I finished my first draft and “won” NaNoWriMo (which means I hit 50,000 words), so thought I’d celebrate my return with something a little different. So I delved into some recipe books I haven’t looked for a while. And between painting walls and sanding floors to get a room finished in time for Xmas guests – and feeling commensurately manly (it doesn’t take much) – I found this.
The eggy combo lept out as I flicked through Stephane Reynaud’s 365 reasons to sit down to eat. It’s a great book, written in the same style as Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries, eclectic in the selection of recipes and engagingly written.
And there are some interesting dishes. This poached egg and red wine affair for example. Now, I’m something of an egg head and will eat the white and yellow ovoids with pretty much anything. But I’d never thought of eggs and wine before.
I’m going to repeat that, eggs and red wine. Two of my favourite things. What could possibly go wrong? And so I got cooking, and everything looked hunky dory in my lovely new copper casserole. So pretty.
Hell, I even decided to throw in some chorizo I had lying around. Y’know, why not? I was cooking eggs and wine after all, living on the edge. Besides eggs and chorizo go so well together. Wine and chorizo go well together. I was just making the logical leap to a menage a trois.
Eggs, red wine, mushrooms, pancetta, chorizo, onion – so far so frickin delicious. And then I poured in a bottle (an entire bottle) of merlot. No stock, no long slow cooking time. Just a 30 minute bubble in a pan of wine.
The resulting dish – you can see why i didn’t use it as the main photo
The result? Well it wasn’t gross, and it wasn’t the best thing ever either. It was definitely different. Breaking a raw egg into a glass of claret and downing it with a slice of salami to follow would capture the strangeness of it without having to cook anything. Tangy, tannic, eggy, creamy, meaty, not a direction I’ll be going in again.
In retrospect, the chorizo was too powerful, too salty for the dish. And the pure wine sauce made it way too tangy and winey. The poaching in gravy actually worked quite well, but chicken sock would have been much better.
C’et la vie. It was different. And if you don’t take a few culinary risks you won’t get far in the kitchen. And this was not as bad as my first attempt at carbonara (now affectionally known as curdled egg pasta).
Feeds two hardy stomachs
12 shallots – peeled and the larger ones halved
12 mushrooms – quartered
1 chorizo sausage (optional – i think it would deb better without)
1 tsp plain flour
1 bottle of beaujolais or merlot
A little cold butter – cut into tiny cubes
Saute the shallots and lards (and chorizo if you are using) in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they start to brown at the edges. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the wine, stirring all the while and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Poach the eggs (i break them carefully into lightly boiling vinegared water and cook for 2 minutes).
At the last minute whisk the butter into the wine sauce, serve into bowls and add the eggs. You could garnish with chives.