
2. Always lay them flat on the pot’s bottom and never pile them up. Piling means uneven cooking
3. 5 minutes 30 seconds for Mollet (soft-boiled) which should have a creamy consistency for the yolk. 10 minutes to 11 minutes for Dur (hard-boiled) to have a yellow, crumbly texture for the yolk
4. AFter cooking time’s up, plunge mollet eggs in ice water and run dur eggs under cold running water
While the eggs were on, I had to get the bechamel sauce, spinach and duxelles stuffing (mushroom, shallots, egg yolks, sauce mornay) done. All this was going fine until I burnt my spinach and forgot to add the grated cheese to my bechamel sauce for the sauce mornay while it was still hot. I dumped in the cheese later and got a stringy, elastic, non-bechamel-saucy mixture. It didn’t look particularly appetising but I was hoping it would be okay once it was slopped over the eggs and popped under the salamander for grilling. Umm not quite. The salamander’s about three feet higher than me and I was doing jumping jacks every 2 minutes to check if the eggs and sauce were grilled enough. The heat isn’t distributed evenly it seems as when I pulled my dishes out the sauce was burnt along one side. Grr.
Our chef had already had ten eggs during the day in the earlier class so I do not blame him for not wanting to taste ten more. But he cut through my mollets, gave them a good poke and said they were “Bon” and my Farcis Chimay was presented well despite the burning. Bon. Get a pot to stand on to watch over the salamander next time.
1l whole milk
1. Grate some nutmeg into the milk in a heavy based pan and set to warm over very low heat. While the milk is warming up, warm the butter in a stainless steel pot and mix in the flour till is creates a paste (roux). Cook for about 2 mins. Place the roux in the freezer to chill.
2. Once the roux is chilled, place it over the heat again and pour in the milk and whisk till all mixed together
3. Pass through a chinois
Season with salt
3 egg yolks, raw
80g gruyere cheese, grated
Cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp
Heat the bechamel sauce. Whisk in 3 egg yolks. Pour it over the cheese (not the other way round!) and whisk till smooth.
Oeufs Mollets Florentine
4 eggs, cooked mollet
1. Stir fry spinach in hot peanut oil with a grating of nutmeg and season with salt. Squeeze out water.
2. Make a bed of spinach on baking tray and place mollet egg on it.
3. Ladle over some sauce mornay, sprinkle some cheese on top and place under grill for 3-4 minutes.
Oeufs Farcis Chimay
4 eggs, dur
6 mushrooms, finely chopped
2 shallots, ciseler
Parsley, handful, finely chopped
4 hard-boiled egg yolks, crumbled
2 big knobs of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sauce mornay
1. Heat 2 knobs of butter. Suer the shallots for a few minutes and then add in the mushrooms and cook for 6-7 minutes, evaporating the water released from the mushrooms. Salt + pepper to taste.
2. Cut the hard-boiled eggs into halves lengthwise. Remove yolks. Place the egg whites, yolk cavity facing upwards, on baking tray.
3. In a mixing bowl, add in the cooked mushrooms, hard-boiled egg yolks, parslay, seasoning, and mix well. Add in the cup of mornay sauce and mix well again.
4. Pipe in duxelle into the eggs and ladle over some mornay sauce. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Place under the grill for 3-4 mins.