While writing about chafing dishes last week, those fashionable table cooking accessories so popular in the first three decades of the twentieth century, I mentioned the recipes I had found in the little 1930’s Brown and Polson cookery book, ‘Light Fare Recipes for Corn Flour and “Raisley” Cookery’.
One was for the mysterious Eggs á la Cublet; I can find no mention of such a dish anywhere, apart from the Brown Polson connection. There are ‘cubelets’ meaning little cubes, and there is a modern slang term not often used meaning an attractive young woman. I think Brown and Polson’s chef must have made it up, giving it a french sounding name to make it sound more interesting. I can’t even find anyone with the name Cublet, or anything like it, apart from Emily Cublet who was born in 1907, and Pavnell Cablett from 1595… There were two other Cabletts, who lived in Edmonton in 1881, Grace and Theodosia Cablett who were school mistresses… But no Cublets…
Eggs á la Cublet (cooked in a chafing dish),
For 4 to 6 persons. Time 10 to 15 mins.
- 1 oz Brown and Polson’s “Patent” Corn Flour
- 2 oz butter or margarine
- 1 pint milk (or ½ pint milk, ½ pint cream)
- salt, paprika
- 7 eggs
- 1 oz grated cheese
- melt the butter in the chafing dish
- rub into it the Corn Flour then add the milk, stirring constantly.
- when it begins to thicken season with salt and paprika, and break each egg very carefully into it, keeping each one separate. it is well to employ a saucer in doing this
- slide the eggs very carefully into the sauce, draw sauce over it, then repeat until all the eggs are in
- cover the dish and let cook for five minutes
- place a heaped tea-spoonful of cheese over each egg and dust the cheese thoroughly with paprika
- cover again and cook three minutes longer
- serve on a square of thin toast or toasted biscuit
NOTE – cook in blazer over hot-water pan
So, basically this is a dish of eggs poached in a white sauce; a couple of things strike me, apart from the image which spontaneously springs into my mind of a cook wearing a blazer, rather than the cook cooking with a blazer which is a small pan fitting inside a larger pan of hot water… – it is supposed to serve 4-6 persons, but there are seven eggs… does that mean one poor guest only has one egg as the other three scoff two? I would also worry that the first egg into the sauce would be over cooked by the time the seventh one had been cracked into a saucer and carefully slid into the pan. I hope the kitchen has a toaster otherwise keeping an eye on seven pieces of thin bread toasting under a grill might be difficult while keeping an eye on the eggs. I would want my cheese very finely grated otherwise I’m not sure it would melt over the saucy eggs in three minutes… and also what sort of biscuit would be toasted? Obviously a savoury one, but is it something which we no longer have?
I can imagine this as a comforting supper dish, but I’m not sure I would actually like it… I think my husband might though, as long as he had two eggs! Maybe I should try it and see..