David Gans (tnf) Fri 26 Mar 10 12:38
(BTW, <reet> is the brilliant and creative cook I referred to earlier, and also the reason I am alive today!)
Julie Sherman (julieswn) Fri 26 Mar 10 14:34
My favorite egg recipe is something I call California Benedict. I make it on weekends when I am very hungry and have enough time to make and enjoy it: first saute some tomato slices. In the same pan, fry two eggs so the yolks are as runny as you like them (I like them runny). Meanwhile, toast two pieces of sourdough bread and melt some jack or chedder slices on top of each slice, either in the microwave or under the broiler. Thinly slice some scallions (green and white parts) and slice up a half of an avocado. To assemble: put the toast on a plate, divide the sauteed tomato slices and the avocado between the two pieces of toast. top each slice of bread with one of the eggs. Top the eggs with the scallions. top that with your favorite salsa, salt and pepper to taste. Eat with a knife and fork.
Deborah Madison (leafygreens) Fri 26 Mar 10 15:57
NO, that's definitely not a weekday dish! It sounds like quite a luxurious number, over the top, I'd say, like Dan's Poison Eggs. Glad you eat it with a knife and fork!
the secret agenda of rabbits (cjp) Fri 26 Mar 10 22:19
All this talk of eggs reminds me of the eGullet story about the search for the perfect soft-boiled egg. It became an obsession for this lady when she had gum surgery and could only eat soft foods. It really took over her life for a while, finding exactly the right timing to get a set white and a creamy yet cooked yolk, and she ended up poking little holes in both ends of the eggs. Anyway, my point is, have you ever been consumed by a culinary obsession like that, something that had you busy perfecting it for days or weeks, a recipe that always was on the edge of eluding you until you hunted it down, a search that had your family wondering about your sanity and well-being?
paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Fri 26 Mar 10 23:09
I've always got a few things like that in my mind, trying to create an ideal that I'm not always sure can really exist. When they're in progress, I end up eating them alone because they're not good enough yet to share with anyone else--unless they're so lousy that the worms end up sharing them with me. An ex-roomate spent a lot of time one year when brussels sprouts were in season, figuring out the best way to prepare them, because he wanted to convince me that they were not evil. He made them over and over, trying different things, until he came up with these--based in part on a preparation of a different vegetable (mushrooms, maybe?) in one of the Greens cookbooks <http://www.well.com/user/debunix/recipes/BrusselsSprouts.html>. I became a true believer thanks to his dedication, and it probably helped some that they were forbidden fruit--he would not let me taste a single one until he had the recipe just right. Sadly, they are a food I tend to eat alone, despite my best attempts to share them, because they get passed over at potlucks and picked at when I try to convert other non-believers one-on-one. Did you encounter many foods that were the product of this kind of obsessive perfecting that ended up being too unique to be included in the book? Most of things featured as odd or 'really bad ideas' seem to be more accidental, accretions rather than creations, although I may not be giving their creators enough credit.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Sat 27 Mar 10 07:28
My husband is a fan of the basted or poach-fried egg. I prefer the regular old sunny side up, well done. As for lunch, which I eat alone most days...I eat freshly made gazpacho and home made bread. I make the gazpacho once a week, and keep it in a pitcher in the fridge. It's pretty basic: 5 plum tomatoes, 2 red peppers, 2 kirby cucumbers, 1/2 red onion, 1 clove of garlic. Each processed in the food processor separately. Add to that about 2 -3 cups of tomato juice, 1/3 cup each of olive oil and basalmic vinegar, and a spoonful of horseradish. VOila! The bread changes depending upon what I've baked that week. It's light and easy and I have been eating almost every day for about 2 years without tiring of it.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 27 Mar 10 09:14
Why do people hate Brussels Sprouts? I was one of 'em, but I can't tell you why. Brussels Sprouts were a plot point in a favorite episode of "Leave It to Beaver" when I was a kid. Rita makes a wonderful dish with toasted hazelnuts...
okay it's (kayo) Sat 27 Mar 10 09:56
There is a theory about kid's taste buds and those cruciferous veggies. I remember vividly being forced to sit at the table for hours after the meal was over with a plate of uneaten broccoli in front of me. Those veggies were impossibly vile to me as a kid; stinky, bitter, revolting. Vamping until the interviewee comes along...
Deborah Madison (leafygreens) Sat 27 Mar 10 13:21
Brussels Sprouts. Probably people hate them for the usual reasons - they're poorly preparedeither overcooked or undercooked, not seasoned to their advantage. I happen to love them, but it's sort of flute music - if you don't care for flute music everyone wants you to hear the piece they think will be the one to change you (this is my husband's issue, not mine!) - and everyone's always saying, but try Brussels sprouts this way and you'll see! Better just to set a plate down and see what happens. I think they're especially good when sliced thinly, then blanched, then finished however you like. Mustard is always a good BS herb seasoning. So is lemon. Butter or ghee, robust olive oil, walnut and hazelnut oils for fats. If you're not vegetarian, cooking the blanched sprouts with 1 piece chopped bacon can do wonders and if you are vegetarian, try smoked paprika. Young palettes do seem to prefer sweet or salty flavors, so cruciferous vegetables could be a problem, but aren't always. Others are more mild, like cauliflower. But cooking any member of the cabbage family in plenty of water in an open pot helps dispel the sulphur compounds that make for that strong taste. Does kayo like these vegetables as an adult? That's what I'd like to know.
Deborah Madison (leafygreens) Sat 27 Mar 10 13:29
That was an interesting story about the Brussels sprouts being perfected before being offered. As for obsessively perfecting foods (debunix) - I can't think of any examples off the top, although people certainly have their own particular ways of doing things which they may do over and over and be delighted each time. The Colette story is a study in particulars and that was part of its charm as well as its magic. I do recall that the bartender at Lola's (of the rolled flank steak) had an amazingly complex recipe - a boned stuffed chicken that's stuffed and then poached - that we felt was a little too obsessive to turn into a useable recipe for others to use. But those horrible bad idea things do note that we didn't turn them into recipes! You're right, it's a whole other category.
Deborah Madison (leafygreens) Sat 27 Mar 10 13:34
Lisa - I like your repetitive approach because it sounds as if you enjoy this soup so much! It's not just a chore, or something you do because you're on automatic pilot. It's a very self-respecting lunch. And thank you for sharing the recipe,too! Tomatoes and cucumbers seem like a long ways off right now, but when they're back in season I'm going to make this. I was at the farmers market this morning doing a radio show and shopping. Even though it will snow later today, there were more than 40 vendors and some fresh carrots, greens of various kinds, Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, cheeses all kinds of things. All the farmers are saying this is the coldest winter we've had in years and as a non-farmer, I can say, it sure is!
okay it's (kayo) Sat 27 Mar 10 14:13
My current relationship with broccoli is that I will eat it if presented with it, but don't go out of my way. EXCEPT. I am addicted to "broccolini," which I toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until kind of crispy.
(fom) Sat 27 Mar 10 14:20
I didn't hate any brassicas as a child but I did dislike broccoli, and I'm still not fond of broccoli (though in certain preparations -- long cooked, where it's steamed then sauteed then broiled, for example -- I like it OK). I love cauliflower, romanesco, brussels sprouts (prepared well). Love cabbage as coleslaw; don't like it cooked or pickled. I don't see any rhyme or reason to any of that. I wish I had the book so I could post a book-specific question or comment.
(fom) Sat 27 Mar 10 14:20
slip from kayo. I forgot broccolini -- it's great.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 27 Mar 10 22:19
We do love our broccolini around here, too. Rita cooks 'em with white beans. <sandala> has served us a long-cooked broccoli a few times that we really love.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Sun 28 Mar 10 04:57
Broccoli--the only green vegetable my kid (and most of his friends) will eat with any kind of regularity. Especially loaded up with butter.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 28 Mar 10 09:39
Heh. Try a splash of olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar instead. I made me some poach-fried eggs for breakfast this morning. Yum!
Deborah Madison (leafygreens) Sun 28 Mar 10 12:34
Great that kids eat their broccolini. Loaded up with butter I might go for it, too. I have to say broccolini is not my thing,but I adore broccoli rabe, and broccoli is somewhere in between. Good advise about the vinegar with any green that's even slightly aggressive. It has a way of sweetening them somehow. Curiously, the chard and spinach from my beds outside (and it was 22 degrees this morning) is so sweet it's as if I put sugar in it. As one of the farmers told me yesterday, nature has its own antifreeze to keep the plants from going under in the cold. And I had poached fried eggs this morning too - on yeasted buckwheat waffles. I forget how good eggs can be. It was all that talk about them on Friday . . .
the secret agenda of rabbits (cjp) Sun 28 Mar 10 13:03
Now, turning from breakfast, let's talk about dessert! Deborah's newest book is coming out next month, a delightful cookbook called "Seasonal Fruit Desserts." Deborah's take on this is that eating fruits in season -- not only fresh, but also in decadent confections -- is a great way to get our daily dose of fruity nutrition. We are given an introduction to the different varieties of fruits, how they're best used, and then some seriously delicious-looking recipes. So Deborah, this is a complete departure from your previous books. Although "Local Flavors" and your other books tended to include desserts of every stripe, this is the first time that you've concentrated on the sweet stuff. What was your inspiration for this book, where did you get most of your recipes, and which one is your hands-down favorite?
paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Sun 28 Mar 10 13:27
Moving on to dessert, will there be recipes that use lots and lots and lots of lemons? My lemon tree is dragging lemon-laden branches on the ground. Today I'll be making rosemary-lemon-walnut cookies (<http://www.well.com/user/debunix/recipes/LemonWalnut.html>) and lemon-blueberry cake (no link because I haven't invented it yet, but got fresh blueberries at the market), but definitely need more ideas. And I'm always interested in other fruit desserts, especially those that are outside my basic repertoire of pies, tarts, & cobblers.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 28 Mar 10 15:00
> I have to say broccolini is not my thing,but I adore broccoli rabe Wait a minute. I thought broccolini and broccoli rabe were the same thing!
jelly fish challenged (reet) Sun 28 Mar 10 15:40
No! rabe is mostly leafy. more bitter; broccolini is like skinny broccoli.
okay it's (kayo) Sun 28 Mar 10 16:31
according to wikipedia, broccolini is a cross between broccoli and some kind of chinese cabbage.
paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Sun 28 Mar 10 17:04
Those brassica are as promiscuous as citrus.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 28 Mar 10 17:07
Well, I like 'em all these days, but broccoli rabe best of all.
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