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Monday, January 11, 2010

 
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when i woke this morning, i thought i was motivated to do a bunch of stuff because mondays are my "get down to work" day. (the weekend tends to be be "plan for the rest of the week" days and "do work because i have less input" days). but instead i'm making beans, tortillas, broccoli salad and fennel-onion-apple reduction for sausages. can you tell what i enjoy more? i used to think cooking was a big waste of time, especially since i couldn't make anything that was tastier; now i have trouble going through a day without making -something-, and our restaurant visits & frozen meals have been greatly reduced as a result. not that i don't like michaelangelo's lasagne or amy's enchiladas, and i'm still not a great baker, save for that no-knead bread recipe i've mastered. for a while we had an organics to you order every couple of weeks which really required me to learn how to cook a wide variety of veggies.

my recent learning curve has been reaching poached egg perfection. i read kyrie's recipe for poached eggs right after i got back from morocco, and combined with sauteed greens atop a biscuit it sounded like heaven. i had been told that protein helps you overcome jet lag and BOY was i suffering from jet lag, so i ate this breakfast every day for a week. my poached egg was pretty inconsistent, though. then i had a poached egg that was truly fantastic at kristen & todd's, which gave me something concrete to aspire to. i began to realize that the shape of the egg is very much dependent on the velocity of the egg hitting the water: too fast and it creates ribbons and strings of eggs floating away from the surface of the egg. shallow water helps, too, because the further it has to fall into the water the more time it has to unravel. k&t used an egg thermometer to measure the temperature of their water but that seemed too fussy for me. there was also much discussion about how to -feel- when the egg was right and that it might take many months of study. so i checked cook's illustrated online (thanks to a birthday subscription from sven, it's my go-to resource for cooking questions), which recommended an incredibly simple and repeatable technique: get the water boiling, take the pan off the heat, slide the egg in, cover the pan, let it sit for 4 minutes. voila! perfect poached eggs every single time with no thinking required -- very necessary in a breakfast food. :)



(this is toasted quinoa w/ a homemade fennel-onion-apple compote, goat cheese, a perfect poached egg, and haleakala ruby finishing salt. SO good and only took 5 mins to assemble, most of which was spent waiting for the egg to poach.)

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