Yes, I have been M.I.A. If you were to look for me, it would have been rather easy to spot me. I have been the one holed up in my home office either typing twenty-six essays for my daughter’s humongous History project or as I fondly refer to it…the “F’in History project”, OR I was shouting random AP US History questions at my son from a box of cards which I affectionately like to refer to as the “F’in box of cards”. FYI, I don’t actually use the bad, bad word…I’m not sure my acronym is any better but it seems better to me.
Hopefully, you are sensing both my great devotion to my kids’ education and simultaneously my hatred of my great devotion to my kids’ education. It’s definitely a love hate type of relationship (not with my kids, with my time spent on my kids’ school work…hopefully you got that).
I am so late in posting that I have been to the LA Bloggers’ Bake Sale and back. It was a blast and I got to meet the famous Caroline of Sweet Caroline’s Cooking. She is even more fun, beautiful and charming in person than she is on screen.
We raised lots of money for Share Our Strength thanks to our fearless leader, Chung-ah of Damn Delicious, gabbed with fellow bloggers, Gerry of Foodness Gracious and Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen, and ate at the locally known BLD restaurant where they are more than famous for their Blueberry Ricotta pancakes. We actually had the warm lentil salad with poached eggs and bacon lardons. It was scrape-my-plate-with-my-fork delicious and totally memorable. And all the while, we basked in the warm, California Sunshine and got to dine with a couple of other LA bloggers. So fun!
I had been craving the crazy delicious lentils (yes that is a thing and no not an oxymoron) and have decided to replicate them along with the poached egg because the runny yolk was the perfect pairing with the earthy lentils. This has become my breakfast of choice for the last two weeks. I have also perfected the whole poached egg thing which I had previously been an epic failure at. Follow along in the recipe below, and I’ll take you through that if you want THE WAY to poach an egg. Thank you Alton Brown. His way is honestly full proof, quick and easy.
Thanks for sticking with me these last few weeks of being MIA…I know I have many of your posts to catch up on and read…even if it’s when school ends and summer is finally here and I can officially and more appropriately eliminate “F’in” from my vernacular (my daughter would appreciate that greatly).
Warm Lentils with Poached Egg
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 6 side servings (about 1/2 c. per serving)
1 c. of petite green lentils, rinsed
2 c. water
1 – 2 c. vegetable stock or chicken stock, low sodium
1 small yellow onion, peeled
5 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 (2-inch) lemon rind strip
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
To make the lentils: Peel the yellow onion and push your whole cloves into the onion so the onion is studded with cloves. Put the onion into a medium-sized pot. Peel about two inches of rind off the lemon so it’s ready.
Rinse your lentils through a strainer and add your lentils to the pot, making sure they don’t sit on top of the onion. Next, add enough water to just barely cover the lentils. Pour in your vegetable or chicken stock so that there is two inches of liquid above the lentils. Add your lemon peel and two bay leaves. Turn the burner on high or medium-high depending on your stove and bring to a gentle boil. Stir every now and then. Once it is boiling, cover and turn down to low or medium-low and allow it so gently simmer (don’t stir while its covered). Cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Give it a taste and decide whether you prefer them softer…if so cook another five minutes.
While your lentils are cooking, chop your red onion and garlic. About five minutes before your lentils are done cooking, pour about a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a medium-large sized saute pan. Saute your onions on a medium heat until they soften. Add the garlic and the ginger through the red pepper, lowering the heat so as not to burn the garlic. Burnt garlic is very bitter. Stir together and saute for a couple of minutes on medium. Drain your lentils through a colander and put the lentils back in the pot along with your sauteed onion and pan ingredients. Keep the large onion studded with cloves out and make sure you still have 6 cloves stuck into it. If not, find and remove freed cloves. Please make sure to remove your bay leaves as well. Those are very choke-able once cooked!
Stir the mixture together and add the lemon juice, cilantro and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. I ended up using more salt than the recipe called for. Taste and salt and pepper to your liking. If you want it amped up even a bit more, add more cumin and turmeric and a little extra red pepper.
How to Poach an Egg easy peasy Alton style.
You will need: FRESH eggs, water, 1-2 T. of white wine vinegar (I used champagne…it was perfection) and preferably a nonstick skillet with lid.
Here is the trick…USE a medium or large skillet instead of a pot. This is where I always started out all wrong. Fill the pan with water and add 1-2 T. of good wine vinegar (adds flavor), just an inch from the top of the pan. Gently, crack a very fresh egg into a small cup or or dish. The fresher the egg, the more the white will stay together.
Heat your pan over high and bring to a simmer, not a rolling boil. A boil is more likely to break your egg when you put it in. Turn the pan down just a bit and carefully tip your cup over the water (low…close to the water) and let it slide into the pan. Cover your pan and turn off the burner.
Cook for four minutes if you want your egg like the one in the photos above…runny with just barely firm white.