Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oeufs durs / Hard (and not so) boiled eggs

Pomaine says to keep boiled eggs around. I do. Despite my doctor's bad about my cholesterol. So I eat 2 or 3 a week. Perfect snack. So says also my favorite (now) French food blogger
"In France, an old tradition was to be able to find hard boiled eggs on counters in cafés or at bistrots and troquets." And so also in bars and movie theaters here. I remember at the Broncho we had a big jar of pickles and a twin jar of pickled eggs.

This also makes a very fancy first course, like the one with creme fraiche and caviar right (with a Parmesian crisp--see below)

I do an eight minute egg (for a US large, refrigerated). The yolk comes out firm but moist, not dry an crumbly, like the 10 minute eggs of my childhood.

If you like them soft you can buy an egg topper and take the tops off. But to peel, quickly, just run cold water over them and then crack the top and bottom on the counter, then roll to crack the rest--and the peel comes off in seconds.

The quick and easy thing from Julia is Oeuf dur mayonnaise. She said--and I remember this so well--that no one needs more of an appetizer than this. So true.

But here is one of an infinite number of fancy things to do:
  1. Put a halved egg on a bed of tapenade (store bought or see the sauces entry).
  2. Douse with Red Pepper Aioli.
  3. Between the halves put a Parmesan crisp made on a Silpat.
The Parmesian crisp is so easy to make.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Put a Silpat on a baking sheet. Using the fine holes, grate Parmesan, Romano, or other hard cheese to make a rough disk four inches round. The cheese does not have to cover the circle. Lighter cheese will make a lacier crisp.
  3. Bake for about 4 minutes or until just golden.
  4. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool half a minute or more.
  5. Using a thin spatula, carefully remove the disks and cool on a rack or paper towels--or simply put on the food warm!

 Garnishing roast salmon, with caviar in half of the halves and the yolk chopped for sprinkling on the salmon

 Mayonnaise with chopped herbs, and a little cayenne.

 With red pepper aioli and capers.

With 10 minute ratatouille.
Of course the most beautiful is perhaps the simplest: Just cut them in half, add salt and pepper, and put them on a plate with summer tomatoes.

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