This is a spicy, creamy, cheesy onion and egg recipe that I haven’t made for years, until now. It’s called eggs Chartres. The name of it really intrigued me, so I googled.
And, I got nothing. Besides all kinds of info regarding the cathedral in Chartres, there was no insight into why this dish is called eggs Chartres. It does seem to be unanimously Creole in nature, which is exactly where this recipe lives, in the American Cooking: Cajun and Creole recipe booklet, part of the extensive Time Life Series Foods of the World.
It’s a very easy recipe – the hardest part is peeling the hard-boiled eggs!
So, without any further ado, I give you this fabulous and unique egg dish. It would be great for breakfast, but also fabulous for lunch or brunch.
Creamed Egg Chartres
1 tablespoon butter, softened, plus 8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch bits
5 medium-sized onions, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
3/4 cup flour
3 egg yolks, plus 12 hard-cooked eggs, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons paprika
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. With a pastry brush, spread the tablespoon of softened butter evenly over the bottom and sides of a 14-by-9-by-2-inch baking-serving dish. Set the dish aside. I used an oval gratin pan.
In a heavy 12-inch skillet, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter bits over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook for about 8 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.
Add the flour and mix well, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes to remove the raw taste of the flour.
Meanwhile, in a deep bowl, beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk or a rotary or electric beater until they are smooth. Beat in the milk, salt, and red pepper, and set aside.
Stirring the onion mixture constantly with a wire whisk, pour in the egg yolks and milk in a slow, thin stream and cook over high heat until the sauce comes to a boil, thickens heavily and is smooth.
Taste the sauce for seasoning, remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in 9 of the hard-cooked eggs.
Pour the eggs and sauce into the buttered dish and scatter the Parmesan over the top, followed by the paprika.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the sauce begins to bubble.
Garnish the top with the remaining hard-cooked egg slices and serve at once, directly from the baking dish. Oops, I forgot to save some of the sliced eggs.
I couldn’t wait till the dish cooled off, so it’s not very pretty. But, it is basically a casserole.
I used some chopped parsley for a little color, and added some more paprika.
I’d seriously forgotten just HOW good this dish is. It really would be stunning for a brunch buffet.