Kind of like Shakshouka

So basically this is some eggs poached in a bunch of cooked tomatoes with lots of tasty spice. A bit like huevos rancheros and the like, Rachel spotted this recipe in Sunset and thought it would be a tasty way to use up lots of our tomatoes. This from the lady who doesn’t really like tomatoes, except cooked sometimes, so we gave it a shot. She was right and it was super delicious – it begins with a paste of cumin and coriander seeds, lots of paprika, then salt and garlic. Along with some peppers and several tomatoes and thats pretty much it. We made this a lot when we got a build up of tomatoes from the garden and so never got around to canning any whole tomatoes or sauce which is a shame, but oh well. It was also fun to cook over a fire, though of course heat is a little trickier to control and poaching the eggs in the sauce is a bit tricky already as the bottom seems to cook up pretty fast while the tops don’t get too much heat, even covered. Maybe an attempt to flip the yolks would have helped, because generally they went from way undercooked to overcooked in seconds. Still tasty though.


Ravioli with Poached Egg

I think my first  Ravioli with an egg was at Table Bistro down on 28th and Couch-ish here in Portland. It was definitely a neighborhood favorite when Rachel and I lived on 28th. Rachel ordered the ravioli every time we went and finally convinced me to give it a try, though I wasn’t a big fan of runny yolks at that point in my life. The ravioli may have converted me because it is just such a beautiful thing to poke into the noodle and have the egg gently ooze out with the ricotta and chard filling. We’ve also had a super rich and delicious version at Spring Hill up in West Seattle made with a quail egg. Cute.  I followed a recipe from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen, also of Seattle.

Essentially just mix a tasty ricotta with some crushed garlic (if you like that sort of thing) and a bit of salt to taste with some blanched chard or whatever tasty green looks delicious at the time. I made some egg pasta, recommended in the book, recipes for pasta are everywhere I reckon. A rolling pasta machine is even surprisingly easy to use – especially compared to the KitchenAid mixer attachment I have used in the past. You can also roll the dough out several times by hand until flat enough if you don’t have a pasta machine.

Lay the pasta out in sheets and pile on the ricotta mixture. Flatten out a divot with a spoon and drop in an egg yolk. I have since seen a recipe that calls for covering the top of the egg with more ricotta, which might help more evenly cook the egg and give it a chance to set a wee bit more without overdoing the pasta. Then cover the top with another strip of the pasta after wetting where the edges will be and seal each ravioli around the ricotta and egg. Cut into the individual pieces and cook for just a few minutes (maybe 3-5).

Also lovely – zucchini blossoms!

Tuna Nicoise Salad

I’m not sure the official rules for a Nicoise salad (perhaps only a salad in Nice can qualify). I can’t even keep track of whether I’m capitalizing the titles in these posts are not. Anyhow, this was a recent evening’s version, with some tasty sashimi grade albacore from the Flying Fish Co, a beautifully golden heirloom tomato, green beans, small white potatoes and a hard-cooked egg. Its a bit of a shame that I didn’t pick up some Nicoise olives. Also, I think we were in a hurry to eat and so tossed together an oily dressing, but a nice anchovy spiced creamy dressing was almost certainly the right answer.



Frittata with Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Peas and Sweet Potatoes

A frittata is a great standby for the day of our CSA delivery when we get a load of veggies and begin thinking about how we will use them all while they are still so delicious. I pretty much start worrying about spoilage as soon as I put stuff in the fridge. I should get over that.

I wouldn’t have thought of using peas in a frittata, but we had so many between the garden and getting some in the CSA too, and its a good thing because they were delicious just tossed in near the end of cooking the frittata. I grabbed the sweet potatoes, which is odd this time of year, I admit, but I thought they would be tasty in here, and they were okay, but a bit too sweet, I usually prefer red potatoes for something like this. I think I tossed in some sweet basil too, which perhaps kicked the sweetness up too much.

Anyhow, this style of frittata is super easy to make. You pretty much throw in any vegetables you want in some oil, or butter if you want something a little richer, and saute until everything is just getting tender. In this case I tossed the chard in near the end along with the peas. Then beat together several eggs – fewer than you might think – I think I used six for this large pan and pour them in. Let it sit for a few minutes, without stirring, and when you begin to see some cooked edges, put the whole pan under the broiler for another few minutes until the top is nicely browned. Sometimes I toss a bit o’ parmesan atop too. Thats all. Then eat it.

Oh yeah, you might also blanch the chard if you prefer the greens more cooked, I thought they might add a nice bit of crunch for a frittata. To blanche them toss them in boiling water for a minute or two, then put into ice water after. Squeeze out the water and chop up finely, then you can saute them along with the potatoes or onions or whatever.

Devilled Eggs are Cool, Right?

We had some awesome smoked trout devilled eggs a little while ago at Beaker & Flask and were reminded how delicious these little fellas (almost said devils) can be. While we didn’t have any fresh smoked trout, there are a ton of tasty things one can throw in a devilled egg. We used a bit of greek yogurt, mustard, green garlic (reckon now that chives would have been better) and of course, paprika. I was tempted to throw in some capers, but they are a bit overpowering and Rachel doesn’t like them taking over a dish. That said, fried in oil for about five minutes takes the harshness out of capers and leaves them crispy and delicious. Maybe next time I’ll fry up a few to toss on top if nothing else.

Arugula and Toast

Arugula and toast.  Its so simple, yet delicious, and feels like you’ve made yourself a fancy breakfast, when really you just  poached an egg while waiting for some toast.

Today we had this for lunch after harvesting some arugula from the garden. It was so beautiful out today, so we enjoyed this on the porch where Addie and Rachel had been busy painting in the morning.  Addie enjoys hers all cut up and absolutely loves poached eggs. Sometimes that’s all she eats of this dish, often requesting more ‘yellow part.’

I usually poach the eggs in water, just below the boil, for about four minutes. This usually comes out a bit gooey to runny, which is the way we like it. Often I turn off the water at about four minutes, but let them sit another minute or so until they bob up a little bit and they are more on the gooey side – so lovely! I don’t use vinegar or salt in the water when I poach, but just set them in the water on a large perforated spoon, trying to fold the whites over the yolk if they start to dissipate too much. The same perforated spoon is perfect for lifting them back out and setting them on buttered toast with a bed of arugula. We like to top with fresh grated parmesan and some pepper.