Coquettish ways with eggs

No need to trifle with truffles

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Eggs en Cocotte with Couscous

James Carrier

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Eggs en Cocotte with Couscous

In my 40-year-old copy of Larousse Gastronomique, by Prosper Montagné, there is no hint of culinary trendiness, just plenty of charming French food chauvinisms. The description of eggs en cocotte (cooked in individual dishes) is particularly amusing: "Eggs en cocotte are easily digestible, except if ... served with a heavy garnish such as foie gras, truffles, mushrooms, etc." Fortunately, my neighbor during my yearly sojourn in Provence, Hervé Poron (who owns the Ets Plantin truffle factory), is unaware of this hazard, or blatantly ignores it. The eggs en cocotte that he served one balmy evening as the first course for dinner were very, very heavily garnished with truffles and buried in cream, with a mantle of cheese. Montagné's advice fell on deaf ears. I've reprised the pleasure of that first course much more economically with mushrooms ― and a spoonful of couscous under the egg to soak up the abundant sauce.

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