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Oeufs mollets

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April 4, 2007

Serves 4

These classic French eggs produce whites just firm enough to peel with soft yolks. If you like poached eggs, these are quite similar (both whites and yolks are firmer), but easier to make. Begin as for soft-cooked eggs, but cook the eggs a couple of minutes longer. In a traditional French dish, an oeuf mollet is set into a bowl of piping hot chicken broth, then sprinkled with cheese. When the egg breaks, the yolk flows into the soup and thickens it.

4 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.

2. Use a straight pin or a safety pin to pierce a hole in the rounded ends of the eggs. With a slotted spoon, lower the eggs into the water. Use the handle of the spoon to stir the eggs in the water in a circular motion until the water returns to a boil.

3. Let the water bubble gently for 5 minutes exactly. Have on hand a large bowl of cold water. Transfer the eggs to the water. Use the back of a spoon to tap the shell to crack it -- do this very carefully since the whites are delicate. Do the same with the remaining eggs. Then remove the remaining shell. Lift the eggs from the water and serve at once with salt and pepper. Sheryl Julian

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