Guess where we went this week? La belle France! The only problem with this week's choice is that I really wish I were there. In person. Right now.
The last time I was in France, I visited Tours, staying in a lovely chateau and touring the city and the countryside. Did you know that's where the real Sleeping Beauty's castle is? Lots of castles as a matter of fact, and all are beautiful and fascinating.
One evening, some friends and I had one of those nice, long dinners at a local restaurant. We closed down the place, and even got to meet the owner and his friendly dachshund. One of the special dishes that I recall was poached eggs in a red wine sauce. It was absolutely delicious.
While this isn't the same egg dish, it did bring back memories of a wonderful visit. Thanks to Lauren for choosing one of my favorite countries.
Champignons à la crème avec oeufs pochés et Gruyère
(Best of Gourmet 2002)
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
3 ounces Gruyère, shredded (1 cup)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
6 large eggs
Pulse mushrooms, garlic, and shallot in a food processor until finely chopped.
Heat butter in a skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook the mushroom purée, stirring until fragrant and heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and boil 3 minutes. Add half the cheese, stirring until melted, then stir in salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
Fill a deep skillet with water, then add vinegar and bring to a bare simmer. Break each egg into a cup, then slide into the simmering liquid. Immediately, push the white around the yolk with a slotted spoon, moving egg gently. Add 2 more eggs in the same way. Sinner 3-4 minutes for runny yolks, or 5-6 minutes for firm yolks. Transfer eggs to a plate lined with paper towels and poach the remaining eggs in the same way.
Divide mushroom purée among gratin dishes. Pat the poached eggs dry and season with salt and pepper. Transfer eggs, one at a time, with the slotted spoon to the gratin dishes and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Put dishes in a shallow baking pan and broil 5-7 inches from the heat until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.