Tuesday, May 24, 2011

grilled scallions and scallion vinaigrette (with a sunny side up egg)

scallions, eggs, bread
since changing jobs,
i've imagined all the things
that i'm going to do,
all the things that i'm going
to cook,
all the things that i'm
going to see and change
about my life.

i thought maybe i'd
finally get around to
making zuni chicken - and being
the kind of person who remembers
to buy chickens two days ahead
of time -
and rick bayless' 27-ingredient
mole. i thought that i'd just make
quick breads and muffins on the
weekends and spend my days
making stock. maybe i'd finally
start canning.

and, i did do some things
that are new, determined to
somehow show my appreciation
that i've regained several hours
each week.

i made a torte for
dinner (a torte! on a
weeknight!) and even added
the two tablespoons of mint
that i usually would have left
out because, ew, mint. i figured,
i'm trying to be a different
person in many other ways,
why can't i make myself be the kind
of person who likes mint?
it was ok.
but, still, i tried.
not quite summer
i stopped myself from insisting
that we go grocery shopping,
like we normally do on sundays
and instead, went to the beach
to walk along the boardwalk on
a surprisingly beautiful day.
crazy sky
and when we walked outside
to catch a dinner reservation,
i took the time to wait as larry
ran back in the house to get the
camera, so that i could snap a few
pictures of the gorgeous sunset.

but, i've remembered something.
i love cooking, probably more than a lot
of people i know. i love devoting time
to making crazy things that most people
would rather buy. i love serving food
to my family and my friends.
but - sometimes.

i'm not a cooking robot with one button
always set to cook. i want to be like other
bloggers i read and those on twitter who
cook from friday night to sunday night,
but i'm not. i still have a job that requires
energy, i still have a family that i want to
see, errands that i have to run, pictures
that have to be hung on the walls of the
house that we've lived in for a year and season
finales that i want to watch sometime near
when they originally aired.

these things - these are things i've
struggled with. i've always felt like if
i was truly as passionate about food
as i claim to be, i would want to live
my life in the kitchen, always. but, i'm coming
to understand that there are different
ways to love cooking and ingredients
and technique. and sometimes, that
means embracing the most simple of
recipes and appreciating them for what
they offer, too.
ears of corn
i've let myself buy store-made turkey
sausages, that larry tossed onto the grill
along with ears of corn. and last night,
when i got out of work way later than
i was supposed to, i embraced
the quick sandwiches that i made with
peppadews, shallots, capers, feta,
oil-packed tuna and lemon, instead
of the more elaborate dinner i had planned.
and, that's why i was drawn to this recipe
from the may issue of bon appetit.
it looked so simple, but so lovely.

and, i'll admit, even though i'm a little
embarrassed by it, i was intrigued
by the idea of microwave-poaching
the eggs. i'm not sure why i even considered
it - i'm a good egg poacher.
(lest you take me as insanely sure of myself,
let me explain -
i'm a pretty poor producer of
runny sunnyside up eggs,
eggs over easy,
pretty-looking hard-cooked eggs,
or even, fluffy scrambled eggs.
but, i can poach eggs, and i wave that flag, proudly.)

however, a lot of people struggle
with poaching eggs and i thought,
hey, if this mug in the microwave version works,
maybe it could be poached eggs
for everyone.
scallion vinaigrette
so, i chopped up two scallions, which
i whisked together with lemon juice and the really
exceptional olive oil that we hadn't used since
we bought it on our trip to temecula last year.
grilled scallions
i tossed the rest of the scallions on the grill
and placed slices of a baguette under the broiler.

and, then, i cracked an egg into a mug filled with
1/2 cup water. i microwaved for 1 minute, just like
the recipe said. when it beeped, i checked the egg,
which was clearly still liquidy. i gave it 25 seconds
more and tried to gently pour the egg onto a slotted
spoon, before watching the white, still liquid, start
to slither out. i gave the mixture 25 seconds more.
again, still liquid, but i could see that the yellow
was more than set.

there was egg in the sink.
i had an egg ready to go in another mug
of water. for some reason, the egg shells
were on the counter. the scallions - charred
and on plates - were getting
cold and i was cursing. without thinking,
i turned the grill pan back on, and tossed fresh
eggs over the ridges, watching the whites run,
and continuing to curse. but, then, the whites
set and i gently lifted the bottom to make sure
it wasn't sticking. this "quick" dinner was
actually going to be ok.

i arranged the scallions on two plates.
i smeared a bit of ricotta over the toasted
bread and placed them next to the scallions.
when the eggs were ready, i carefully removed
them from the impractical cooking device and
used them to top the bread. and then i drizzled
both plates with a bit of the vinaigrette.
even, after all the cursing, they looked quite pretty.

pretty enough that i
insisted that we go outside,
so that larry could hold the plate
while i snapped pictures,
ignoring the neighbor's dog
barking up a storm at his
crazy new neighbors
who step outside in the evening
to take pictures of their dinner.

and, while as usual with eggs,
i could take or leave
the surprisingly set whites
surrounding a runny yolk,
i loved the seared scallions and the really simple
vinaigrette. i think that i
would enjoy them even more,
under a thick piece of pan-roasted fish.
but, that?
that would have been too complicated.
scallions, eggs, bread
grilled scallions and and scallion vinaigrette (with a sunny side up egg)
adapted from bon appetit magazine
i think the stars of this recipe are the grilled scallions and the vinaigrette. the eggs were fine, but i think we all know how to make an egg. even though i coped by cooking the eggs on the griddle, feel free to make them in a pan, poach them or, i would think, even scrambled and served over toast would be nice. besides cooking the eggs on the griddle, i made a few changes: i increased the quantity of chopped scallions in the vinaigrette from one to two and used half a lemon, instead of just 1 teaspoon of juice.

also, i chose to toss a few pieces of a baguette under the broil for a couple of minutes (checking on them occasionally), until just golden and firm and then smeared them with fresh ricotta that we had in the fridge. the eggs sat nicely on top - but that's your choice.

2 bunches scallions
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large juicy lemon, juiced
eggs, cooked to your liking (how many? i ate one, larry ate two - your choice)
toasted baguettes slices topped with ricotta cheese (if you like that kind of thing)

using sharp knife, thinly slice 2 scallions; run your knife over the sliced scallions a couple times to chop a bit smaller. place in bowl; whisk in olive oil and lemon juice. season gently with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. set aside.

place remaining scallions on a plate; drizzle with remaining olive oil and toss to coat. season gently with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. heat a grill pan (or skillet) over medium-high heat. place scallions on hot pan and cook 5 minutes, or until tender and slightly charred, flipping occasionally. divide scallions between two plates.

place eggs and bread (if using) on plates, if desired. drizzle with scallion vinaigrette.

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