Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Week one: greens, glorious greens

Monday, June 7th, 2010

As is well-known, early season at most Farmer’s markets means greens. And more greens. Black Cat Farms assembles the CSA shares beforehand, but each week there is a little lagniappe, an empty bag to fill with anything that is available.

The first CSA share:

  1. A large bag of beautiful “mesclun,” a diverse mix of various salad greens. Including beautiful edible flowers.
  2. A similar quantity of mixed braising greens.
  3. Non-greens! Killer white turnips.
  4. My lagniappe: arugula.

The four beautiful turnips were clearly doled out to a greens-weary audience, but the greens are quite abundant; it will be a bit of a challenge for 2-3 people to eat it all in a week.

I was happy to pick up the first dozen eggs of the season from Wisdom’s Natural Poultry, and that suggested Oeufs de Meurette for dinner. Perfect with roast turnips. And a big mixed-green salad, of course!

Fresh eggs. Oeufs de Meurette. Burgundian classic.

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Ouefs de MeuretteSometimes the plethora of available greens don’t inspire, but really fresh eggs from Wisdom’s always do. Classic Burgundian dishes include Coq au Vin, Beef Bourguignon, and always escargots, but Oeufs de Meurette is a sleeper dish that is perfect for warm early summer evenings.

Oeufs de Meurette (Serves 4)

For the sauce:

  1. 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, preferably red Burgundy
  2. 1 cup good brown veal, beef, or chicken stock
  3. 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  4. 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  5. 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  6. thyme sprigs, parsley, a bay leaf, and a few black peppercorns

For the garnishes:

  1. 8 slices of bread from a large baguette, about 3/8″ thick
  2. 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  3. 8 button mushrooms
  4. 4 oz bacon, diced
  5. 16 pearl onions
  6. olive oil, butter

Remaining ingredients:

  1. 8 fresh eggs, poached
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 tablespoons flour
  4. salt and pepper, to taste

First, prepare the sauce. Chop vegetables, combine with wine, stock, and herb mixture. I use a seriously reduced brown stock here – if you are using canned stock, good luck, but you will want to reduce it first. Simmer sauce briskly until reduced by half or even more. The wine is traditionally red Burgundy, but Beaujolais or something unoaked and fruity will do in a pinch. Beware any highly-oaked New World wine, even domestic Pinot Noir – the concentrated oak flavors would be overwhelming or worse.

Next, prepare the garnishes. Make croûtes by frying the bread slices in olive oil; drain on paper towels, then rub both sides of each with the cut garlic. Reserve. Sauté mushrooms in butter, reserve. Sauté bacon, remove and reserve, then add pearl onions to the rendered fat and cook until nicely browned.

Final preparation. Prepare a beurre manié by mixing softened butter with flour. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan. Over low heat, add beurre manié and stir until slightly thickened and glossy. Poach 4 eggs to your taste. This can be done ahead, reserving nearly-cooked eggs in cold water and reheating in hot water for a minute or so. Place two croûtes on each serving plate, top each with a poached egg, then portion bacon, mushrooms, and onions evenly. Spoon sauce over each plate and serve immediately.

Serve outdoors if possible, and think of early summer in Beaune. Époisses cheese is the perfect dessert.


Wisdom’s Natural Poultry

Got eggs? In a pinch. Carbonara “coconstructed.”

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Carbonara Co-constructedTravels kept me away from the Farmer’s Market this week, but happily there are local eggs in the house and also a little La Quercia “Crumble.”

Like foams, “deconstructed” dishes were all the rage for a while. Ferran Adria popularized the idea of breaking a dish into its constituent parts then reassembling them in unexpected ways that still preserve, in his words, the “spirit” of the dish.

The familiar carbonara recipe sautés garlic then pancetta, adds and reduces a little white wine, and tosses the result with cooked pasta, beaten egg, and grated parmigiano-reggiano and romano cheeses. Here we modestly reinvent the classic, “coconstructing” the first part of the dish, then serving the rest of the “sauce” in the form of a lightly poached egg.

“Coconstructed” Pasta Carbonara

  1. 1 lb pasta
  2. 4 fresh eggs
  3. 1/4 cup white wine
  4. 3 garlic cloves, peeled then crushed
  5. 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
  6. 2 Tb flat leaf parsley, chopped
  7. 4 ounces guanciale, pancetta, bacon, or “crumble”
  8. 2 Tb olive oil, plus
  9. Pepper, to taste

Start the pasta boiling. Spaghetti is the classic choice, but follow your heart. Warm 4 serving bowls.

Sauté crushed but whole garlic cloves until golden, remove from pan and discard, then add the cured pork of choice. Guanciale is the classic ideal, with pancetta a close second. Smoked bacon is fine too, or La Quercia Prosciutto “Crumble,” which I used here. Render a bit of fat into the pan, add white wine, reduce to a glaze, then remove from the heat.

Poach 4 eggs until the whites are just set, and the yolks warm and still liquid.

Add pan contents to the cooked pasta, toss with grated cheese, and season with pepper. Portion equally in the heated bowls, top each serving with a poached egg, and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately. Breaking the egg “reconstitutes” and completes the sauce, and the texture is quite amazing.