Friday, August 3, 2007

Duck Egg al Tegamino

This right here is my idea of a perfect supper. Uova al Tegamino (or “en Cocotte” if you bake the same thing in ramekins using a water bath) is one of the simplest and most sumptuous comfort foods around - truly greater than the sum of its parts. The dish is infinitely versatile according to the season: asparagus, leeks, and, yes, pancetta all make wonderful bases for baked eggs. But at this time of year, Mountain Sweet Berry Farm has the most divine baby fingerling potatoes I’ve ever tasted.

And by “baby,” I mean that some are literally the size of your pinkie nail. Check them out next to the garlic clove in the photo below. I love using fingerling potatoes here because their mineral aroma and flavor is the most pronounced of any potato I’ve had. These little ones are so fresh out of the ground that, even after a good wash, they smell of the cool, flinty earth, and that’s what makes the potatoes such a lovely foil for the luxuriant richness of duck egg.

Of course, hen eggs are more traditional here, and you shouldn’t put off making this if you can’t locate duck eggs right away. Just crack over a couple of the freshest hen eggs you can find – or for that matter, a few quail or pheasant eggs would be great too. But you’ll have to vary the cooking time to make sure the yolks stay runny, because that’s what you’re counting on here. As soon as the yolk is broken, it melds with the garlicky olive oil, the salty slivers of cheese, and the heady scent of truffles to create the most decadently satisfying sauce you’ll ever make. Serve with crusty bread, a simple green salad dressed in balsamic or sherry vinaigrette, and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Serves 2

Special equipment: 2 small, shallow gratin dishes

½ lb baby wax potatoes (fingerling if possible)
1 clove garlic, crushed but still in its paper
1 medium shallot, halved and sliced thinly
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 fresh duck eggs
good parmesan cheese
white truffle oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small baking dish, toss the potatoes, garlic clove, and sliced shallot with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and a good glug of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the shallot is golden brown.

Move a rack to the top of the oven and raise the temperature to 450 F.

Once the oven is hot, remove the garlic from the potatoes and toss the mixture with some freshly ground black pepper. Divide between 2 small gratin dishes on a sheet pan. Crack a duck egg into the center of each dish being careful not to break the yolk. Place the pan in the top of the oven and bake for about 6 – 8 minutes or until the white of the egg is just set. Meanwhile shave a few shards of parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle a little more salt over the eggs, scatter over a few scant slivers of cheese, and drizzle with a little truffle oil if using. Serve immediately.


bea at la tartine gourmande said...

You are right, the ultimate comfort food. There is everything that I like in this dish! Oeufs cocotte are delicious.

tribecachef said...

So classic and so damn good. This is perfect.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Hi Bea, and thanks. It's comforting and feels like a special treat at the same time!

Hi tribecachef! Wow, thank you! I think I could eat it every day.

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Yumm!! You know, never in my life have I seen baby fingerling potatoes! I wish I could find them here! Wow, one learns something new every day...

Garrett said...

That is adorable!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Hi Farfallina! - Any baby wax potatoes would work here. Alternately, I think it'd be fine if you bought normal fingerlings and sliced them lengthwise. Let me know.

Hi Garrett, and thanks! Have a great weekend.

Jen said...

this looks and sounds wonderful. I'll definitely need to make it. Our CSA usually has wonderful fingerlings towards September...

foodette said...

Wow, I have never seen such small potatoes! How divine!

Cynthia said...

Man this would be so good!

Sylvia said...

Comfort food is a kind of thing that I adored, your dish looks beautiful with great ingredients and the eggs are perfect.

Squishy said...

I love the way you write. Excellent blog.

I have my favourite potato as the Organic Dutch Cream, but your little tatees sound gorgeous.

Duck eggs scare me a little, ever since that Fear Factor Show and all the raw ostrich eggs being gulped down raw in a pint glass. Yuk! So the thicker more glutinous whites kind give me the willys. It is amazing what changes your perceptions of certain food types.

Mercedes said...

This is just so beautiful! I love the little potatoes- I actually thought they were beans (ful beans) at first, which makes me think that would be a good variation

Rachelle said...

I can't beleive there is a potato that I haven't tried! This sounds delicious. Man, I have so much to learn. Keep up the great work!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Sorry for the delay folks! I was on the road.

Jen - Thanks! September is a lovely time for fingerlings. I hope you enjoy the Tegamino!

Foodette - Aren't they adorable? And so full of flavor when they're that small and fresh!

Cynthia - Thanks so much!

Sylvia - Thank you! It is, as you say, a really comforting dish. Simple so you can taste everything properly!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Squishy - Thanks, that's so kind! Dutch cream is really good! I was too much of a wimp to watch fear factor. But the one time I saw it almost destroyed me! So I completely understand. I promise though that duck eggs are really similar to chicken eggs - just slightly richer flavor and a bit larger.

Mercedes - What a cool idea! You should try it and let me know how it is. It's certainly a variation that would occur over there. I think I'll give it a shot too.

Rachelle - Thanks so much!

David Hall said...

This sounds fantastic - I love duck eggs, much underused egg IMHO. I have a duck egg and mushroom tart on my menu, will have to post it onto the Blog some time. Mmm, you have me very hungry for lunch at a very early hour!


Figs Olives Wine said...

David, Thanks! Duck egg and mushroom tart sounds divine. I sometimes do this teggamino with mushrooms actually - sort of a very coarse duxelle with whatever's good just then.

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