Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sindy's Eggs Benedict

Most things I cook are at least inspired by a recipe that I have seen somewhere else. I don't hesitate however, to change anything I don't care for or add something that I think will enhance the dish. I also change ingredients in a dish depending what I have on hand or what is fresh and available. My other thing is I almost NEVER measure anything(which is why I am a terrible baker). I think that these things are what makes cooking fun and interesting. The problem is that it makes it hard for me to duplicate the dish. Though a remake of a dish is usually good, it is rarely the same as the last time I made it. It also makes it hard to share a recipe. That is my goal today so if you try this let me know how I did.
I try to give credit to the person I originally got the recipe from when I share, but this one is really kind of my own creation from all of the different Eggs Benedict recipes that I looked at. I had this dish on a cruise a few years ago but just recently decided to try my hand at making it. Most of the recipes that I looked at had a complicated hollandaise sauce that had tons of butter. The other option here would be to use a sauce mix (the little packets) I have never tried that though so I can't tell you how good this would be. I have eaten "runny" eggs since I was a baby and my Grandma fried them up in bacon grease (YUM!) Just make sure the eggs are fresh.For people who are skittish about undercooked eggs(or have a compromised immune system), you might want to skip this one. This recipe is for one but you can multiply it easily .
Ingredients: 1 whole egg,1 egg yolk, half of a small lemon,4Tbs milk. Nutmeg, fresh basil leaves , 2 Tbs butter, 1Tbs vinegar, Salt, 1 slice of Bread, Bacon.

Fill a med size skillet about 3/4 full of water and bring to a simmer.
Wisk together Egg Yolk, milk nutmeg,salt, Grate just a little lemon zest into mixture then squeeze juice from lemon in and wisk again. Place in a small pan on VERY LOW heat add about 1/2 to 1Tbs of melted butter and a dash of salt. Just let this hang out while finishing the rest of the dish wisking it frequently and making sure the eggs don't set too much. If it gets to thick wisk in a little more milk.

Toast bread and lightly butter. The bread is one of the things that can make the dish great. You can use plain white bread and it will be just fine but I like to use what ever good bakery bread I have on hand. Today I used sourdough.

Add vinegar to your simmering water and swirl it around. Very carefully slide egg into water from small bowl. You don't want the egg to move around much before it sets or it will fall apart.
Let water continue to simmer for 4mins for a soft (runny) egg yolk. Frequently spoon the water over the egg to cook the top of it.

Place toasted bread on plate. Remove egg carefully with slotted spoon or spatula letting water drain off. Place on top of toast. I love basil so sometimes I will add a whole basil leaf under the egg. Spoon sauce over egg top with crumbled bacon (you can use whole bacon strips or Pancetta and layer it under the egg). Sprinkle ribbons of fresh basil over top and garnish with basil leaves.

This really is a simple dish that makes and elegant presentation for a special breakfast.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunday Dinner

Opps, forgot to take a pic of the food!! Here is my daughter Kristen and her friends Kylee and Katie

So while preparing my Sunday school lesson this morning (because that's when I prepare on Sunday morning right before Church) I was online and saw a recipe for "Fake it don't Make Coq au Vin"http://food.aol.com/food/channel/0,18957,7119060327,00.html#histNum=1 So, I invited my Friend Karen and her Daughter Katie over for lunch/dinner after Church. We almost always lunch together on Sunday's but we usually go out.
It called for cooked chicken which I did not have but I did have boneless breasts which I figured I could whip up pretty quick. The only other ingredients I did not have on hand were frozen pearl onions and Garlic and herb salad dressing mix. I thought a quick trip to Harris Teeter for those and some kind of dessert and I would have dinner on the table 1:45....Ha!
Turns out they did NOT have "frozen" pearl onions (I could have sworn I had seen them before) so I figured that it would not be THAT much trouble to use fresh ones. Long story short by the time I left the store It was almost 1:00. Hmm a 15 min drive home , Maybe by 2:00 I could have dinner on the table.
I decided to have oven roasted potatoes(potatoes, olive oil, garlic, rosemary), French onion soup(onions, oil,dab of butter, red wine and beef broth/ topped with bread and swiss cheese) and salad along with my Chicken. All was going well until I got to the part in the recipe that called for the dressing mix...ummm where IS the dressing mix. I know I picked it up and put it in my cart. Karen was busy chopping up the onions for the soup. So she suggested Italian dressing(which I DID have) and we grabbed a some savory (that sounds French doesn't it) and some thyme out of the garden, threw in some chopped up Garlic and called it perfect.
So by 230 ISH ....ok ..it was more like 3:oo,Dinner was on the table. Now , neither of us has ever had Coq au Vin before so I am not sure what it is supposed to taste like. But we proclaimed it tasty!! Katie who is actually quite a picky eater liked it. My Daughter Kristen liked the chicken part but picked around the mushrooms and onions. We decided that though it was very good. It had a different flavor than what we had expected. After a little discussion about this it hit me that when I was making the Soup I had used beef broth.... And hmmm never got out the CHICKEN broth. SOOOO. The question is next time ...Do I use Chicken or Beef broth???? I would definitely recommend trying out this dish. You make the call on the broth.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I shoulda listened!

One of my favorite breakfasts when I have the time is a simple version of eggs benedict that sort of made up myself. But this morning I thought I would try a new recipe for "slow cooked eggs" that I found on "Eat, Drink and be Miriam" http://www.fayettevillenc.com/blog?id=14 Now, Miriam said that she did not think that these were worth the time; but, I had to be stubborn and try for myself(plus that house-work is still waiting,anything to procrastinate). I threw in some chives from my herb garden (just because I can). Guess what? They are not worth the time (30mins of cooking and stirring). The uncomfortable texture of the eggs was so distracting that I can't really say if I even liked them. I guess the flavor was ok. Had I ordered them out somewhere and not spent the time, I might have liked them a little. I will have to say that I really enjoyed my toast with home made Fig preserves (courtesy of my friend Savanna) the most. Next time I will stick with the eggs benedict!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Make Me Feel Popular

So, today was an All about me day! It started out unpleasant so I decided to make up for it the rest of the day. I had an appointment for a test this morning. I won't bore you with the details but it started with a MAM and ended in a Gram. I was supposed to Meet a friend for lunch downtown but she was not able to make it. I was almost ready to head back home and clean house when I remembered "The Chocolate Lady" shop. I was downtown last 4th Friday and checked it out but I had given up Chocolate for Lent. Needless to say..This sounded much better than laundry and dusting. I did stop in on my friend Vince at "Parties to Go" to order a cake for a Baby Shower I am throwing in a few weeks. He is just getting his business started and he makes great tasting AND looking cakes. You WON'T find anything like them at Wally World. So after that it was off to the Chocolate shop. I opted for the mini-chocolates so that I could try them all! It seems as though Liquor was the item of the day. I had to try the raspberry chambre/dark chocolate right there and took home Kalua, congnac, and Grand mariner. YUMMY! After leaving there I contemplated going home again. But the weather was gorgeous so I started wandering in and out of the shops. I made it down to the other end of Hay St. To the Blue Moon Cafe. This is where I was supposed to have lunch with my friend and I had been dying to try it. I usually don't care to eat in a restaurant alone but decided I would grab a copy of the Weekender and sit at a sidewalk table and enjoy the breeze. I ordered the "Californian" Pannini. (Sun Dried tomatoes, cream cheese, provolone cheese, zucchini, onion, sprouts and cucumbers grilled up on sourdough bread). It was very tasty!! I can't wait to go back and try the Pacific Salmon along with just about all the other dishes ..lol. So after lunch I decided I needed a little coffee to go with my chocolate. I headed across the street to Rude awakening to get a cup of coffee and head home to that cleaning BUT............ Someone came in from the back and asked someone to come out to the courtyard behind the shop. I had totally forgotten about that. So, I grabbed a magazine and headed out to the cozy little space with chairs and plants and wrought iron art. I pretended to read the magazine while I eaves dropped on the 3 guys who were already sitting out there. Before I knew it I was in conversation with them. (But I DIDN'T share my chocolate) It was a very relaxing afternoon! I don't normally do things like that by myself. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. I need to do that more often! As for the housework?? Ummmm... It will still be there tomorrow.