You probably heard me saying this multiple times these last days, but it is very cold here. Very very cold. Unimaginably cold, like a hole in the sky where someone pops arctic air over our land. So I made Russian Eggs. Eggs, you know, symbol of rebirth and spring and sprightly frolicking, and we had them for breakfast, very nice with fresh brioche from the traveling baker lady, smothered in butter (the brioche, not the lady) and freshly brewed coffee plentiful. It’s one of these recipes I really like, because they’re not exactly recipes but cooking principles rather. Involving how not to peel eggs and how to make mayonnaise.
But first I have some exciting news to share with you, for the gorgeous stylist Marianne Kohler Nizamuddin wrote a gloriously charming article about Les Poissonchats on her Blog Sweet Home. It’s in german, but worth also to just look in for the images she has chosen, and it features a little tour of my house, in swiss german, which will be fun even (more) for those of you who don’t speak this ever so singular language.
And then, there is this thing with traveling which is just so impossible at the moment and we were meant to go to Switzerland, to the Swiss alps, fancy, and spend a few days eating fondue and drinking Kräuterschnapps and go cross country skiing, and quite generally enjoy ourselves very much but it’s all spoilt and off. But remember that Swiss thing that I ran via my Instagram last spring and then the BAM hit and it felt inappropriate to go on with niceties and cotton candy just then but now I’m thinking why not pick it up, make-belief-traveling sort of, quite the way I’m getting used to now, quite the sort of traveling that lately happens in my kitchen and at my table all the time. So, if you feel like an extra dash of comfort food and homely stories, I’ll let the thing loose tomorrow via Instagram, with daily recipes and good yarns and how my folks used to spend their days back when motorcars were supposed to be super funky.
But now to how not to peel eggs and how to make mayonnaise. The rest is entirely up to your own caprice.
What you’ll need
- Eggs, as many as you intend on eating. One very fresh for the mayonnaise and the others a couple of days old.
- Good sunflower seed oil
- Sea salt, finely ground
- White peppercorns, finely ground
- A bit of Dijon mustard (I took the tip of the knife for four eggs)
- Cooked peas
- Herbs (I took lemon thyme and hyssop, as well as a little celery leaf, as that’s about all that survives the cold snap in my garden)
- Whatever else takes your fancy
How to cook it
Crack one very fresh egg into a narrow yet high vessel. I usually take an 8cm diametre steel bowl for the purpose. Then blend for a few seconds with a hand blender and start dripping oil into the mass, extremely patiently, one drop after the other while keeping on blending. Maybe after half a minute, let the oil run into the mass like a thread, still keeping the blender working. Continue until the mass thickens and stop when it has reached the desired creaminess. Season with pepper, sea salt and mustard and add peas, finely chopped herbs and the whatever-else-takes-your-fancy. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
Now, it’s rather a bore to go and peel an egg that has been cooked coop-to-pan fresh, so to speak. It’s by far easier to cook eggs that are a couple of days (days, not weeks!) old. Place them in a pan and cover in water. Set on the stove and bring to boil. Count four minutes of boiling (five to six minutes if you live somewhere high up) and then strain and place them in a bowl of cold water. Start peeling after a quarter an hour or so, while they’re still warm. Sometimes it’s easier to peel them underwater. Let them cool before you proceed.
Then the tricky bit, chop off their heads and scrub the yolk out without messing with the white. Chop the heads into small pieces. Add the scrubbed out yolk to the mayonnaise, as well as the egg heads and stuff everything back into the eggs. Now very likely you’ll end up with some extra filling which is also just gorgeous on toast. It keeps two or three days if kept clean and cool.
How to eat it
Breakfast, picknick, apero, snack the occasions are infinite. My favourite way is with fresh golden brioche and butter, and a pot of steaming coffee. Enjoy!