Too much time with lawyers this week trying to capture the consequences of the accident that took place about three and a half years ago – it’s no fun going over all the continuing miseries. But life improved with celebrating the first meal in a restaurant (Lauro’s in the High Street, Fareham) for over a year. Strange to be in an enclosed space with other people but good distancing, masks, excellent ventilation and a bottle of wine made all the difference. Good food as always: I’m inspired to try making my own confit duck. The homemade chocolate ice-cream was superb but I’ll try to resist.
It must be well over 10 years since I bought 24 little silicone pots with lids in France. They were sold for “oeufs en cocotte” (the posh French version of coddled eggs) but, in those days, I was making lots of my own ice-creams, so they were perfect for freezing individual portions – and were in the Sale too.
Good kitchen kit has multiple functions and not always their original. Last week I was using one asparagus pan for blitzing chicken liver parfait, another one is used to store individual flan tins and I cook the asparagus in the microwave. In place of the cocottes, small ramekins with a lid of kitchen foil would work too.
When the heat’s on, no-one wants to spend much time in the kitchen. Here’s the simplest little lunch/supper or even a starter.
tiny knob of butter.
half slice of ham.
1 teaspoon cream.
3-4 spears asparagus, trimmed.
knob of butter to serve.
Rub the butter around the cocotte and leave a tiny piece in the bottom.
Thinly slice the ham and put half in the bottom of the cocotte.
Break the egg on to the ham and top with the remaining ham.
Add the teaspoon of cream and a grind of pepper.
Place on the lid and cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C, Gas 6 for 12 minutes.
While the egg is cooking, rinse the asparagus and place on a plate.
Microwave on Medium power for 3-5 minutes until cooked. Serve with another knob of butter and the egg in its cocotte.
Cooking times may depend on your oven, the shelf position and whether you put the cocotte on a baking tray. It may take a little experimenting to get the egg cooked just as you want it.
Don’t forget the shortbread virtual baking session on Monday 14 June at 1030 (see previous post).