Friday, April 11, 2008
Audiobooks are a recent joy in my life. Right now I am listening to Julie on Julia, the journey of one woman experiencing a third life crisis who cooks her way through the classic American tome of French cooking, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The most recent chapter, which I listened to Thursday, describes Julie's adventures cooking oeufs en gelee, or poached eggs in aspic.
Julie did not measure this a successful recipe. However I, for some reason, find my psyche obsessed with the idea of making aspic from bones. Next, softly poaching an egg and layering it with various herbs, al dente poached veg & maybe some salmon or lardon inside the confines of a transparent aspic encasement. Upon further research, I am pleased to find out that there are many renditions of ouefs en gelee.
The author of Chocolate & Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier, writes about the both the joy of gently breaking apart the aspic to free the beauty of the ingredients inside and the omniprescence of this dish in the non-touristy outer arrondissements of Paris.
Below is the close up she posted. I like how this one is wrapped in what looks like a thin slice of ham or proscuitto:
I have not attempted to make this yet, but I can feel it coming. I made a horrific dinner the other night for John and David, as usual winging it completely. I will blog about the horror of that meal at another time. Now however, I will treat you, dear reader, to the joy of a variety of examples of oeufs en gelee from various places about the interwebs.
Here is a simple version, still in its ramikan.
This one, served on a bed of greens, illustrates the beauty of digging through the aspic and cracking the softly poached egg...I am imagining sopping up the yolk with a warm grilled hunk of kalamata olve bread.
And this version (apologies for the tiny pic) shows one housed with slices of salmon, my mouth is watering anticipating that those are slices of smoked salmon, the combination of the lightly flavored aspic, the egg and the soft fleshy salmon...
In the recesses of someone's dark and twisted mind, labeling this photo of a streaker at Wimbledon as "oeufs en gelee" must have seemed amusing.
I am officially amused.