Brunch Idea, My Way — Une idée de brunch à ma façon

Vegetable Medley, Prosciutto and Poached Egg on Baked Crust

Brunch Culture

“Brunch? At what time do you say? 11 am?”

“How am I going to manage to be hungry at 11 am”, I wondered. I was still very content with the breakfast I had had that very morning.

I never skip breakfast. And better not for the sake of the folks around me, especially P. if he is around. He then calls me grincheuse. Let me add how much I regret to have taught him this word in French! Grumpy? Not at all. It is just that I like breakfast so much that I often wake up with la faim au ventre. I am not only hungry, I am starving! I can admit that I get up because I am just too happy to eat le p’tit-déj (short for petit déjeuner, ie breakfast).

“Mais le brunch c’est comme cela”, P. added the next time we were planning to have brunch. “You just have to eat less at breakfast, then you will be hungry.”

All right, I could do this I guess. And I proved it the next time we went out for brunch.

Over the years, I have developed a real love for this odd-time meal. I used to find brunches peculiar because I could never eat at 11 am if I had had my usual breakfast. But of course, there is no real set rule today. If going out for brunch, it can be eaten much later, which is really better suited for my internal time clock. I realized that I rarely host brunches. It is not in my culture I suppose, but at the same time, I cannot say that it is a reason that justifies my lack of involvement in this food culture. Because in fact, I really like brunch food: finger food of all types, French toast, fruits, mixed salads, quiches, savory cakes, sweet breads, and certainly not forgetting one food used as the basis of so many other wonderful tasty dishes, eggs.

Poached Eggs — Les oeufs pochés

I love eggs under all its forms. Poached eggs are high on the list. We all have preferences which condition how cooked we like our eggs. But in my world, the more yellow shows in the egg, the better ; the runnier, the better. I know well that many people might not agree with me, but I will nevertheless need to add that for me, eggs are amongst the simplest foods, remaining one of the most nutritious. A real world of goodness imprisoned inside.

When I thought about this brunch food, I wanted to create a dish that would combine different food groups — with vegetables, grain and protein — and varied contrasted textures — crunchy, soft. With it, I loved the idea to serve a fresh green salad, because rare are the meals that go without a salad in our household. I imagined a stack of layers mingling together! I used the idea of a fausse tart and precooked pie crusts. And then the layering idea came into place: goat cheese spread on the crust, cooked diced vegetables resembling a ratatouille, a prosciutto slice, and the top of the top, a poached egg with tarragon.

The great thing about this dish is that many steps can be prepared ahead of time, such as the pie crusts and vegetables. Once these steps are done, you only need to spend a few minutes to poach the eggs, reheat the vegetables and assemble your dish. Not a bad thing for a lazy Sunday morning. I do not know about you, but I love simple meals like this, giving you plenty of good energy to start a day. 11 am, noon, 1 pm, who cares after all when brunch starts?

Vegetable Poêlée and Poached Eggs

(For 4 people)

You need:

For the vegetables

  • 1 lb 2 oz zucchini
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 10.5 oz cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • A few thyme twigs
  • Fresh bunch of parsley
  • 1 pinch of Espelette pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Poached Eggs and Garnish

  • 4 large eggs
  • Fresh Goat cheese (Chavroux or Petit Billy)
  • 4 prosciutto slices
  • Basic Pie crust for 4 tartlets, precooked for 25 mns or so in the oven at temperature 350 F
  • Tarragon, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • White vinegar

Steps:

  • If you have not done so, start by precooking your pie crust in small molds, for 25 or 30 mns at 350 F.
  • To prepare the vegetables, start by chopping the onions and garlic cloves thinly.
  • Dice the zucchinis.
  • Place the peppers under the broil for a few mns, turning them regularly, so that you can remove the skins (if you do not like it).
  • Boil the tomatoes for 1 mn, rinse them under cold water and remove the skin. Dice them.
  • In a sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and cook the onions for 2 to 3 mns. Then add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 mns.
  • Add the tomato paste and sugar and cook for a few mns.
  • Add the diced zucchinis and cook for 5 to 6 mns before adding the diced pepper. Stir and cook for 4 mns before adding the chopped tomatoes and twigs of thyme.
  • Stir and cook on low heat uncovered, for 30 to 35 mns.
  • Season with salt and pepper, the chopped parsley and a dash of Piment d’Espelette (optional).
  • To poach the eggs, fill a pot with water. Add salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Add 3 Tbsp white vinegar. Break each egg in a small cup and gently place the eggs in the simmering water. Cook for 3 mns. Remove with a strainer and place the eggs on a piece of paper towel to absorb the excess water. Cut nicely a little of the egg whites around the edges, to give them a nicer shaper.
  • To serve, spread some goat cheese on each pie crust. Add a layer of vegetables and a slice of prosciutto. Finish with the poached egg. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper, and chopped tarragon. Serve with a nicely seasoned mixed mesclun salad.
Le coin français
Poêlée de légumes et oeuf poché

(Pour 4 personnes)

Ingrédients :

Légumes sautés

  • 500 g de courgettes
  • 1 poivron orange
  • 1 poivron rouge
  • 300 g de tomates cerises ou tomates Roma
  • 1 oignon
  • 2 gousses d’ail
  • 1 càs de concentré de tomates
  • 1 càs de sucre
  • Quelques branches de thym
  • Bouquet de persil
  • 1 pincée de piment d’Espelette
  • Huile d’olive
  • Sel et poivre

Oeuf et garniture

  • 4 gros oeufs
  • Fromage de chèvre frais (Chavroux ou Petit Billy)
  • 4 tranches de prosciutto
  • Pâte brisée pour 4 fonds de tartelettes, cuits à blanc pendant 25 mns four 180 C
  • Estragon
  • Sel et poivre
  • Vinaigre blanc

Étapes :

  • Si vous ne l’avez pas déjà fait, précuisez vos fonds de tartelettes au four préchauffé à 180 C, pendant 25 à 30 mns.
  • Pour préparer les légumes, commencez par hacher l’oignon et les gousses d’ail finement.
  • Coupez les courgettes en très petits dés (brunoise).
  • Grillez les poivrons sous le gril pendant quelques minutes pour enlever la peau (si elle vous gêne).
  • Ébouillantez les tomates pendant 1 mn, rinsez-les sous de l’eau froide et retirez la peau. Coupez les tomates en petits dés.
  • Dans une poêle, faites chauffer 2 càs d’huile d’olive et faites-y revenir l’oignon pendant 2 à 3 mns. Ajoutez ensuite l’ail et poursuivez la cuisson pendant 2 mns.
  • Ajoutez le concentré de tomates sèchées et le sucre, et faites cuire pendant quelques minutes.
  • Ajoutez les dés de courgettes et faites cuire pendant 5 à 6 mns avant d’ajouter les dés de poivrons. Mélangez bien et poursuivez la cuisson pendant 4 mns avant d’ajouter les tomates concassées. Ajoutez les branches de thym.
  • Mélangez et faites cuire à feux doux pendant 30 à 35 mns, à découvert.
  • Assaisonnez de sel et de poivre, de persil haché et d’une pincée de piment d’Espelette (facultatif).
  • Pour pocher les oeufs, remplissez une casserole d’eau. Salez bien et amenez à frémissement. Ajoutez 3 càs de vinaigre blanc. Cassez chaque oeuf dans un petit ramequin et très doucement, faites glisser les oeufs dans l’eau. Cuisez pendant 3 mns. Retirez avec une écumoire et mettez les oeufs sur du papier absorbant. Vous pouvez couper les morceaux de blanc d’oeuf qui dépassent, pour parfaire la forme des oeufs.
  • Pour servir, tartinez un fond de tarte avec du fromage de chèvre. Placez une couche de légumes, une tranche de prosciutto et l’oeuf poché. Saupoudrez de sel, poivre, et d’estragon haché. Servez avec un mélange de salade verte de saison.

30 comments

  1. Bonjour,
    Je découvre ce blog, toutes tes photos sont aussi appétissantes les unes que les autres

  2. C’est superbe… as usual…
    L’idée de la tartelette est vraiment extra… tu as une imagination vraiment débourdante!

  3. Rhoooo oui, moi aussi j’adore ce style de petit-déjeuner ! Le tien est tout simplement fabuleux !

  4. Bea – you poached egg is stunning! So perfect! I’m with you… I like them runny. My poached eggs never turn out nearly as beautiful…

    -L

  5. Béa, you can take my breath away! I love poached eggs ruuuuuuuuny! These are really beautiful.

  6. I am amazed. You make it sound so simple. I can hardly prepare a pot of coffee on a Sunday morning!

  7. I am an egg-lover too! Especially soft boiled…only runny yolks for me please :) This looks marvellous! I agree with your comments on the egg…the perfect little food package…so simple, so affordable, so available, and so so delicious!

  8. Eggs with runny yolks are the only way to truly appreciate the flavor and richness contained in one of those simple white ovoids. Delicious!

    – Chubbypanda

  9. Simple,mais si bon et si beau vu par toi Béa…
    Et puisque c’est de circonstance, je te souhaite une excellente et gourmande année 2007.
    Prospérité aux tiens.

  10. This looks fantastic. My favourite meal is brunch! Nothing’s better than waking up late and enjoying a savory, hearty, breakfasty food item with a glass of bubbly. If smart restaurateurs are reading your blog, I bet this dish ends up on menus soon.

  11. Jeff, good to hear!

    Imen, merci beaucoup a toi a soit la bienvenue !

    Loukoum, merci bien. Ca fait plaisir a entendre.

    Claudia, thanks.

    Ingrid, ah oui, pas mal non? ;-)

    Sil b.a., nice to hear! Thanks!

    L, yes runny..yum, aren’t they just to die for? Thank you!

    Peabody, boiled eggs are also favorites for us!

    Tanna, thank you, once more.

    Christine, of course you can! ;-) Thanks!

    Fabienne, merci a toi.

    Adele, merci a toi !

    Aiste, thanks. Fingers crossed!

    Kat, thank you!

    Cenk, no worries, I have my failures too, you know!

    Joey, thank you! soft boiled is delicious too!

    Beah, merci, oui tu as bien raison. Un bon repas leger.

    Sandi, thank you!

    Chubbypanda, oh this is so right on.

    Thalie, merci bien Thalie. Et la meme chose a toi!

    Chubby Hubby, thank you! Ah yes, I am so glad to have started this food culture too. Thanks to being married to an Irish man and for my part, of living in an anglophone country!

    Gracianne, merci.

  12. Everything you cook looks so beautiful! I wish I could make my cooking look as pretty!

  13. A beautiful and, no doubt, delicious breakfast. A lovely little twist on tradition, do you mind if I borrow the idea? At 48 I decided attend culinary school, this summer I am doing an internship at a charming and rustic resort in the San Juan Islands, Something like this would be perfect for breakfast there.

  14. Oh, Doe Bay, you’ve been there I see! That’s the place. Thanks for the lovely blog, found you on Flickr while looking at images/inspiration for a school project. You create some wonderful stuff!

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