The almost grumpy, very sniffy, but lucky gourmande

May 1st, 2009 § 3 comments

After crying my eyes out for the last couple of weeks due to a newly declared hayfever (pfff… it seems that all they say it’s true: decline really starts after 30), I have caught my yearly spring cold, the one I catch every year after trying out the newest items of my summer garderobe on the first sunny days… Well, timing was far from ideal: with the swine flu spreading around the world and the newsreports , my colleagues started taking their distances, looking at me with a slightly suspicious look while innocently inquiring if I had by any chance been to Mexico lately…

Luckily, I’ve not! I won’t say that I didn’t kind of freaked out considering my red runny nose and feverish headache while watching the news… But well considering what hundreds of people are enduring around the world, I swallowed my grumpiness and spoiled kid complaints… I’m just a lucky bastard: It’s just my yearly spring cold, I’ve got a great new dress, and there’s plenty of spring greens full of vitamins around to pep me up. So, all feverish that I was, I got up from under the blankets and cooked myself a revigorating brunch: one “oeuf cocotte” with fresh herbs from my garden, my favourite eggs, and a silky peppery cress soup just like my mom used to do, with the leaves of the beautiful bunch of radish I got from the greengrocer. I feel better already!

Vitamine shots

Eggs ‘cocotte’
Oeufs cocotte (v)

per person
prep: 5 min. cook: 8 min

Oeuf cocotte 

1 egg;
1 generous Tsp crème fraiche or 5cl whipping cream; 
salt and pepper to taste;
butter to grease the dish;
according to your mood:
– herbs (scallion, chives, parsley, dill, basilicum, rucola…),
– shallot, onion, braised leek or belgian endive, sauteed spinach, cress or mushrooms, truffle
– smoked salmon, grey shrimps,
– cheese
– …

Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
Butter an individual baking dish per person. In each dish, add the filling of your choice, brake an egg and pour 1 Tsp of creme fresh over it. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes unil the egg white is set and the yolk begins to thicken but is not hard.

Bon appétit!

Cress soup (v)
Veloute de cresson

serves 4
prep: 10 min. cook: 20 min

Veloute de cresson

250 g cress (radish leaves, watercress), carefully washed to remove sand and impurities;
1 medium size potato (~150 g to 200g), peeled and cut in quarters;
75 cl chicken or vegetable stock;
1 generous knob of butter;
10 to 20cl whipping cream;

coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste;

Bring the stock to a simmer. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat, add the cress and stir for a couple minutes (not longer or the cress will loose in vitamins).
Add the potatoes and stock to the cress and cook for a couple minutes on low heat. Leave to cool for 5minutes.
Blend until homogenous, adding the whipping cream progressively until desired constistency and taste is reached (I usually use no more than 10 cl as I love the peppery taste of the cress, but some like it less concentrated).
Season to taste with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Warm up on low heat without allowing it to boil and serve hot with fresh bread and butter.

Bon appétit!

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