Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Poached egg in artichoke bottom

I'd like to treat myself with a nice breakfast but I normally have to deal with a preschooler and a toddler and the most of the times I end up frying a sunny side up egg in ghee or I eat some smoked salmon with a cucumber salad. This morning when my boy left for school with daddy, the girl was still sleeping. Yeah! 
The second thing that normally stops me from a nice breakfast is to be undecided on what to do, time is precious with little children,  and/or I'm missing some ingredients. Well, not this morning...double Yeah!

This recipe is not a new combination...This in particular, slightly adapted, comes from a very cute French book on eggs.

 I used

  • 1 frozen artichoke bottom (advantages of living in France)
  • 1 vitamin C tablet (or lemon juice)
  • 1 egg left at room temperature
  • a drop of white vinegar
  • some veal stock reduction
  • a tablespoon or so of pouring cream
  • a teaspoon of grainy mustard
  • few strips of Serrano ham
  • thyme sprig for decoration 
  • salt 
It is not difficult if you know what you are doing an you have a little bit of planning. If you don't have access to frozen artichokes bottoms, which are very handy, you can use a fresh one. On internet you can find tons of tutorial on cleaning artichokes. Normally artichokes discolor quickly, one way to prevent it it's cooking them with a little bit of lemon juice. An alternative should be to use some vitamin C or ascorbic acid. I crashed a vit. C pill and add to the boiling water and simmer the artichoke bottom until tender. Check with the tip of a knife. You can cool in ice water if you want to stop the cooking.

Then, second step, I poached the egg. I left it out of the fridge overnight. I brought a pot of water to boil, added a splash of white vinegar and cracked my egg into a ramekin. I stirrred the water to create a vortex, with  the ramekin very close to the simmering water I  dropped carefully the egg in the water and stirred around a bit to envelope the yolk with the white. 3 minutes cooking and I transferred the egg in ice water, trimmed the bits of white hanging and put on the side.

I've alway some veal bones reduction in the freezer. When you make a veal bone broth reduce it down to a syrupy consistency and let in cool quickly, it will gel and you can cut in cubes to freeze and use that way to finish up a dish. I'm going to write a detailed post about this.

Meanwhile, if you don't have any handy, you can reduce some other stock. So, I defrosted some of my veal glaze and added some cream, reduced a touch more, added some salt, a drop of lemon for acidity and out of the stove some grainy mustard.
I boiled again some salted water to warm up my artichoke and poached egg.

Ah, then, while I did that in a little saute' pan with just a teaspoon of ghee I crisped up some Serrano ham.

Time to plate!
Artichoke bottom, trimmed poached eggs, a stip or two of Serrano and your creamy reduction on the side.

And then I had a big smile on my face for a while after this nice breakfast!


  1. Drooool. This looks sosoooooosososo good! Nice pictures!