Recipe adapted with permission from the Cook’n with Class school in Paris and my teacher, Chef Constance Deledalle. By the way, Constance has a fun blog which she pens in English about her culinary adventures in Paris and beyond. For the bread, she used a hearty walnut-studded wheat, but you could likely use any day-old bread with good results. Serves six.
8 bell peppers, a mix of red and yellow
3 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
1 big chunk of chorizo, about 6 oz.
3 tablespoons olive oil
Few sprigs fresh thyme or at least 1 teaspoon dried
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Six small slices of day-old bread
Coarse salt, fresh-ground pepper
Prepare the basquise: Slice the peppers in half, remove the white membrane and any seeds, then slice them into thin slices (julienne). and scoop out the seeds. Peel and slice the onions. Dice the chorizo into one-inch cubes, or if using a sausage-style chorizo, slice into thick rounds. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onions until softened. Then add the peppers, the chorizo, thyme, and garlic. Cover the pot, turn down the heat and let it cook slowly until the peppers soften, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare the eggs: In a sauce pan large enough to hold six eggs, add water along with the vinegar and bring to a boil. If you have heat-resistant plastic, you can try Chef Constance’s technique by preparing the eggs by enclosing in plastic, (see below) pressing out as much air as possible and then securing with a knot. If not, poach them the traditional way. Poach to desired doneness, preferably to the point where a bit of yolk runs when cut in half.
Make croutons: Baste each side of the bread slices with olive oil and pepper and briefly roast in the oven for about five minutes or until crisp.
To serve, remove the thyme sprigs (if using), heap the cooked peppers in the middle of a plate or bowl, top with the egg and serve with the crouton.
Cooking Technique: Poaching eggs in plastic
Chef Constance taught us a great trick: poaching eggs in heat-resistant plastic. She pulled a sheet of plastic over a small bowl, cracked the egg into it, squeezed out the air and then secured it with a knot. The eggs were then placed in hot water for a few minutes until cooked. Result: a perfect poached egg.