Six Minute Eggs with Rich Mushroom Sauce

This brunch dish is inspired by a sublime dish from Thomas Troupin of La Menuiserie in Belgium. He competed in this year’s S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Cooking Cup in Venice and walked away with the People’s Choice Award. I was one of the media judges tasked with tasting all of the dishes. His dish, which was rich, creamy, sharp and salty, gave new dimensions to breakfast eggs.

The overall winner was chef Sergey Berezutskiy, from the restaurant As Eat Is in Moscow, who created a simple yet extraordinary mackerel dish. This was the first year that Canada competed, and Danny Smiles, the chef from Le Bremner in Montreal, created an imaginative Canadian-inspired gravlax with maple syrup and beets.

Troupin used several molecular gastronomy techniques to create his dish. I have adapted it for the home kitchen, and although it is different from the original dish, the taste is just as divine. Troupin used lardo to drape the eggs, I used excellent prosciutto. Serve with the chickpeas on the side.

Ready time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

4 slices brioche or challah cut in strips

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup (20 g) dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

1/4 cup butter

1 lb (500 g) mixed mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 cup Manzanilla or other sherry

4 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 eggs

4 slices lardo or prosciutto with some fat attached

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush bread strips with olive oil. Lay on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Drain mushrooms, discarding liquid. Chop finely. Heat butter in skillet over medium high. When butter is foaming, add all mushrooms. Sauté until liquid disappears, 3 to 4 minutes, then add sherry and vinegar. Boil until about 1 tbsp liquid remains. Add cream and boil again until sauce is thick. Season well with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add eggs. Boil for 6 minutes, immediately remove from heat and run cold water over. Peel eggs.

Place mushroom sauce in a small gratin dish and top with an egg cut in half lengthwise. The yolk should spill out onto the sauce. Garnish with the bread strips and cover with a slice of good prosciutto preferably with some fat on it.