I just finished “The Apprentice: my life in the kitchen” by famed French chef Jaques Pepin. It’s a really charming book filled with many tales of near impossible luck. i.e. “when I was drafted I ended up running Charles de Gaulle’s palace kitchen” and “upon moving to New York I crashed with a friend who got me a job at the most prestigious restaurant in the US, which I had never heard of. Later I was asked to be the Kennedy White House chef, but turned it down.” At any rate, if you’ve got any interest in learning how commercial kitchens work, or French cuisine, I really recommend it.
Pepin (a good friend and sometimes co-host of Julia Child) included a bunch of recipes seminal to different periods of his life. My original intent was to make all of them and give myself a crash course in French cooking.After finishing the book, I’ve adjusted my goal to trying the handful of dishes that seem manageable. The Midwest is not the place for seafood preparation adventures, especially on a grad-student budget. Also, I’d probably have to rename the blog Just Add Butter if I made all of Pepin’s creations.
Anyway, these eggs were the specialty of Pepin’s mother, a formidable chef and restaurateur herself. I might cut down on the oil in the dressing, but other than that, I’ll definitely made them again.
- 6 eggs
- 1 t chopped garlic
- 2 T chopped fresh parsley (I only had a few sprigs left in my herb garden so I used some dried, and some fresh basil)
- 2-3 T whole milk
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 2 T vegetable oil
For the dressing:
- 2-3 T leftover egg stuffing (from above)
- 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 2-3 t water
- dash S&P
1. Put the eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a “very gentle boil” for 9-10 minutes. Drain the water, and shake the eggs in the pot to crack the shells.
2. Fill the pot with water and ice, let cool for 15 minutes.
3. Shell eggs under cold running water, split them lengthwise.
4. Remove the yolks carefully, put them in a bowl with garlic, parsley, milk, S&P. Crush with a fork to make a paste.
5. Spoon the yolk mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites, reserving 2-3 T of the filling for the dressing.
6. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan, and cook the eggs stuffed side down over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until they are beautifully browned on the stuffed side. Mine starting a kind of frothy boil towards the end:
7. Remove and arrange on a plate, pour the dressing over, and serve lukewarm.