FOUR BREAKFAST

IMG_4412Many times I’ve heard chefs remark that simple dishes containing four, maybe five, ingredients are often the best. The common thread running through most of these opinions seems to be that it forces one to truly respect the ingredients and maximize natural flavor rather than mask or alter it. Now, a small ingredients list does not always mean fast and easy cooking. On the contrary. Many foods are easily overcooked and require faithful attention while others, slow roasting a chicken rubbed with only olive oil & salt for example, can take a fair amount of time.

Well, Spring is here and with it come more days where I want to bound out of the house to enjoy a sunshiny day rather than spend a leisurely morning making breakfast while avoiding stepping into the cold. As my first official Spring breakfast I chose something simple, containing only four ingredients (I don’t count salt & pepper since for me they are like the water & air of the kitchen, non-negotiably necessary) and fast so I could be out in the sun as quickly as possible.

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IMG_4416Soft Boiled Egg & Asparagus with Dijonnaise 

6-10 Asparagus stalks, washed and trimmed at the ends
1 Egg (or 2 if that’s how you roll)
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon
Salt & Pepper

1. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a boil and add asparagus.
2. Cook asparagus for 3-4 minutes until it is a deeper, bright green (you want it cooked but still crisp, steaming works too if you prefer).
3. Do not drain asparagus, remove with tongs so boiling water remains. Plate & sprinkle with salt.
4. Place egg in boiling water for 4 minutes.
5. While eggs are cooking mix dijon & mayo into dijonnaise (use less dijon if you like it less spicy), plate next to asparagus.
6. Remove egg and immediately place in ice bath (fill a cup with equal amounts ice & water).
7. Peel as soon as you can comfortably handle the egg, plate and add salt & pepper.

Enjoy!♥

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IT’S NO FUNION

 

I cry just looking at an onion.

I cry just looking at an onion.

Cutting onions. It’s so brutal for me that it’s a statement all by itself, no other words necessary. Just think about cooking anything that starts with a diced onion…ugh. I’d love this to be a post on sexy knife skills to dice the perfect onion but truthfully, I’m still pretty crap at this step. No matter how many times my lovely chef fiancé tries to teach me his awesome onion cutting methods (seriously, his knife skills are like foreplay for foodies), I still find myself crying, fumbling and cursing my way through it. I cut, I weep. End of story.

Well, now that we’ve established my complete ineptitude in the onion arena, here’s what I’m proposing: I’ll tell you the tricks I’ve tried (none of which actually prevent me from looking like I just re-watched Titanic) and you tell me yours. That’s right, I’m proposing we play the onion chopping equivalent of grade school “doctor.” I’ll go first:

1) Place the onion in the freezer for 10 minutes or the fridge for an hour before cutting.

2) Burn a candle near your cutting board while you work.

3) Learn to cut faster to avoid exposure time.

4) Make someone else cut the onions.

image2To justify the existence of this post, here are a couple of cooking tips: Use a very sharp knife, the cleaner the cut the less tear-inducing juices will be released. When frying them, start your onions in room temperature oil rather than heating the oil first. If salting, add salt from the very beginning, don’t wait until the end. Okay, I’m not convinced starting them in room temperature oil changes anything. Your turn.♥

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