Oscars Feast - Amour Eggs en Cocotte with Leek and Tarragon
Eggs en Cocotte with Leek and Tarragon – Amour
Despite their advancing years George and Anne Laurent still have a fantasy Parisian apartment, a shared flirtatious twinkle and a love of Schubert. Their final movement begins over an egg at breakfast. A shell is broken and soon so is the smooth veneer of their marriage, as Anne slips into stroke, semi paralysis and physical decline.
Here is an undeniable, uncomfortable truth. We’re all going to die.
No matter how full our cup of life is with love there’s going to come a time when we - or the one we’re closest to will depart this mortal coil. For most of us this will prove nothing but cold comfort.
So what we have here is a warm dish, nursery soft and easily digestible. At its base are leeks, a vegetable that once stood proud and tall, yet with time in a pan will slowly collapsed in upon themselves. Resting above are egg whites that just manage to hold themselves together and a duet of yolks locked in an awkward and intimate embrace. Smothering it all is a pillow of cream fraiche. The best way to eat it is to plunge into the soft centre piano keys of bread gilded with truffle butter, or rillette- perhaps made from pesky pigeons. Another option for serving is to lovingly ring the plate with a garland of herbs and edible flowers. The only ingredient that is non negotiable, is love .
Eggs en Cocotte with Leek and Tarragon
Makes two portions, enough for breakfast for two or a starter for four (sharing is caring).
2 leeks, tough top green section and roots discarded, halved and rinsed.
30 grams of butter
1 tbsp flour
Small bunch of tarragon
4 tbsp of creme fraiche, or double cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Crusty bread, toasted and cut into piano key size slices
Optional: Truffle oil or truffle butter for the toast.
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350 F.
2) Slice the cleaned leeks into thin slivers.
3) Melt the butter in a large fry pan and sautee the leeks with a pinch of salt over a low to medium heat for 15 minutes until they have sweated down to a soft tangle. Add around 15 roughly chopped tarragon leaves and the flour and stir to cook for two minutes.
4) In a small bowl season the creme fraiche well with pepper.
5) Divide the leeks into the base of the ramekins, creating a small well in the centre.
6) Crack two eggs over the top, being careful not to break the yolks.
7) Gently place 2 tbsp of the creme fraiche over the top of the eggs, being careful again not to puncture the yolks. Decorate the top with two tarragon leaves in the shape of a heart, if you fancy.
8) Transfer the ramekins to a baking dish. Carefully fill the baking dish with hot water so it reaches half way up the side of the ramekins. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
9) Lovingly ring the ramekins with a garland of tarragon. Serve with slices of toast glossed with truffle oil or truffle butter for additional riches.