A brunch recipe you can make ahead and and eggs inspired by Julia Child herself!
Audible Groaning Eggs a la Julia
For the Sauce:
2 cups (500ml) rich beef stock (or chicken stock, in a pinch)
2 cups (500ml) red wine
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 small shallot, minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch black pepper
4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons flour
For the Garnish:
4 ounces (120g) smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces (240g) small button mushrooms, halved
For the Eggs:
8 very fresh eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
8 slices pain de campagne, or any hearty country-style bread
1 large clove garlic, halved
Fresh thyme, for garnish
1. For the sauce, combine the stock, wine, herbs, shallots, carrot, and seasonings in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil rapidly until the liquid has reduced to two cups (500ml). Strain out the shallots and herbs. Blend 2 tablespoons of the butter with the flour, working them together into a smooth paste. Off the heat, whisk the butter-flour mixture into the wine. Return it to the heat and boil for about 30 seconds, until thickened. Cover and set aside.
2. While the wine mixture is boiling, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. Add the mushrooms to the bacon fat in the pan and fry until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and set aside.
3. To poach the eggs, bring a saucepan with water to a depth of 2 inches to a gentle simmer. Add the vinegar. Break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl or ramekin and gently tip them into the water. Poach each egg for 3-4 minutes, until the white is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of warm lightly-salted water (or, if you’re going to be serving them immediately, just to a plate).
4. Just before serving, toast the slices of bread and rub each one with the cut side of a garlic clove. Rewarm the sauce and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and correct the seasoning if needed.
To serve, place place two slices of bread on each plate. Top each one with a poached egg. Divide the sauce between the plates, and top with the fried mushrooms and bacon. Garnish with some fresh thyme and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol I, by Julia Child
Make Ahead French Toast
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 slices of bread, cut on the diagonal
1. Grease 9 x 13″ shallow baking dish; set aside.
2. In large bowl, beat together all ingredients except bread.
3. Arrange bread slices so they overlap. Pour egg mixture over the bread.
4. Cover; refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and fluffy. Serve with syrup or jam.
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