Ready to impress your new flatmates or want to try your hand at something more complex than beans on toast? Here, we provide two easy recipes that will add a little bit of class to your culinary repertoire. Taken straight from the prestigious courses offered by Le Cordon Bleu, these recipes are bound to astound! With over 125 years of culinary excellence, Le Cordon Bleu is the most renowned culinary institute in the world. This guide offers a taste of the culinary expertise that has become synonymous with Le Cordon Bleu over the decades.
1. Eggs on Cocotte (with Green Asparagus and Morel Mushroom Cream
Elegant and versatile, this little dish is suitable for breakfast, brunch, or as a starter. Here the eggs are classically paired with asparagus and morels. How to cook eggs to perfection is one of the first techniques covered in Basic Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
– 4 green asparagus spears
Eggs en cocotte:
– 20 g butter, softened
– 4 fresh eggs
Morel mushroom cream:
– 50 g morel mushrooms
– 20 g shallots
– 20 g butter
– 100 ml cream
– pinch of cayenne pepper
– 4 chervil (French parsley) sprigs
CHEF’S TIP: If morels are out of season, you can replace them with button mushrooms.
Snap off the pale woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Rinse the asparagus under cold water. Carefully peel away the rough skin from the bottom half of the spears with a vegetable peeler. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the asparagus until tender, about 3 minutes. Cut off and reserve the top 3 inches of the tips. Transfer the asparagus tips to cold water immediately in order to maintain their green color. Using a blender, purée the remaining asparagus until smooth. Season with salt.
2. Eggs en cocotte:
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Brush the ramekins with softened butter and season with salt. Divide the asparagus purée into 4 x 9 cm ramekins and crack open an egg over the top of each. Place the ramekins in a baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to reach halfway up the ramekins. Carefully place the pan into the preheated oven and bake until the egg white is lightly set and the yolks are runny, about 5 minutes.
3. Morel mushroom cream:
Wash the morels and trim off their stalks. Finely chop the shallots. Melt the butter in a small frying pan. Add the morels and shallots and sweat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and allow it to reduce to a thickness that coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
4. To serve:
Spoon the morels and a little cream sauce around the egg yolks. Place the asparagus tips on the side of the ramekins. Sprinkle the egg yolks with a little cayenne pepper and decorate with a sprig of chervil (French parsley).
2. White Chocolate Crème Brûlée
This is a chocolate take on a traditional French crème brûlée, one of the first dishes our Basic Pâtisserie students get to grips with. They are best prepared the day before which make them an excellent dinner party dessert.
Prep time: 20 mins (+infusing for 1 hour & resting overnight)
Cook time: 15 mins
– 400 g crème fraîche
– 1 vanilla pod, split
– 130 g white chocolate
– 6 egg yolks
– 80 g soft brown sugar
1. Place the crème fraîche in a pan. Using the point of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the cream; add the pod and heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 1 hour.
2. Chop the white chocolate and melt over a bain-marie; remove from the heat, stirring until smooth. Add the egg yolks and mix well to combine, then stir in the vanilla infused cream. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over low heat until the cream is thickened and coats the back of the spoon (do not allow to boil). Strain and divide the mixture evenly between 6 x 8 cm ramekins and refrigerate overnight.
3. To Serve: Preheat the oven grill to its maximum temperature. Sprinkle the ramekins evenly with the brown sugar and place under the grill until the sugar melts and turns golden. Serve immediately.
Now you’ve got a taste for fine-dining, why not consider taking your skills to the next level. Head on over to Le Cordon Bleu programmes and find a programme that suits you. You can study anything from cuisines of the world, pastry and confectionary, or take on a larger programme where you’ll learn all culinary skills. Get ready to don your chef’s hat and kickstart a new career or hobby, all the while impressing your flatmates and family!