A perfectly poached egg is a thing of beauty -- elegant, delicate, able to stand up to the boldest of flavors but just as willing to take the lead when duty calls. Mud House (2101 Cherokee Street; 314-776-6599) chef Chris Bork's recipe for Poached Egg with Ham Fat, Chorizo Purée and French Horn Mushrooms lays on the complexity, but the steps are easy to follow and the reward is substantial.
Poached Farm Egg with Ham Fat, Chorizo Purée and French Horn Mushrooms
For the poached egg 2 eggs 2 tsp rendered ham or bacon fat, at room temperature truffle oil twine
Line two coffee mugs with plastic wrap so it overlaps the mug by an inch. Crack an egg into each mug, pour in the fat and add a few drops of truffle oil. Gently lift the egg/wrap out of the mugs. Create an airtight purse and tie a knot with the twine to seal. Refrigerate overnight. Poach the purses in simmering water for four minutes. Let cool for two minutes, unpack and season with salt and pepper.
Chorizo purée 1 pound soft chorizo 3 eggs 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic 1 tbsp sherry vinegar salt and pepper to taste
Lightly sauté chorizo., then purée with 1/2 cup of the oil. Allow purée to cool slightly, then add eggs, garlic and sherry. While blending, slowly add the rest of the oil to emulsify to a mayonnaise consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
French horns 3 large French horn mushrooms 1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 sprig fresh thyme 1 clove garlic, crushed salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Quarter the mushrooms. Melt butter and oil together in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add thyme and garlic. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until mushroom are golden brown on all sides and then deglaze with lemon juice. Discard garlic and thyme.
To assemble Arrange on two small plates with a base of purée topped by the egg. Scatter mushroom quarters and garnish with fresh pea shoots.