Saturday, October 04, 2014

Brunch it up brunch it down brunch it all around - Brunch

Brunch, its funny how something that has been around longer than me always seems to find a new crowd that thinks they discovered something new. If you look it up you will find the word BRUNCH was first used in print in 1895, thats a lot of weekends ago, in fact you should look it up and read this nice little article in Smithosonian so I don't have to go into all the details. So with out further ado - here is my brunch for today.

If you have only read my blog once then you would have already found out my love for two things - blossoms and eggs and here we have a little of both.
Look at that delicious Zaatar on that pita bread - that will be a recipe for another day - today I am going to tell you how to make perfect poached eggs.

Perfect Poached Eggs

You need to start with two quarts of water in a deep sauce pan and one tablespoon of white vinegar, I have tried other vinegars and simple white vinegar works the best. 

Bring the water to a gentle boil then turn it down to a simmer, too much violent action in the pot will destroy the beauty of the egg and it won't cook right.

Crack your eggs into a monkey dish, a ramekin or a small tea cup and pour them gently into your water one at a time, I like to only poach two eggs at time if I am not rushed so that I can get a perfect egg.

Once you crack it into the water take a slotted spoon and gently fold it over itself so that it is in a rough quenelle shape.

Let the eggs cook for about 3 minutes for a perfectly cooked white and a nice runny yolk, longer if you like them more cooked less if you like a softer white.

Remove them with a slotted spoon and serve immediately. If you are making poached eggs for the masses then you would drop them into the hot water just long enough to set then you would put them in a cold water bath to shock them - as you are ready to use them you simply warm them up in the hot water to finish the cooking.

Have fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nostalgia, New Mexico and Navajo Tacos

When this time of year rolls around I get incredibly nostalgic for my home state of New Mexico, The Land Of Enchantment. I think about the chile roasting everywhere you turn, I think about the New Mexico State Fair and all the fair food and I think about Navajo Tacos.
I make some dough and let it rest and rise while I get the rest of the ingredients together. This is going to be my "fry bread" and its the base for the taco.
Rehydrating some New Mexico green chile that I roast, peel and then dehydrate so it has a long shelf life.  Then I brown some ground beef and add in lots of garlic and other herbs and spices and beans to make a delicious taco meat. Today I had some radish greens so I sautéed them up till nice and tender.
Roll out, or stretch out some dough into a thin disc and fry it till its golden then pile on the toppings. I make my Navajo Tacos considerably smaller than what is considered the "normal" size since I like them to be more manageable - and - I want to eat more than one. Navajo Tacos - part of my youth, my adulthood and my memories of home.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Another Birthday And Plenty To Be Thankful For - PLUS Moules Frites And Cake On The Equinox

Each and every year when my birthday rolls around I am reminded how little I actually celebrate this day since I feel that I spend so much time celebrating every other day. I instead use this day to reflect and to feel the gratitude that I am here and it is because of my parents that I am. 
When I feel that I have adequately reflected, usually by dinner time, then I get ready to chow down on what ever my favorite thing is at this point. For many years my chosen birthday dinner was sushi, other times its surf and turf so you can easily see a trend - seafood.
Today my choice, after cruising around the fish markets in Chinatown this morning, is mussels and shrimp or Moules Frites, as its more popularly known. I went ahead and added 3 pounds of large Lousiana shrimp because I can. I made some crispy fried potatoes and some hunks of fresh seeded Italian bread to sop up all the delicious, buttery, wine infused juices. If today is also your birthday I wish you a happy one. If today is not then I wish you a happy Equinox.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Salads

The beauty of summer is upon us and with this summer beauty brings summer bounty and this bounty can turn into a salad without you even knowing it.

I picked some fresh salad greens and some nasturtium blossoms and some squash blossoms along with some rattlesnake beans some heirloom tomatoes and a cucumber and I also picked a few sprigs of lemon basil and purple basil to round out the sweetness. At home I had some bacalao and some yucca and some batata (batata is a tropical sweet potato, it is white with a burgundy skin). Since the yucca and batata were already cooked and in the fridge I simply sliced it into little discs and squares and I browned it on both sides in some butter. I made some quick croutons with some fresh ciabatta bread that I picked up this morning by tossing the cubed bread in a little olive oil and some of my seasoned salt, when the yucca and batata were browned I removed them to a plate and tossed the croutons in to brown in the hot pan. I had made some cilantro oil a few days before so that was the base for my simple dressing with white vinegar.
This salad came together quickly since I had mostly everything already prepared. My son likes heaping portions so I made a pretty one for me and a piled a mile high version for him, his got some mozzarella cheese instead of the bacalao since he doesn't care for the saltiness of the fish so much - odd since he likes other salty fish. Make some summer salads - I can't wait to hear what you do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lets have a Toast to Toast - Bruschetta is summer

What do you do when you want to kick up your summer platters? Make some fancy toast. Brushcetta is exactly the answer.
With summer bounty in full swing we have access to some beautiful produce and what better way to use it then on a piece of simple toast. Here I have some fresh mozzarella, still warm and soft, with some heirloom cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes and grape tomatoes right off the vine tossed with a little herbed salt that I mix up and a splash of olive oil layered on a crispy and toasted on only one side slice of a bastone loaf that was rubbed with fresh garlic then drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil then its flecked with a little chiffonade of green and purple basil and finished with some slivers of radish and some nasturtium petals and if you want drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on it before serving. 
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