I just started reading Jacques Pepin's autobiography Apprentice; My Life in the Kitchen, and so far I'm loving it. Between that and reading Julia Child's My Life in France last winter (I don't know if I mentioned that I read it here....I didn't do a proper book report on it, but you should read it. It's awesome and inspiring. Do it.), I really want to go to France for an extended period of time. Anyway, I'm only a few chapters into Apprentice, but I've already had to cook something from it. Jacques Talks about his mother Jeanette's special egg dish. It's essentially deviled eggs that are pan fried and served with an egg dressing and some bread. I had everything I needed for it at home, and it sounded like a perfect simple comfort food for a rainy evening.
Jacques has the recipe on his website, but that version is different than the one in the book. Also, I used dried thyme instead of his parsley, so here is the recipe the way I prepared it:
Eggs Jeanette ala Iron Stef
3 hard-cooked eggs (see note below)
1+ tablespoons milk
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
Cut the eggs in half crosswise at the widest point. Remove the yolks mash them, using a fork, with milk, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. The mixture should be moist and hold together. Restuff the whites with the yolk mixture, reserving approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons for the sauce.
Heat the oil and butter in a skillet, preferably the nonstick type. When the oil and butter are hot and foaming, place the egg halves, stuffed side down, in the skillet. Fry at medium heat for about 2 minutes. They will brown beautifully on the stuffed side. (Egg whites do not brown well and get tough if cooked in the hot fat.) Remove the eggs from the skillet, and arrange them over the sauce. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature with crusty French bread.
Approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons leftover egg-yolk mixture
1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon water
Dash of salt
Dash of white pepper
Approx. 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine everything but the olive oil in a bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking until you have a nice sauce consistency.
Note: To boil the eggs, I used Martha's method of bringing the water and eggs to a boil, turning off the heat and letting them sit for 13 minutes. I then used a new technique that Jacques wrote about: after draining the water, shake the eggs around in the pan to crack the shells, cover with cold water and ice, let cool for 15 minutes then peel under running water. This worked pretty well...though I still had a couple of pockmarked ugly eggs. But I also had enough pretty eggs to make this recipe :)
Yes. I say "yes" to this dish and to Jacques Pepin and to his mother. A lovely dinner...simple and flavorful with out being over-the-top rich. The mustard of the dressing really cuts through the rich yolks, and everything together smeared on warm crusty bread is quite beautiful. I'm excited to read the rest of the book and discover more rustic yet elegant dishes like this.