Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is "Coddled Eggs with Foie Gras“. Coddled eggs are not just eggs that have been treated in a pampered sort of way, they are actually eggs that have gone through a particular process of cooking. To be precise, "to coddle" is to cook them in water at a temperature just below boiling. Or to immerse them briefly in boiling water.
The original British "egg coddlers" that I know are small porcelain jars with a screw-top lid that essentially allow you to soft-boil eggs after having dispensed of their shells. The advantage being that you can "boil" or rather "coddle" them with any assortment of butter, herbs, cheese, meats, and seasonings, developing tasty egg combinations of all sorts. Here, Dorie`s French version of a coddled egg calls for some lovely pâté de foie gras or mousse as the main flavor component.
To make this recipe you butter the inside of your ramekins, divide the pâté de foie gras among the ramekins, crack open one very fresh organic or farm-fresh egg per dish, being careful not to break the yolks as you do so. Add fine sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and then spoon a bit of cream over the egg white. No need to mix the ingredients. Then you place the four ramekins in your steamer basket. Place the saucepan on a burner on medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook the eggs in their ramekins for five to seven minutes. After having being properly steamed, the eggs will have set, the yolks will still be runny, and the ingredients will have worked their magic throughout.
A final sprinkling of that delicately anise-flavored herb terragon, that is common to French cooking, adds just another elegant flavor component to this wonderful French appetizer.
I must admit that one of the pleasures of eating coddled eggs has to do with swirling the ingredients with some lightly toasted bread that you dig down into the ramekins.
We love our soft-boiled eggs and our eggs sunny-side-up, but every couple of weeks coddled eggs could make for a particularly nice brunch. Like this one – Coddled Eggs with Pâte de Foie Gras.
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.
If you happen to own Dorie Greenspan´s "Around my French Table", you will find the recipe for the „Coddled Eggs with Foie Gras“ on pages 194-5.