Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poached Eggs with Greens and Garlic on Toast

Lovely poached egg with arugula and beet greens on toasted french bread

Today I received a fantastic loaf of bread in my grocery delivery box - the most lovely loaf of French bread I have ever laid my eyes upon. Before I even put the rest of the groceries away, I cut off a slice from the end - perfection! Very moist, tender, and fine crumb, lovely yeasty smell and flavor, thin but crisp shell. An excellent bread from Boulangerie Nantaise, in Seattle. I hadn't planned on using the bread that day, but it seemed a shame not to eat it fresh, so I rummaged around the fridge to see what I could find.

Fresh eggs, some arugula needing to be used up, some beet greens, with beets to be used at a later date, and a fresh head of garlic. A lovely dinner was created - toasted and lightly buttered bread, layered with slightly bitter, savory, and garlicky greens made lively with a dash of sherry vinegar, topped with a poached egg. A delicious light supper, the egg yolk running into the greens, making a sauce; the greens softening the toasted bread just a bit. Yum.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Simple Side - Carrots with Tarragon

A magic pairing - tarragon and carrots

Tarragon is an herb that's pretty unfamiliar to me. I grew up eating my grandmother's Hungarian food, and in her desire to blend into American culture, a lot of simple American food - chicken breasts with rosemary and lemon, mashed potatoes, that sort of thing. Living in Southern California, then moving up to the Seattle area, I've been exposed to a lot of Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Chinese food. Cumin, coriander, garam masala, galangal, lemongrass, szechuan peppercorns are pantry staples. I buy fresh cilantro on a weekly basis. But in my kitchen and food vocabulary, tarragon is exotic - not something I grew up with, or ate with any kind of regularity. As you can probably imagine, I haven't eaten or cooked a lot of French food (something I am working on at the moment).

So while this recipe is really simple, these carrots were a revelation for me. I can't even begin to describe how well the tarragon compliments the carrots, other than they seemed made for each other - and of course, a little butter and salt always helps. But what an elegant side to a simple meal - this would go so well with an herb roasted chicken. As pictured, I made it with braised chicken with leeks and porcini, and green herb mashed potatoes, also from The Herbfarm Cookbook. It was a truly lovely meal, but the carrots were my favorite.