Jacques Pepin and Les Ouefs Jeannette

June 15th, 2010

Les Ouefs Jeannette from Jacques Pepin's memoir The Apprentice.

*****First off I just want to let you all know that I’ll be on the KBOO FOOD SHOW tomorrow WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16th at 11am talking about PDX food and drink and my book. So if you’re able to tune in please do. If you don’t catch it and want to listen after the fact there’s a handy dandy audio file you can catch here. Onto les ouefs…*****

There’s more than one way to fry an egg. And there’s more than one way to fry a hard boiled egg. We’ve been watching the late-90s television series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home the past few weeks. I never saw this program when it originally aired and I’m really enjoying it.

Unlike most current TV food shows this one allows you to be in the kitchen (Julia’s home kitchen) and see entire processes and dishes through. In other words, the only music is at the beginning end, there are no crazy extreme close-ups or frenetic shots. It’s the real deal and who better to learn kitchen wisdom from than Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. Charmed.

I’ve read all sorts of Julia Child books and articles but I’d never read anything by Jacques Pepin so I decided to pick up his 2003 memoir The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen a couple weekends ago at Powell’s Books for Home and Garden. I ran into a couple fellow food folks while there, one of which recommended picking up a Grace Young book. Next time.

I’m really enjoying Pepin’s memoir. So much so that I recently prepared a recipe from the book for a lazy and lucky weekend breakfast — Les Ouefs Jeannette. Jeannette was Pepin’s mom and this delicious hard boiled egg dish is a complete original.

For it I whipped hard boiled egg yolks with chopped garlic, milk, chives from the garden and then some, returned the blend to the halved eggs, and reserved a bit of the filling for the dressing.

Then I fried the eggs stuffed-side-down while making a warm dressing with the remaining filling whisked with olive oil and Dijon-style mustard. We plated the eggs, drizzled them with the dressing and ate them up with some buttery toasted baguette and andouille sausage. Mmm.

Although I haven’t given you the complete recipe I think you can take it from here and be creative. It’s a great book and I hope to one day own the TV series so I can turn to it like a cookbook. Two big thumbs for both. Two big thumbs UP for both.

Hard boiled eggs halved, filled with whipped yolk mixture, and fried till golden in peanut oil.

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, 22 episodes

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

by Jacques Pepin
2003, Houghton Mifflin

Boozy Brunch with din din

May 21st, 2010

Rock me Amadeus. Bring a wig to din din's brunch and booze. (Image courtesy of Tim Gunther)

I get so many press releases that I’ve gotten good at speed reading them. Rarely do I spend more than a minute on one but the press release that I got from din din last week kept me rapt for, well, three minutes. That says a lot and it’s the reason why I’m sharing the details it divulged here. The photo above is of the lovely din din ladies which you can read more about here.

Since the press release rocked, I’m sharing it here verbatim:

Americans like something we call “breakfast for dinner,” but I’ve always been a “dinner for breakfast” kind of girl. There’s something very elegant and effortless about a perfectly poached farm egg on top of last night’s dinner.

My affinity for brunch landed me a stint at Matchbox Lounge as brunch chef, and one Sunday a while back we were lucky enough to host the final stop of the House Spirits Brunch Series. While I was poaching eggs, the House Spirits boys slipped me a sip of what was, at the time, the unreleased MARTEAU absinthe. I was sold. Brunch and spirits.

Since then, the craft distilleries of the Hawthorne area have banded together as Distillery Row. They all work from the ethic of producing the very best of what they do locally, and they get that it makes sense to collaborate. I’m honored to be able to collaborate with them for this brunch series.

So we present six brunches, Saturday & Sunday the last three weeks of May. din din coursed brunch with cocktail pairings by Distillery Row. $35 + gratuity. Coffee by beloved heart. Columbia Gorge juices. At my stomping grounds, Milepost 5*, 900 NE 81st Ave. 11am. rezzo details below.

These are the menus, loosely:

((Sorry about your luck…))
Saturday & Sunday, May 15th & 16th
New Deal Distillery

deep-fried asparagus and steamed oyster with coppa and Piment d’Espelette
New Deal’s house bloody mary with Hot Monkey Spicy Vodka

squash brioche tart with foraged ramps
Princess of Whales (New Deal Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka, aquavit, and Madeira topped with bubbly)

poached duck egg with braised short rib, sorrel salsa verde, and soft polenta
The Rhubarb Bloom (rhubarb simple syrup, mint, lime, and gin)

soufléed sweet omelette with New Deal Mudpuddle Vodka hazelnut cake
The David Bowie (New Deal Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka, bourbon, and orange)

Saturday & Sunday May 22nd & 23rd
Highballl Distillery (cocktail pairings TBA)

brioche toast with french breakfast radish, french butter, and fleur de sel

Odessa Blue cheese custard with dressed Weppler Farms greens

french style omelette with stinging nettle pesto, oven-dried tomatoes, and fried potatoes

Elemental Vanilla Espresso Vodka panna cotta with Phelps Creek Pinot Noir-macerated strawberries

Saturday & Sunday May 29th & 30th
House Spirits Distillery (cocktail pairings TBA)

Roquefort toast with soft-boiled egg

crespiau: a cake of paper-thin omelettes layered with herbed black olive tapenade and fennel tomato sauce

tuna with chartreuse lettuce sauce and potato salad

marmalade and orange flower water shortbread tart

to make your rezzo:

send a check for $35/person to:
Courtney Sproule
900 NE 81st Ave #114
Portland, OR 97213


the dates you want to come
the names of those in your party (or at least a total number)
your phone number
your email
any notes you may have for us

As soon as we receive your payment/rezzo, we’ll confirm with you that we did receive it.

We can credit or refund you up to two weeks prior to the din din. If a conflict arises less than two weeks from the dinner, you’re welcome (and encouraged!) to send someone else in your place.

*Milepost 5 is an intentional community of live/work spaces designed for artists and creatives located in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood.

din din