Friday, January 4, 2013

"Eggs & Bacon" - Thomas Keller Style

Contrary to my standard posting style, I'm going to start this post with a picture and then tell you about how amazing the dish is.  

Isn't is the most gorgeous amuse bouche ever?  This was my first attempt at a recipe from Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook and with a few adaptations, I was able to really make it my own.  On New Year's Eve, James and I chose not to go out and brave the insanity of amateur night, but rather cook a delectable meal at home and open a killer bottle of champagne.  In our 6-course tasting menu, this was our first and I must say, I am still incredibly proud of how well they came out.  The original recipe was for a truffled egg custard with veal ragout and chive chips.  The chips involved microplane thin potatoes, fried together with chives between them and although they appeared to be quite beautiful, my mandolin doesn't quite slice that thinly and they really just looked like a bitch to make.  In lieu, I opted for a crispy prosciutto chip which conveniently gave me the "eggs and bacon" concept.  

Egg Custards

8 Large Fresh Eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream 
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of white truffle oil
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

- Start by washing your eggs and gently scrubbing the shells
- Take a serrated knife to the bottom of each each egg, tapping until a solid crack forms and then slicing off the end in the cleanest cut possible
- Remove the inner membrane from the shells and return them to the carton (cut off the top, as you only need to bottom part) 
-Preheat oven to 275 degrees
- Reserve 2 eggs for the custard and the remaining six can be used for any other culinary task
- In a heavy bottomed pan, bring the milk and cream to a boil
- Transfer milk mixture to a blender and start to blend on low speed, slowly increasing to avoid splatters
- Add the eggs, truffle oil, salt and pepper and continue blending for about 30 seconds or until well incorporated
- Transfer mixture to a pitcher and slowly pour into each of the egg shells, filling them about 2/3 full
- Take a 4" deep baking dish and fill it about half way with water
- Place the eggs (in the carton) into the water, allowing the carton to become saturated and sink to the bottom of the pan
- Cover with a pot lid large enough to rest on the sides of the pan 
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the custard sets
- The custards can remain in the warm water for up to 2 hours after cooking

Veal Ragout

1/3 cup veal stock or demi glace
1/4 teaspoon of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of black truffle oil

- Heat veal stock and fish sauce in a small sauce pan
- Once the stock has reduced by about 1/3 its original volume, add the butter and truffle oil

Prosciutto Chips

4 slices of Prosciutto di Parma or San Danielle (Parma will be a bit milder and San Danielle will have a bit more bite)

- Tear each slice in half and bake on a piece of tin foil until crisp, about 12 minutes in a 275 degree oven (the pieces do not need to lay flat, I like to fold them a bit to give them some curves and ripples once they've baked)

-Assemble all components and garnish with diced chives.  


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