What do you do when, you are about 30 seconds away from your front door and realise that you have left two essential ingredients for your planned dinner in the fridge at work?
Then drum up an emergency supper of Oeufs a La Cantilienne and serve that with a Salad of Bitter Greens with Horseradish Dressing!
How eight hours can change you. I started the day off being super organised! For dinner, I had planned to celebrate Meatless Monday by making the cauliflower and chickpea “meat” balls from the Meatball book which is our latest selection from the Tasty Reads book club. I’d read the recipe that morning and realised I was short a few ingredients – namely basil and parsley for the green sauce which was going to accompany the meatballs.
I had tasted this green sauce on a visit to the Meatball and Wine Bar and it is SENSATIONAL. As far as I was concerned, no green sauce, no non-meatballs. You can kind of see the sauce in this picture. The man in the street looks pretty taken by them too!
But I digress. We’ll get to the meatball book in due course. Today is all about the eggs. And the cheese and the horseradish dressing.
Anyway, back to my super-organised morning, I was early that day so I stopped in at the supermarket beside the station and bought my herbs. And stored them in the work fridge for the day.
Where they stayed.
What to do? I wasn’t going back to get them. So, another dinner needed to be pulled out of the ingredients I had in the fridge and the pantry.
Now I ‘m going to let you in on a secret. I actually had the ingredients for a very posh and trés français version of the Oeufs a La Cantalienne. Because I plan my food within an inch of my life it was on my menu plan for later in the week. But you could also make a perfectly delicious version of this from ingredients you are likely to have in your fridge. It’s a great emergency meal!
So what are Oeufs a La Cantalienne? It’s a French Baked Cheesy Eggs. The version I was going to make had duck eggs, comté cheese and créme fraiche. But it would be equally delish with normal eggs, cheddar or swiss (gruyere) cheese and cream or sour cream. Of course the flavour will be slightly different with each variation but hey, it will all be good!!!
What’s more, these will be on the table in about 20 minutes. Just enough time for you to pour yourself a glass of vino and make your Bitter Greens Salad with Horseradish Dressing.
And you know. Eggs, cheese and cream. That’s never going to be bad. About 12 minutes in the oven is about perfect. I got a bit distracted by
a reality cooking show on the telly something really important and end up cooking mine for about a quarter of an hour but in another plus, this recipe is pretty forgiving!
The bitter green salad with horseradish salad is a perfect accompaniment to this. I used rocket (arugula), kale, spinach and radicchio in mine but whatever greens you have in your fridge will be fine. This is not a meal to be too precious about!
The horseradish dressing is….OMG…just make it. Make it now!!! So good. So, so good. I have made this salad, or versions of it about a million times since – with eggs, avocado, steamed beans and broccoli, grilled salmon…and everytime it has been amazing. It’s my new favourite thing.
And, in a reversal of the initial dilemma of leaving things at work, there was a morning when when I got to work and realised I had left the horseradish dressing for my salad in the fridge at home. Well, there was no eating the salad without the dressing, I kept it in the fridge, bought my lunch and brought the dressing in the next day! That’s how good this dressing is. If it wasn’t totally unseemly, I would be licking it off the spoon. (I totally did that when no one was looking).
Oh, and when I finally made the non-meatballs? Total let down. The green sauce was pretty good but the balls were like the worst falafel I’ve ever eaten.
I should have just made more eggs!
- 2 duck eggs //eggs
- 30g Comté cheese//sharp cheddar//gruyere
- 1 tbsp crème fraiche //sour cream //cream
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- For the Bitter Greens Salad
- 2 tbsp mixed toasted seeds - I used pepitas, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
- 2 cups bitter greens - I used rocket (arugula), kale, spinach and radicchio
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp creme fraiche
- 2 tbsp fresh grated horseradish or 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Grate the cheese and scatter half over the base of a buttered individual baking dish.
- Separate the eggs, keeping yolks intact.
- Whisk whites to soft peaks. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Fold in the remaining cheese.
- Pour mixture into the baking dishes and make an indentation in the middle of mixture.
- Place an egg yolk in each indentation.
- Add a 1/2 tbsp of crème fraiche by the side of each yolk.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and set.
- Toss the greens and onion together.
- Whisk the crème fraiche, horseradish and vinegar together until smooth.
- Just before serving, toss through the greens and onion.
- Top with the toasted seeds.
- The dressing will make much more than you need for one salad. You'll want to use the extra on everything you eat over the next week!
- If you are making this for more than 2 people you can cook it in one large baking dish, you might just have to adjust the cooking time to be a bit longer.