A Momofuku Dish to Make Some Holiday Memories
I absolutely love big gatherings of family and friends, but I think I love the before and after parts even more. Those moments when you are still waiting on family to arrive and everyone sits around helping to prep, or after the loud festivities are over and the intimate, quiet and deep conversations stretch late into the night or through the next day. The before is full of excitement and fun, the after is relaxed and cozy. These times to me are the most precious.
We just so happened to have discovered a dish that you can spoil your family and friends with during these pre-event dinners or post-event brunches. It works for the main event too, but I like to imagine this dish served when everyone can slow down a bit. No one is rushing for dessert or presents or proposals or photos. Everyone is in the moment, warmed up by gratitude, love and maybe a cocktail. Everyone can take the time to appreciate the preparation and care that went into the food.
This dish was served in Momofuku Ko, David Chang's almost impossible to get into 12 seat restaurant in New York City. It is a smoked soft-cooked egg, atop onion soubise, garnished with caviar and served along side homemade potato chips and a tiny herby salad. It sounds intimidating, but for all it's luxury it is actually approachable and not that scary.
The onion soubise comes together in a saucepan almost on it's own with basically just 3 simple ingredients (sliced onion, water and butter) plus salt. It needs occasional stirring and a watchful eye, but it is also can be made up to 2 days ahead, which is especially helpful during stressful holidays. The eggs are made by following Chang's simple 5:10 method - eggs from the fridge go into boiling water for 5 minutes and 10 seconds, then into an ice bath before they are peeled underwater. The most nerve-wracking thing about the preparation is probably trying to carefully peel the egg.
The other glorious thing about this dish is that it will still read luxurious even if you cut some corners. Our time saving suggestions would be to skip smoking the eggs and purchase potato chips instead of frying your own. If you aren't able to splurge for expensive caviar, a nice trout or salmon roe will still make this dish top notch.
The silky yolk, creamy onions and crunchy chips will work together beautifully with any Tsar Nicoulai caviar or roe options. Bring something special to the table this year. Relish the time with your family and friends during the holiday season. It flies too fast to let all those simple happy moments go uncelebrated.
Soft-Cooked Eggs with Onion Soubise, Caviar and Potato Chips (serves 8 as an appetizer)
From the Bon Appetit website
12 ounces onions (about 2 medium), halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, room temperature
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
8 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups water
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke*
CHIPS AND SALAD
4 3x3/4-inch fingerling potatoes (about 4 ounces), scrubbed
Grapeseed oil (for frying)
Coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup mixed herb leaves (such as 1/4 cup chervil or tarragon, 2 tablespoons parsley, and 2 tablespoons 1-inch pieces fresh chives)
2 ounces Tsar Nicoulai Caviar*
Smoked salt or Maldon sea salt
4 teaspoons purple sweet potato vinegar (see Ingredient Tip) or Sherry wine vinegar
1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer uncovered over lowest possible heat until onions are very tender, and butter and water are reduced to a silky sauce, stirring often, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool, cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
- Bring large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Add eggs to water gently to prevent cracking. Cook 5 minutes. Transfer eggs to large bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, crack eggs gently all over on flat surface. Return to ice water and peel carefully. (Do not break eggs; yolks will be runny.)
- Mix 3 cups water and 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke in large saucepan. Add peeled eggs to water. Cover and chill overnight.
CHIPS AND SALAD
- Using V-slicer or mandoline, thinly slice potatoes crosswise. Rinse potato slices in small bowl of water. Drain. Rinse until water runs clear, 1 or 2 times more. Drain well. Place on kitchen towel; pat dry.
- Pour enough oil into large deep saucepan to measure depth of 1 inch. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan. Heat oil to 360°F. Working in 3 batches, fry potatoes until beginning to brown and crisp, stirring frequently to prevent slices from sticking together, about 1 minute per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Cool. Transfer to clean paper towels.
- Using slotted spoon, gently transfer eggs to medium bowl. Bring smoked water to gentle simmer over medium heat. Carefully slide eggs from bowl into water. Cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. Rewarm soubise. Mix herbs together in small bowl.
- Spoon generous 2 tablespoons soubise onto each plate, using back of spoon to create small indentation for egg. Divide potato chips among plates, creating small mound alongside soubise. Spoon small pile of herb salad alongside chips and soubise. Place 1 egg atop soubise on each plate. Using small sharp knife, cut 1-inch-long slit in each egg (yolk will spill out). Spoon small dollop of caviar atop yolks, dividing equally. Sprinkle with small pinch smoked salt. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon vinegar alongside soubise on each plate.
*Tsar Nicoulai Caviar not specified in original recipe