As I mentioned in Facebook yesterday, I had a friend coming over for lunch. And he is a foodie like me. So, I was in a state, what do I make for lunch??? I always make something I am comfortable at doing, like pasta, but yesterday, I didn’t have the time to make a sauce that he hadn’t tried before. So, what do I do? Well……my go to ingredient is eggs.
Funny thing about eggs. I HATED them as a kid. I am ashamed to say that when my mother made them, every morning for breakfast, fried, I would eat the WHITE, and leave out the YOLK. Yes, I can see you all clucking you tongues and waving your heads in utter disappointment. And, I do the same to the little me. Shame on little me. Eggs are DIVINE. They are rustic, yet supremely sophisticated. They are for breakfast, they are for dinner. Heck, they are almost in every dish we eat, sides, mains, desserts. Eggs are the benchmark of french trained culinary chefs. They measure your worth in how perfectly you prepare an omelette.
Now, I have to say, I love love love love my eggs now. Every which way (except for raw, that is one frontier I have not crossed yet, but who knows). And now I have to say, I SUCK ROYALLY at poaching them. So, I have a nifty trick, which I am sure most of you do too, and that is to wrap them in plastic and then place them in the water.
I usually poach them this way for about 6 minutes in simmering water. But a good simmer, not a wimpy one. But my trick also is to take them out and give them a good jiggle. If you don’t see any snotty white parts, then you’re good to go. Unless you like those parts. And I don’t.
So, yesterday I made that tried and true Bistro Salad, Oeufs avec Lardons et Frisee. Frisee salad with lardons and poached eggs, but I found these wonderful wild asparagus, here they call them “triguero”, they are really thin, almost reed-like. They taste like fresh forest, grassy almost. Delicious. Oh, and I added some fresh tarragon to my egg bundle, because I love tarragon. You can add any herb you like, it’s so amazing because when you cook it this way, it becomes part of the egg, and infuses it with the herbs’ flavor.
So, this is a really simple, but filling meal for lunch or dinner.
You’re going to need:
Frisee Escarole Lettuce
Lardons (Bacon, Pork Jowls, Pancetta etc.)
Asparagus (white, wild, green)
Tarragon (or any other herb that you prefer)
Salt, Pepper and some really good vinegar (like sherry, red wine, champagne)
And some crusty bread. You’re gonna want to sop up the yolk. I do now. (Thanks for the round of applause folks!)
Wash and rinse your Frisee Escarole, and then hand “chop” into bite size pieces and place on your serving plate.
Cook up some lardons, a.k.a, bacon, pork jowl, pancetta, anything you have on hand, and reserve the fat. That is the oil we are going to use. Just cause it’s a salad, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. But it’s tasty!
In the same pan that you fried your “lardons” quickly saute your asparagus.
In a small stock pot, bring some water to a simmer. Get some plastic wrap, and place it into a small bowl, making sure that it is big enough to hold your egg and for you to be able to tie a knot. The plastic wrap should hang over the sides of the bowl. Place a teeny bit of olive oil in the wrap, some of your herbs, some salt and pepper, and then crack your egg into it. Bring up all the corners and tie it into a knot, without any air bubbles. The air bubbles will make your egg float and it won’t cook properly. Put it into the simmering water for about 6 minutes, and then unwrap it.
So, now you can drizzle your lardons and it’s oil over your frisee, add a little salt and pepper and mix it up. Place your egg on top, and then top that with the asparagus. Drizzle a little vinegar on top of everything, crack your egg and whoop for joy.
You have an amazing lunch/dinner/snack/appetizer in front of you!
From my kitchen to yours,