This is a very French recipe in which the cook gets a chance to demonstrate his artistic talent. Serves six.
3 hard cooked eggs, cut in half
3 thin slices baked ham
3 scallion green tops
For the aspic-
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup tomato juice
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 t. sugar
1 egg white
1 egg shell, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. cognac
Step 1. Combine in a saucepan all the aspic ingredients except the cognac. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove pan from heat and add cognac.
Step 2. Line a strainer with a piece of tightly woven cloth, like a tea towel, that has been rinsed in cold water and wrung out. Strain the aspic and chill it slightly, but go on to the next step while the aspic is still liquid.
Step 3. Pour a thin layer of aspic into 6 egg molds, custard dishes or cups of a muffin tin. Chill 10 minutes.
Step 4. Dip the green part of the scallions, cut into appropriate lengths, in the aspic and place two leaves in the bottom of each mold in a “V” shape.
Step 5. Place an egg half in each mold, cut side up, and top with an oval of ham. Fill the mold with aspic and chill until ready to serve.
Step 6. The leftover aspic should be poured into a small flat pan and chilled. It can then be cut into shapes with a small cookie cutter and used to garnish the eggs when they are unfolded. Note: if the aspic begins to set before you’ve finished pouring it into the molds, it can be reheated slightly and chilled briefly before you use it. Serve cold.