Friday, June 29, 2007

The Incredible Edible Egg

Remember that jingle? Love it. But what I don't love are green rings around the yolks of hard-boiled eggs. Tastes fine, looks unattractive. So how to avoid it?

STEP 1: Place eggs in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water an inch above the eggs.

STEP 2: Heat until water boils rapidly. (Large bubbles breaking the surface).

STEP 3: Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a ice bath (water and ice) in a large bowl.

STEP 4: When 10 minutes are up, place eggs in ice bath for at least 5 minutes. This helps to separate the shell from the egg, preventing tearing.

STEP 5: Remove eggs, deshell, and enjoy.

You should have gorgeous, bright yellow creamy centers and perfectly cooked whites. Enjoy with salt and pepper, devil them, or make a delicious egg salad. Not just any egg salad...a delicious egg salad.

The color yellow is a beautiful color.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Deconstruction of a Salad

You know what? I think it is "funny" when people don't like certain foods. (And by funny I mean they don't deserve to eat at my table.) Like, "Oh, I don't like cucumbers" or "olive oil tastes funny" or "Ethiopian bread has the same texture as human skin." All right so maybe I don't like Ethiopian bread but that's the ONLY thing I don't like, and it's taken years of therapy to admit this so lay off.

Anyway, it's tough to make salads at dinner parties when certain guests don't like, say, tomatoes (eh-hem...Thabo), and rather than having your guests pick at their plates and waste food, why not have a mini salad bar right there on the table?

I made a deconstructed tuna nicoise salad last week for lunch with a friend of mine, and not only does it look pretty, but everyone's happy in the end. If you have a large platter, just pile whatever you like in little clusters on the plate, decorating with lettuce or kale or sprigs of parsley. It's fun for the whole family! Plus, healthy and delicious.

On the menu:

Seared Tuna (45 seconds each helps to rub the olive oil onto the fish, not the pan)
Herb potato salad (much healthier than the mayo version: champagne vinegar, olive
oil, fresh chopped herbs, dollop of mustard)
Tomatoes (sorry Thabo)
Boiled eggs
Blanched green beans (shock in ice water after boiling a few minutes; retains bright
Fresh greens

Champagne Vinaigrette served on the side

Deconstruct away!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Orange You Glad You Like Carrots??

For you vegetarians out there, I'm sure you have your own carrot soup recipe. I swear this photo has not been enhanced at all, so don't eat too much of this soup or else you'll turn orange. People will point and say, "Wow, that's a bad fake tan." And you'll laugh and stare them down with your 20/5 vision...ha ha ha!!!

Here's how I make mine:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sweat onions in olive oil until translucent...DO NOT BROWN. (This is true in making most soups and stocks.) You can also add some garlic and / or ginger a few minutes in. When onions are ready, add your carrots (cut into large chunks--the smaller ones with the tops on them tend to be sweeter, if not also more $$$). Cook for 5-10 minutes.

Cover the carrots with vegetable broth (homemade if you can) and cook until carrots are tender. If you want, I love adding fresh tarragon at this stage. Puree and put back on the heat, adding more stock if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with fresh tarragon you're ready for your fake bake.

Wish you could have a bite,

Friday, June 08, 2007

French Laundry

Damn you French Laundry! You've ruined my future restaurant experiences FOREVER. Seriously, if you've got a special occasion and a lot of money, or if you're just a crazy foodie, you must eat here. I was up in Napa Valley this past weekend, and the 2-month advance booking was worth every single penny.

Food, presentation, service, ambiance...impeccable. How do they do it?

Thomas Keller really knows his shit. I love him.

OK, enough already. Recipes to follow from my latest adventures in the kitchen...I must get back to my afternoon Bollinger with raspberry, pear, and chocolate dipped strawberries (in Valrhona, of course.) Just another ordinary Monday late afternoon...