Simple, yet special, recipes for the home chef.

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Last month, I attended an egg-centric dinner with cookbook author and food writer Michael Ruhlman. The event was held at The Forest Grill, a local restaurant owned by one of my culinary school professors, Chef Brian Polcyn (he literally wrote the book on charcuterie, with Ruhlman as co-author). You may know Ruhlman from his numerous appearances on Tony Bourdain’s TV shows, or from one of his many books like The Making of a Chef or Ratio. This dinner was to celebrate the recent release of his newest book, Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient. It’s a terrific book, and you’ll have a chance to win your very own autographed copy at the end of this post!

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Since Jeff and I jumped on the chance to buy tickets as soon as they went on sale, we naturally arrived a half hour early like the crazies that we are. We settled in with a round of Old Fashioneds and made lame small talk with each other while Ruhlman made his rounds for a quick chat at each table. Whenever I meet celebrities, I basically panic and blurt out something stupid, and this time was no exception. I told Ruhlman I couldn’t bake worth shit until I got a copy of Ratio, but things have improved since then. Which is all totally true, but seriously, those were my exact words. Oh well. Polcyn and Ruhlman gave a little welcome, and then the first of seven small courses (and cocktail/wine pairings) was served.

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Part I: Whole Raw. Sashimi, Cured Yolk, Espellette.

We started with a little bit of sashimi that was topped with espellette (a type of chili pepper), dill and either an egg white meringue or some type of cream (I can’t remember which). We had been told that cured egg yolks were going to be grated over the dish, but for my money, I couldn’t find them. The people at the table next to us seemed a little confused by the possible omission, too. No big deal – this starter was still absolutely delicious, with the slightly spicy pepper being a nice counterpoint to the cold, thinly sliced fish.

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Part II: Cooked Whole. Tête de Cochon, Diced Yolks & White, Sauce Gribiche, Grain Mustard.

So, Tête de Cochon translates to “pig’s head,” and it’s delicious. Don’t judge me. I like this stuff. It’s really just a thin slice of a terrine-like dish that is made inside a pig’s head, from lots of different parts of the pig. OK, I’m making it sound worse. Let’s talk about Sauce Gribiche. It’s one of the most delicious substances ever. It’s sort of like a mayo, but full of chopped egg whites and yolks, capers, pickles, herbs and mustard. The sauce, the cold salad greens and the tête de cochon came together into a lovely little plate of pig-and-egg goodness.

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Part III: Cooked In Shell. Soft Cooked Egg, Madeira Sabayon, Sautéed Mushrooms, Feuille de Brick.

No egg dinner would be complete without some sort of dish featuring a soft-cooked egg with a runny yolk. This one was placed on top of a Madeira wine sabayon, which is a sauce made with an emulsion of eggs and wine. The dish was topped with feuille de brick, which is similar to crispy phyllo dough. I think this was my favorite dish of the night, just because I’m a sucker for a runny yolk.

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Part IV: Separate White. Duck consommé, Crispy Duck Leg, Cabbage.

The meat course of this dinner was also incidentally the soup course. If you weren’t familiar with the process of making consommé, you’d be scratching your head wondering where the egg in this dish was. But, consommé is a concentrated, intensely flavorful broth that is clarified using a “raft” made with egg whites and chopped vegetables. This raft floats on top of the broth, drawing out all impurities from the broth (the raft is discarded at the end). See how clear the broth is in the photo above? That’s the beauty and utility of the egg! This consommé had so much duck flavor that I would have been happy with just a big mug of this, no duck leg or cabbage needed.

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Part V: Cooked Out of Shell. Quail Egg Ravioli, Ricotta, Brown Butter Artichokes.

While the dinner up until this point had mainly utilized chicken eggs, the pasta course featured a ravioli filled with a quail egg. This course was delicious, but mainly because the nutty flavor of brown butter coated everything on the plate. I mean, what’s not great when it’s coated in brown butter, right?

Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman at The Forest Grill | foxeslovelemons.com

Part VI: Whole Out of Shell. Grapefruit Curd, Chocolate Mousse, Crisp Puff Pastry.

True to my personality, I forgot to snap a photo of the dessert course. I rarely care about or order dessert at restaurants, so I had a few bites of this, was disappointed because there was surprise tarragon lurking in it (which I referred to as “the unannounced tarragon incident”), failed to take a photo and promptly forgot about this course. Sorry, Forest Grill pastry chef. I’m sure you worked hard on this. The grapefruit curd (curd is made with lots and lots of eggs!) were smooth and lovely.

Part VII: Separate White. Nougat.

Our parting gift was another dessert, packaged to take home – small chunks of egg white nougat wrapped up in paper. We also received autographed copies of the book we were there to celebrate. My TMJ-addled jaw couldn’t really handle this extremely chewy nougat, so my reporting on both dessert courses is officially useless. Speaking of that book, though . . .

Want to win an autographed copy of Michael Ruhlman’s Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient

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7 Responses to “Egg Dinner with Michael Ruhlman”

  1. Laura Dembowski — July 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I so wish I would have known about this event. It sounds like a wonderful night. 

    Reply

    • Lori Yates replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

      Awww shoot, Laura. Have you been to the Forest Grill before? It’s so good!

  2. Laura Dembowski — July 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I have been to the Forest Grill before about 5 or 6 times I think. I haven’t been in awhile though because we had a bit of a lackluster experience. Before that, I did really like it though.

    Reply

  3. hubstown — July 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    My favorite dishes were the Tete De Cochon and the Duck Consomme.  The pig head cheese because I am sucker for all things charcuterie.  And, the consomme because it showed such a delicate touch with such an innovative dish.  

    Anyways, my favorite part of the meal was when you said “shit” to Ruhlman.  It was hilarious.  But, at least you were honest. 

    Reply

    • Lori Yates replied: — July 21st, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

      Why can’t I figure out how to be a normal person around celebrities? Aack!

    • hubstown replied: — July 24th, 2014 @ 9:42 am

      It’s alright.  I think you just lose your train of thought when getting star-struck.  The best was the high-pitched “HI” and nothing else when meeting Raine Maida after the Our Lady Peace concert.  We’ll get you trained – I’ll just make sure to bring the likes of Matt Damon, Calvin Johnson, and Barack Obama by the house for you to meet.

    • Lori Yates replied: — July 24th, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

      Wait, so is Calvin Johnson the Lions player, or the singer? Which one is Calvin Harris? Why would I want either of them to come to my house? Matt Damon or Barack Obama…sure. Although I wouldn’t want to cook for the President. The Secret Service guys would have to be in the kitchen watching me prepare it, and I’d be all like “on the wood!” and they’d be like “Ma’am, please stop treating us like your dog.” And Izzy would be like “hey guys…you should be on the wood over here with me.”

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