A superior chef and cookbook author is rare. When you find one, your loyalty quickly builds and your interest in all their work intensifies.
Last fall, I blogged Pastry by Michel Roux [cookingbythebook.com/blog/cookbook-reviews/pastry-savory-sweet] because this master chef had created a marvelous pastry book, organized by pasty types and filled with rapturous recipes. Going back in time to 2005, Roux authored Eggs, and this book is every bit as satisfying as Pastry. The two books have the same formatting, style and organization. And again, Eggs is filled with magnificent recipes.
You might first think of an egg as just a component of a dish, not the star. But in Eggs, the eggs literally are the focal point. In this recipe, Poached Eggs on Onion Tartlets, the eggs beam on top of tartlets that can only be described as the ultimate comfort food.
Poaching an egg? Not the easiest thing? Something you actually never, ever tried? Well, Eggs has the solution. Organized into chapters by type of egg preparation, you learn — and see, too — the right techniques for boiling, frying, scrambling, baking, and, yes, poaching eggs. Roux’s poaching technique is presented at the end of this blog.
The recipes in Eggs are seductively written, they are delicious from the first forkful, and best of all they are quite easy to make. This recipe does ask you to thoroughly cook the onions for an hour. Don’t rush. The payoff is the taste. As with Pastry, the Egg recipes have been professionally tested. Just follow the instructions and delight in your skills.
This dish is, of course, ideal for a brunch. But it could surprise friends and family at dinner, too.
Just a bit of a preview for you, this is a rich savory dish from Eggs. Dessert will be blogged tomorrow. Think ultimate cream puffs.
Poached Eggs on Onion Tartlets
2 large onions, about 1 lb. 2 oz.
8 tablespoons butter
⅔ cup heavy cream
few thyme leaves, plus sprigs to garnish
salt and freshly cracked pepper
¾ pound ready-made puff pastry [or see Roux’s Pastry book]
flour, for dusting
4 small eggs, poached [poaching recipe below]
Cut the onions into thin slices. Melt the butter in a heavy pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook gently for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Pour in the cream, add the thyme leaves, and let simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper and tip into a bowl. Set aside.
To bake the tartlets, preheat the oven to 325°F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a ⅛ inch thickness. Using a 4-½ inch plain round pastry cutter, cut our 4 disks and place them on a baking sheet. Chill for 20 minutes.
Prick each pastry disk 4 or 5 times with a fork. Spread the onions evenly on top of the disks, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The bottom of the pastry should be well cooked and crisp.
If you have previously poached and saved eggs in a bowl, carefully pour on boiling water on them, and leave them for 30 seconds only to warm through. Drain well.
If you have just poached the eggs, transfer from the poaching pan to a plate and trim the edges.
Put a poached egg on each onion tartlet. Top with a sprig of thyme and serve on warm plates.
Technique for Poached Eggs
Half fill a wide pan about 4 inches deep with unsalted water. Add 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar and bring to a boil.
Break an egg into ramekin or small bowl and slip the egg gently into the pan at the point where the water is bubbling.
Repeat with the other eggs, but do not poach more than four eggs at a time. Poach for about 1-½ minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or small skimmer, lift up the first egg and press the outside edge slightly to see if it is properly cooked
As soon as the egg is cooked to your liking, remove it with the skimmer or slotted spoon. Either serve immediately or transfer to a bowl of ice water and leave for about 10 minutes.
Before serving, trim the edges with a small knife to make a neat shape. This will also cut off the excess white that inevitably spreads during cooking. The poached egg is now ready.
Source: Eggs by Michel Roux
Hay Brian what about mentioning the quality of the eggs! Fresh eggs make a great difference in the end product. We have a source down the road from us upstate. Phyllis has great chickens with beautiful eggs one of the reasons we focused on this book.