Oeufs Pochés Aux Champignons (From I Know How To Cook, Mathiot 1932)
To the untrained eye, it may seem that I am only interested in or capable of making dishes that resemble breasts (with a random lump of orangey yellow on the side). Nothing could be further from the truth, because I’m already planning a stuffed aubergine recipe, and that resembles something else altogether.
Eggs *again* though? Yes, that’s right, because eggs come in boxes of 6, so I have to find 3 breast-resembling recipes to share with you before they go bad. In actual fact, getting eggs right is an important basic of French cookery; they get their own hopelessly devoted section in the cookbooks. And since they lay (ho ho ho) themselves open to some simple recipes, they seemed like the best place to start on my mission. (Having said that, my remaining egg recipe of the week will be cheese soufflé. Even typing the word s..sou..sou.. soufflé has the beads of sweat forming on my brow.)
Back to the oeufs in hand. I hold my hands up, I am a cheat. I mean really, it’s not 1932 anymore, we have poaching pods; delightful brightly-coloured cradles of silicone which gently cook the eggs, protect them, and sing them a lullaby as they poach. Call me a heretic if you want, and then go back to your penny farthing, your bloomers and your smallpox.
It’s this simple: poach the eggs, fry sliced mushrooms in butter and crème fraîche, season. Voila.
You may laugh at how I have written an entire entry on that and that alone. Something so simple a blindfolded baby with one arm tied behind its back could cook it, why make a big deal of that? Leonardo da Vinci once said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication“, and he was a guy who knew his onions. Or his eggs. The fact is, this recipe is bursting with the essence of real French cooking; simple and delicious.