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#1029 - Ouefs en Meuette
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A few weeks ago the topic of French food came up on Dan Rodricks' "Midday" show, and Chef Cindy Wolf described a dish of eggs poached in red wine. Hold on, I thought, that's one of my favorite French dishes, "Oeufs en Meuette", something I always order when I'm over there. And as Jerry notes, it's amazing how often poached eggs work their way into recipes these days.
The neat thing about poached eggs is that they make their own sauce. Once pierced, the yolk runs into whatever else is on the plate, adding flavor and texture.
Here are a few tips on poaching:
1. Your eggs should be room temperature, the water simmering, definitely not boiling. Add a little vinegar to the water to lower the pH and help keep the egg together.
2. Crack the egg into a tea cup, so you can easily slide it into the simmering water.
3. With a spoon, get a nice circular current going in the pan, then drop the egg into the middle. This will concentrate the egg's center.
4. You can spoon hot water over the egg to hasten cooking. Once it appears to be cooked and the egg whites are solidified, you can remove them with a slotted spoon and immerse them in cold water to stop further cooking.
5. Cooled eggs can be trimmed with a knife tip, and easily reheated in simmering water.
Here's my approach to Ouefs en Meuette. My version is a two-step recipe: poach the eggs, then make a sauce from the poaching liquid. To poach eggs: one cup Beaujolais wine, two cups of chicken broth; bring to a simmer in a shallow skillet. Slip the eggs in, and spoon simmering liquid over them as they cook; remove with a skimmer, shock in cold water, trim and re-heat in warm water before using.
In a sauce pan, sauté some diced carrots, diced onions, and coarsely cut up bacon until the vegetables are tender. Strain the poaching liquid, and pour it into the sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the sauce to reduce until it starts to thicken a little bit. Salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare a large crouton, or a slice of English muffin by spreading olive oil on it, and toasting it in an oven until it is crisp. Place the re-heated egg on the warm crouton, and ladle the sauce over it, and garnish with a sprig of thyme or parsley.