Flat Eggs with Fish

The other night at Cafe Presse I ordered Oeufs Plats, Jambon, Fromage . In French that translates roughly to “flat eggs , ham, cheese,” which explains why French restaurants and bistros serving real renditions of French food keep the menu items listed in French. Flat Eggs with Ham and Cheese does not sound sexy. Oeufs Plats (which sounds roughly like hoopla) sounds at least a little better.

And when it came to the table, a hot oval ceramic dish lined with the Parisian version of American sandwich ham and topped with baked eggs (with still-gooey yolk) and a thick pool of melty gruyere, my fondue food memory flashbulbs went off. My salivary glands kicked into overdrive. It was sexy. It was also delicious.

I’m not sure where to find that same kind of ham, which bears very little resemblance to what people put on sandwiches here. It’s not proscuitto; it’s less cured and much lighter in color. But when I’m craving a ham and butter sandwich (which happens more than I should admit), or in this case Flat Eggs with Ham, there is no substitute.

Unless, of course, you’re willing to try smoked salmon. We had some left, and it created its own mini breakfast miracle, which Tito will undoubtedly demand again soon.

I wonder how smoked salmon tastes on a baguette with thick slabs of salted butter from Brittany.

Oeufs Plats au Saumon et Chevre 2

Recipe 200: Oeufs Plats au Saumon et Chevre (or)
Flat Eggs with Fish and Goat Cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wipe or spray the inside of a creme brulee dish or small ramekin with butter or olive oil. Arrange slices of smoked salmon in a single layer along the bottom and sides of the dish (it should reach up the sides of the dish like a tart crust). When the oven is hot, crack a large egg into the salmon and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the egg white is set but the yolk is only set at the edges. (Timing may depend on your baking vessel of choice.)

When the oeufs come out, sprinkle with goat cheese and chopped chives, and serve with a toasted hunk of good bread.

Hint: If you’re making multiple servings, it’s easier to put all the ramekins on a baking sheet and transport them that way.

Café Presse in Seattle

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4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, fish, French, recipe, Seattle

4 responses to “Flat Eggs with Fish

  1. Cheryl

    That sounds delish. Btw, an semi-upscale grocery chain in San Jose sells something in the deli counter called “French ham.” I’ll find out who the manufacturer is… it’s the only kind of ham I buy. Has a thick rim of fat around the edge of each slice, but in a very good way.

  2. Please do; I’d love to know.

  3. I’m so excited! I thought I was crazy for thinking that it was different there. I can’t stand domestic ham.

  4. Frankie

    Flat eggs? In terms of food, “plat” means “dish” in French. The “correct” name of the dish is “Les Oeufs au plat” which means eggs served in a dish. That *is* one of my favorites dishes at Cafe Presse.

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