Monday, November 28, 2011

New Skill



It's time to update my resume...

After two years of failed attempts I am happy to announce that I have successfully poached an egg. Gone are the days of searching for poached eggs in restaurants. Now I can just roll out of bed and poach eggs in my very own kitchen. I'm still in shock. Me, poaching eggs, in my own kitchen!

This would not have been possible without some very special direction and advice from an unnamed source. Turns out, there are three important factors in egg poaching: temperature, technique, and tools.

First, the water must be almost simmering. It should be heated to the point where the bubbles just start to rise to the surface.

Second, stir the water in one direction until it's moving fast. Then, carefully, drop the egg in. The yolk must be in the center so that it stays in place, but the whites swirl around it. 

Third, a slotted spoon with a bend in the handle (so it's easy to get under the egg) is the best tool for getting the egg from pot to plate. 

I enjoyed my poached egg on some toast with jack cheese and mushrooms sauteed in butter, parsley and green onion.

Oh, happy day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Love...


I love me some crab cakes.

I love a long holiday weekend.

I love that I have nothing else to do except cook and watch movies today.

I love that I made my own remoulade sauce.

I love that it turned out right.

I love that I decided at the last minute to coat the crab cakes in panko.

I love that they didn't fall apart.

I love that I took the suggestion to put the salad on top.

I love that the baby arugula is dressed lightly with olive oil and lemon.

I love that the plate is so pretty.

I love that I ate all of it in about four minutes flat.

Did I mention I love crab cakes?

Update 11/27: I've gotten several requests for the recipes I used for this post. For the crab cakes I loosely followed this one from Simply Recipes and I used a good quality canned crab that I found at Whole Foods. For the remoulade sauce I used this one. I made up the salad all by myself--  it's just baby arugula with some olive oil and lemon juice. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Best of Both


My world has changed.

Birds are singing, the sun is shining and the mac & cheese is delicious.

It all started with a simple question: Stove top or baked?

I swore off baked macaroni & cheese a long time ago after many years of heavy, dense and brick-like concoctions. Then I discovered a stove top version that I fell in love with because it was easy and the result was creamy and ooey-gooey. Since then I have turned my nose up to baked versions.

And then I got schooled.

Him: "A good mac & cheese is finished in the oven so it can gratin. No exceptions."

Me: "But I don't like baked macaroni and cheese."

Him: "You don't have to bake it. Make your stove top version and add a bread crumb topping, a little more cheese and then stick it under the broiler for a few minutes and let it gratin."

Me: ... silence


Him: "You can have it both ways."

Those words rocked my macaroni & cheese world.

You can have it both ways.


He was right.



Best of Both Mac & Cheese
Serves 2


2 cups cavatappi (or macaroni)
4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
4 ounces white cheddar, grated
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
some chopped parsley
salt
pepper

Boil the pasta. While the pasta is cooking heat a tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Add in the garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Toss in the bread crumbs, a few pinches of parsley and season with some salt and pepper. Set aside.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Toss in the remaining butter and stir until the pasta is coated. Add in the cream and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. If the sauce is thick add a splash of milk.

Fill two 16 ounce ramekins with the pasta. Sprinkle a generous amount of bread topping, along with a bit more cheddar, over the top.  Set them under the broiler for a few minutes until the tops have lightly browned.

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