Month: June 2012

38 Power Foods, Week 3 — Avocado– Chicken-Guacamole Salad

38 Power Foods, Week 3 — Avocado– Chicken-Guacamole Salad

                                                                     Chicken-Guacamole Salad with a Big Squeeze of Fresh Lime… 

If you live in the part of world where it’s summer, this is your dinner.  Because it’s just too hot to cook nearly anything.  Grill up a few chicken breasts at a time and you’ll have plenty for this meal and tomorrow’s, too.  (Chicken tacos?  Chicken salad sandwiches?)  This guacamole couldn’t be better or easier:  chop up a simple pico de gallo and stir it into avocados.  Some cut-up or sliced chicken, greens, some lime?  You’re already eating.   Buy your avocados a couple of days ahead and let them ripen on the counter or in a paper bag if your grocery doesn’t carry ripe avocados.   Try this:


  
chicken-guacamole salad                             3-4 servings

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped roughly, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh green pepper, chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup red sweet pepper, chopped in 1/2 ” pieces
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minus seeds and veins, very finely minced (for more heat, use the whole pepper)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 2 ripe avocados,  peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cooked rice seasoned with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Lime, cut in half  (Cut one of the halves into slices)
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar grated

Mix cilantro through tomatoes in a large bowl, reserving 2 T cilantro.  Stir in avocados.   Mix the reserved 2 T cilantro into the cooked rice and add the rice to the guacamole salad. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Squeeze half of the lime over the salad. Add chopped chicken breasts and spinach and stir gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve mounded, with a piece of lime on each plate to use at table.

Cook’s Notes: Don’t even have the energy to chop, stir, or cook?  Buy a roasted deli chicken and pre-made guac for an even easier meal.  Many shops now sell freshly-made pico de gallo or salsa.  The packages of microwave rice would work well for this dinner and would cut both time and kitchen heat.

Wine?  Not.  It’s time for a margarita or a beer.  (Ok,  Sangria,  Riesling or an Oregon Pinot Blanc if you have to have wine.) 

Dessert?  Lemon sorbet. 

about avocados from the California avocado commission

                                                                                                                                                                                         courtesy ca avocado commission

Calories, yes.  Cholesterol, no.

Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.

Avocados and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but a healthy diet and exercise plan may help reduce your risk of developing the life-threatening illness.
The American Heart Association (AHA) Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that has at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, contains up to 30% of calories from fats (primarily unsaturated) and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium while being rich in potassium. Avocados can help you meet the AHA dietary guidelines because they have both monosaturated and polyunsaturated fat and contain potassium.

 

  Want more avocado recipes?

If you liked this, you might like other avocado recipes like  Shrimp Cobb from More Time at the Table

or

Pico de Gallo Halibut on Warm Rice Salad with Bacon Pintos from More Time at the Table

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Every Friday for the foreseeable future, I’ll be blogging one of the 38 healthiest ingredients from POWER FOODS : 150 DELICIOUS RECIPES WITH THE 38 HEALTHIEST INGREDIENTS by the editors of Whole Living Magazine. 

38 Power Foods is a group effort!   Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available:

Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
.
As we go along, I’m guessing we’ll get some other writers involved.  If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com

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two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood
  first three taken with my iphone

Sweet Peas next door in front yard
My hydrangeas from the west garden
South garden hostas in bloom

 

All the toys are mine, you see.  Right?

 

Sing a new song,
Alyce

38 Power Foods, Week 2 — Asparagus — Asparagus Soup

38 Power Foods, Week 2 — Asparagus — Asparagus Soup

Alyce’s Asparagus Soup a la Silver Palate

Every Friday for the foreseeable future, I’ll be blogging one of the 38 healthiest ingredients from POWER FOODS : 150 DELICIOUS RECIPES WITH THE 38 HEALTHIEST INGREDIENTS by the editors of Whole Living Magazine. 

38 Power Foods is a group effort!   Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available: 

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
.
As we go along, I’m guessing we’ll get some other writers involved.  If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
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Read me regularly and you know asparagus is just about my favorite vegetable.  Maybe zucchini is first; I don’t know.  But I cook asparagus at the drop of a hat.  In lots of ways.  Here’s one of my favorite recipes, worth buying some gorgeous tiny bowls for (think antique store) so you can make this as a first-course.  I first made Asparagus Soup as a starter for the lunch celebrating my daughter’s baptism, and have been making it ever since.

alyce’s asparagus soup a la silver palate
   4 main course servings         6-8 first course servings

  • 1 1/2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2T butter or olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 6T fresh tarragon (or 2t dry), divided
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2# asparagus, trimmed well and chopped
  • 1 1/2-2 quarts chicken broth, unsalted*
  •  3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
  • 4-6 drops hot sauce (I like Tabasco.)
  • 1/4 c low-fat sour cream*
  • Lemon rind
In  6qt stockpot, heat butter or oil over medium-low and add chopped onions and shallot. Saute about 10 minutes until softened; add garlic.  Cook another 5 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.  Add salt, pepper, tarragon, parsley, and asparagus.  Let flavors marry by cooking a minute or two, stirring and smelling as you go.  Oh, tarragon.
Pour in 1 1/2 qts chicken stock and add the carrots and celery.  Add the Tabasco carefully.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 40 minutes or so until all the vegetables are very tender indeed.  As it cooks, add more broth if it seems too thick.   Taste and adjust seasonings. 
 Carefully puree in batches in blender (hold down top with a big towel) or in the food processor.   You can use an immersion blender if you have one, of course.
Pour back into pan and serve hot or let cool and chill to serve cold.  Top with a spoonful of sour cream, a sprinkle of tarragon, and a grate or two of fresh lemon rind.
*For a vegan version, use vegetable broth and leave out sour cream
If you live in St. Paul, my tarragon is right off my back porch in a whiskey barrel; you’re welcome to pick some.
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about asparagus   
                                                                                                             A. Morgan
  Asparagus is the leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folacin which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. Folacin has been shown to play a significant role in the prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, that cause paralysis and death in 2,500 babies each year.

Its wealth of nutrients, fiber and very low sodium and calorie content make asparagus a nutritionally wise choice for today’s health-conscious consumer.

Asparagus is:

  • Low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 oz. serving, less than 4 calories per spear.
  • Contains no fat or cholesterol.
  • Very low in sodium.
  • A good source of potassium.(1)
  • A source of fiber (3 grams per 5.3 oz. serving). (2)
  • An excellent source of folacin. (3)
  • A significant source of thiamin. (4)
  • A significant source of vitamin B6. (4)
  • One of the richest sources of rutin, a compound which strengthens capillary walls.
  • Contains glutathione (GSH). (5)  
  • nutrition info:  courtesy asparagus.org
other new projects – phew!
Here’s my fast Clam Chowder.  Should it go in the new book???
I’m SO excited:  I’m just starting to write a small cookbook called 30 Soups in 30 Minutes, and would enjoy some ideas you might have about what soups you’d like to know how to make quickly–or which soups from either blog you particularly like.   There’ll also be some simple accompaniments for the soups, wine pairings, and a few tiny (read instant) desserts.  It looks like I’ll be publishing through amazon on Create Space and then on to  Kindle.  Thoughts?  Anyone done this before?  I have July and August to work hard on it; I’m not directing a choir and only have some lessons and a seminar to teach.  If you’d like to test any soup recipes, let me know; I need testers.  The first recipe, Broccoli Soup with Toasted Brie, is ready for testing.   Someone once wanted to do wine pairings for this book.  Still up for it?!   I’m so grateful to each of you for your support over the last three years (or more) and can’t wait to show you the book!  Now that I’ve put it out on the blog, I’m gonna have to come through, eh?  Sounding real.
Sing a new song; cook a new soup,
Alyce
Grilled Chicken with Couscous Greek Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken with Couscous Greek Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette

Dedicated to Gus and Irene Matthews

Hello!  I missed you.  (Actually, I didn’t; I had no time to miss anything.)  But I’m happy to be back.  Thanks for being here.

Back from vacation and hot, hot, hot. HOT!  I know it’s hotter out east, and the temperature has been going down this afternoon as a storm approaches, but I sort of miss Canada.  Recipe way below if you’re interested…

I really miss being waited on.  Having my coffee delivered every morning.  Having no laundry (til I got home).  Being with Dave all the time without anything to distract us from one another. (Ah, gee.)
Making new friends I wish I were with this minute.

She could find a French cafe anywhere.
Did you know they make wine in Quebec?  I liked the dessert wines best and brought some home.
Dave’s favorite pose.
Coast of Cape Breton

Somewhere off the coast of Canada!
Me and my castle.

I guess I digressed, but we did wine and dine for nine days….  My favorite city (and we went on a ship from Montreal – Boston, visiting Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Sydney, Halifax, and Bar Harbor in between) was Montreal; I’m dying to go back.  Our best meal was at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston.  Many thanks to Lydia Walshin of Perfect Pantry fame, who recommended it as her favorite go-to.)  Balanced, accessible wine list. House-made pâté with crispy, crusty, chewy baguette.   Small, but perfect entree list; I chose “Lamb Three Ways.”  I now know there is a God.   Dave had roast chicken the likes of which I pray to taste again in my lifetime.  (I thought I made great roast chicken with pan juices.)  Kind, but refined service.  No snooty guys in long aprons rolling their eyes; these folks were genuine food-lovers who knew their restaurant and wanted to make sure you knew it, too.

Just go.

Did you come for a recipe?  Ah, grilled chicken and Greek salad!  About it:  I’ve made similar salads, but not quite exactly like this.  There’s one on the blog, but I thought the idea worth repeating as we love this come hot weather.  Grill up some chicken tenders or boneless breasts very quickly (Who even wants to stand in front of the grill?) while your partner makes a fast chopped Greek salad mixed with a bit of couscous.   If it’s just you doing all the cooking, make the vinaigrette and couscous first, next the mixed vegetables, then the chicken, and last, toss the salad.   Arrange it all on a big, beautiful platter (buy one–check out Good Will) and dinner is served.  It was so hot last night that we ate inside.

grilled chicken tenders with couscous greek salad   serves 4
             ingredients list below

1. Make a vinaigrette first: Whisk well together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3/4 t Dijon-style mustard, a good pinch of salt, pepper, dried oregano and crushed red pepper.  Drizzle in slowly 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk until well-combined or thickened (emulsified.)   Set aside.

2. Make the couscous (see below) Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, chop 1/2 an English cucumber, 2 medium tomatoes, 1/2 green pepper (optional), 1/2 cup (1/4 #) feta cheese, 1/2 a small red onion (about 1/4 cup), and a 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley.  Add 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives.  Mix together gently with 1 tsp dried oregano, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and 1T red wine vinegar.  Set aside.

4.  Grill until just done (about 2 minutes on each side) 1 lb. of chicken tenders or boneless chicken breasts brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Place at center of serving platter.  Cover and let rest 2-4 minutes.

5.  When chicken is resting,  add 4 cups mixed greens and the 1 – 1 1/2 cups couscous to the vegetables and toss together.  Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Uncover the chicken and  spoon the salad onto the serving platter around the chicken tenders.  Drizzle a bit more vinaigrette over the chicken and serve hot or at room temperature.

ingredients list: 

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing on chicken
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 t dried oregano, divided
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/4# feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1T red wine vinegar
  • 1# boneless chicken tenders
  • 1 – 1/12 cups cooked couscous*
  • 4 cups mixed fresh salad greens

*Buy a box of couscous with garlic.  Don’t follow the package directions.  Saute 2T minced onion and 1 clove minced garlic with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper until softened–a couple of minutes.   Add the required 1 1/4 cup water and seasoning packet and bring to a boil. Add dried couscous, cover, and remove from heat.  Let sit until you need it, then fluff with a fork.  Use the rest for lunches.

We drank a brilliant Oregon white with this:  Tony Soter‘s North Valley “Hyland White,” 2008–made from Riesling and Traminer vines.  I don’t know if they’re still making this wine.  At a quick glance, I didn’t see it on their website, but you should always call the vineyard to see what’s available.  If they only have a couple of cases or a few bottles, it won’t show on the site.  The winery, in 2008, made only 70 cases of this wine.

Here’s our wine group tasting at Soter a couple of years ago.

two-dog kitchen

The kids had Newman for supper last night.  They’ve been apart for so long!

Sing a new song,
Alyce

all photos and text copyright Alyce Morgan, 2012. no use without permission.  just ask.

The Blog is on Vacation, but Make This 10-minute Salmon Supper

The Blog is on Vacation, but Make This 10-minute Salmon Supper

Out of sight, out of mind.

The blog is on vacation.
So are the the puppies.
Dave, too.

But until we all return, why don’t you make a 10-minute Salmon Supper I made for myself last night? I made enough for two meals, so I didn’t have to cook tonight.  There are still enough green beans for my lunch tomorrow.


I write two very fun food blogs and I rarely blog the same recipe on both; today I am.  On Dinner Place, I’ve been occasionally experimenting with recipes that are more photos than text.  See what you think.

grilled salmon with  balsamic-honey sauce and green beans vinaigrette serves 2-3

Here’s how:

Cook oiled and salt + peppered salmon (2-8oz portions Copper River Salmon here), skin-side up, over medium-high heat on a grill or skillet for 4 minutes.  Turn and cook until firm, but still moist– another 2-4 minutes  for 3/4″ thick fish.    Remove and let rest 2 minutes.  Thicker or larger fish will take a bit longer.

Meanwhile, cook clipped package of haricots verts in microwave @ full power 2-3 minutes.
 Make vinaigrette for beans:  Whisk together in a medium bowl 1T white wine vinegar with 1/4 t each salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, Dijon-style mustard.  Then whisk in 2T olive oil, 1 T at a time until thickened or emulsified.
Pour the beans carefully (HOT) into bowl and toss w/ vinaigrette.  Grate a bit of lemon zest on top.   Taste and re-season if necessary.

Make the sauce for the fish like this:  In a small bowl, mix well together 2T balsamic vinegar and 2t honey with a good pinch of black pepper.  Another sauce I like is fig jam mixed with balsamic vinegar– about 2T jam to 1T balsamic, with some crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt.

To serve:  Place a piece of cooked fish on each plate and drizzle with the sauce. Add the green beans and serve hot.

Wrap well the second piece of fish (if not using) and store in frig; keeps one day.  Store beans in the bowl, covered, and refrigerated.  Use within 2-3 days.

 Wine? I typically like Oregon Pinot Noir with salmon, but this prep calls for a bit bigger wine, so go with an Australian Shiraz or a California Cab.

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Tucker loves to watch the neighbors come to and from The Wine Thief and The Ale Jail.  Gabby is more into, “Where’s the ball or what’s Mom doing?”

Below:  my south garden.  Summer in St. Paul!

yellow roses

columbines like it here

my favorite color rose

When I come back, I’ll be ready to get into the next group-blogging adventure:

Can’t wait to cook for you, but meantime read this article on summer cookbooks….

Sing a new song,
Alyce

Warm Two-Potato Salad with Mustard-Tarragon Vinaigrette

Warm Two-Potato Salad with Mustard-Tarragon Vinaigrette

Necessity is the mother of invention.
As is a determination to use what’s available in the larder.
Tonight, I had probably half a pound roasted pork loin and a nice dish of my favorite barbeque sauce leftover from a birthday dinner for my friend, Lani.    I had, however, eaten the side that went with it for lunch.  Of course I knew what I was doing, but I love toasted Israeli couscous with vegetables.

If this were in your fridge, you’d heat it up for lunch, too.  Along with a nice big shard of parm Lani brought over Friday night as a “coming to dinner” gift.  Yow.

Anyway, when it came time for dinner tonight (and we are eating outside every night now), it was kind of, “Well, I know what half of it is.”  The rest I had to throw my eyes around the kitchen for.  Bad grammar, too.  I spy:

  • sweet potatoes
  • Idaho potatoes
  • shallots
  • fresh tarragon (out the back door)
  • red bell pepper (in the frig)
  • broccoli

And what to with it?  My first idea was to grill the potatoes and make a salad, but I didn’t want to heat the stove long enough for my big cast iron grill.  It was warm.   Dave was busy upstairs; I decided to not have him pull out the big Weber grill outdoors for me.   My 14″ saute pan was on the stove clean from yesterday’s frittata.  A little olive oil, a little chop, and the salad began. Here’s how:

warm two-potato salad with mustard-tarragon vinaigrette                4 servings for a side  (2 for a main course)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon each  fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper
 
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil, salt and peppers over medium heat.  Add:
  • 1 each:  large Idaho and sweet potato, medium diced (peel sweet potato only) 
 
Cook, stirring often, until softened but not tender.  Add: 
  • 1 small head of broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets  (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, small dice
Cook, stirring often, until broccoli is a bit browned (not done) and potatoes are tender.  Add:
 
  • 1 shallot (slice half for salad; mince the other half for vinaigrette)
Cook another two minutes or so until shallot is softened.   Spoon into a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette (recipe below).   Top with

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated aged Gouda cheese or Parmesan cheese

 Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

vinaigrette:

Whisk together:  
  • 1/2 large shallot, minced (see above-you’ll use other half with potatoes) 
  • 2T white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1T minced fresh tarragon (or 1 t dried)
  • pinch salt and pepper
Drizzle in, whisking, until well combined or emulsified:
 
  • 4T olive oil 

Done!


Done just in time to see an episode of Downton Abbey.  (I got Season 2 for Mother’s Day.)
And talk to my daughter for a while.  I miss her so; she’s out doing her pastor thing in Niagra Falls.  Thanks, God.

on the dinnerplace blog right now: 

Cranberry-Blueberry Orange Muffins

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Miss Gab waiting for me to be done cooking.
On a walk around Lake Como–heard music.  Looked up to see a wedding in process. Stopped yelling at dogs immediately!
Another Lake Como View–Can’t see, but a turtle family sunning on rocks.
If you liked today’s post, you might like this– French Potato Salad with Vegetables
Sing a new song,

Alyce

50 Women Game-Changers in Food – #50 – Julie Powell – Poached Eggs

50 Women Game-Changers in Food – #50 – Julie Powell – Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs:  They’re not just for breakfast anymore.   Alyce’s  Poached Egg Chef’s Salad

If you saw the movie “Julie and Julia,” you’ll know Julie Powell didn’t like eggs.  While working her way through Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume I in one year, Julie one day had to wake up and smell the eggs.  Yuck.  Something she never cooked.  But eggs were on the list and eggs are what she finally did fix.  And liked.  Who knew?

To begin with, Julie was a young married woman in NYC with a job that was stressful.   She needed more.  She loved to cook.  What else to do but to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes from The Art of French Cooking in a year and blog about it?  The original blog (2002-3?) is still online if you’d like to peruse it; blogs have changed immeasurably since then.  I actually did read it once upon a time…  If you’d like to read quite a bit of it all at once, you can still order the book, Julie & Julia .  As you more than likely are aware, the book became a very popular movie of the same name (2009) that taught everyone I know about  food bloggers.  I no longer ever have to explain what I do with my free (insert eye roll) time; people just say, “Oh, like Julie in Julie and Julia.”  I just nod my head, “Yes.”  What more can I say? She did change our world.  No doubt at all.  I don’t know how many food bloggers there were in 2005 versus 2012, but a current figure  (wrong/right?)  is over 11,000 in the United States alone.  Smile.

As far as poached eggs go, I’m a fan.  I often blog them:

Egg Salad #2

Alyce’s Asparagus-Mushroom Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Poached Egg #3
Poached Eggs on Grilled Cheese Tomatoes–one of my favorite breakfasts
After the cut.

Don’t know how to poach eggs or are scared?  Ah, gwahhn.  Heat up some water and let those eggs slip naked into the hot tub.   There are ways to make them more perfect, but here’s the easy lesson I posted in my Dinner Place blog, which is all about cooking for one person: 


Alyce’s Method for Poaching Eggs:

1. In a deeper small skillet or saucepan, heat 3″ water to boiling.  Turn down the heat to simmer and add a small splash of white vinegar (1 tsp) if you have any.  You don’t want a big boil here, the whites will fly all through the water.

2.  Crack one egg into a ramekin or tea cup and tip the egg slowly and gently into the water, holding the cup in place for a couple of seconds as the egg begins to set.  Repeat with second egg a certain distance away so that the whites, if possible, aren’t touching.  Either let simmer for 3 minutes or so (occasionally spooning hot water over yolk if you like)  or, alternately, turn heat off and cover tightly for 3-5 minutes, depending on how set you like your eggs.  3 for runny yolks, 5 for firm.  Approximately.

Not perfect, but perfectly edible.  Just add salsa.
I like my eggs “eye ball” set (haven’t drawn hot water over tops) and quite runny — often for salad dressing or part of anyway.   Most people want the yolk completely masked–above.

3.  Remove each egg from its bath using a slotted spoon or spatula and tap the spatula gently on a towel or paper towel to remove excess water before sliding the egg onto the plate.

4.  Season well with salt and pepper.   Eat immediately.

A couple of tips:  Room temperature eggs crack more easily than cold eggs; you have less chance of shell fragments.  Also:  crack  your eggs on a flat surface, not on the edge of the pan.  You can also buy egg poachers (metal cups with long handles on legs) or silicone poachers for the microwave.  I’ve never tried either gizmo, so let me know if you like them.

Here’s my equipment:

 
And, of course, tasty eggs–all sizes!

We can raise chickens right in the city here in St. Paul.  These are from Cathy Velasquez-Eberhart and her ladies.

Here’s my copy–a first edition even.

Julia’s Method

 Notice that Julia Child was always “Julia Child” until the movie came out.  Now she’s just Julia.  Kind of like Just Joan. (“Jewel of the Nile” l985–Kathleen Turner)  Well, maybe not!

Just for grins, I’m going to look up Julia’s instructions. Hold on.  Whoa.  This is all coming back to me.  If you’ve the book (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I), it’s on pages 116-117.  Yes, it’s two pages of instructions that you’re welcome to.  I make my instructions short and simple; you’ll learn technique and improve your eggs over time IF you’re a beginning cook or even an accomplished cook who hasn’t made poached eggs.  Not that my technique is better (cough cough), but while I’m wordy, I’m not quite as wordy as Julia—usually. 

One biggy is that even Julia admits you might want to make a 6 minute (boiled) egg instead of poached.  (Not likely for me.)  She also wants you to use fresh eggs, which are worth hunting for.  Check out your Farmer’s Market if you can’t find eggs any other way.  You can then set up a schedule to buy eggs from that person throughout the year.  I trade things for my eggs–things like baked cookies, granola, homemade ice cream sauces, etc.  You could try trading a service even.  Often, however, the eggs are no more expensive than quality eggs from the store.

One thing Julia writes is that if you need to keep the eggs for any length of time, place the cooked eggs in ice water.  You can store them in the frig like that.  Later, to heat them, slide them into salted hot water for 30 seconds. This is perfect if you’d like to have some friends for Sunday brunch.  You fix your poached eggs on Saturday, and do the hollandaise and English muffins (oven) on Sunday.
Or what if you’d like to do a few eggs for yourself for weekday breakfasts?  Do them Sunday afternoon and eat them Monday-Tuesday.

A Couple of Thoughts About Eggs 

We eat a lot of eggs and while they have a bad rap for cholesterol, so far we have no problems as we ease on toward 59.  I encourage young or new cooks to make eggs.  They are easy, fast, accessible, and inexpensive protein.   They store well.  They travel beautifully (if boiled.)  You can do all kinds of things with them!  In two minutes flat, you have an omelet and you can put nearly anything in the frig or pantry into it.  In twenty, you’ve cooked a dozen, boiling, and you  have lunches for work done.  Go eggs.

Want more about Julie Powell?

Watch a great video of Jacques Pepin and Julia Child poaching eggs together.  Julia uses the metal egg poacher with the long handle!  HA HA!!
Read Amanda Hesser’s 2003 NYT article about Julie Powell’s “web log or ‘blog'”
NYT 2009 updated article on Powell
Julie’s 2010 blog
Wiki biography
Time Magazine, 2010–Julie becomes a butcher.

~

With this post,  I give a low bow and fine thanks to our great group of bloggers writing about Gourmet Live’s 50 Women Game-Changers in Food as we come to the tail end of our project.  A few folks will write another post summing up the whole 50 or writing about someone spectacular who didn’t make the list (Marion Cunningham for me), but mostly this is our last hurrah.    I joined the group late, but have enjoyed all of my experience and am thankful for all of the learning, camaraderie, and fun…  Please take time to visit the other fine bloggers and see what they made for “Julie” week — or any other week, for that matter.

THANK YOU, LADIES:

Linda A – There and Back Again, Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen, Annie – Most Lovely Things, Jeanette – Healthy Living
Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce – More Time at the Table
Kathy – Bakeaway with Me, Martha – Simple Nourished Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks
Sara – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

Several of us plan to begin another blogging venture (though I’m about to put the blog on vacation and join up a little later) featuring the 38 healthiest foods featured in 


Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients by The Editors of Whole Living Magazine (Dec 28, 2010)

I hope you’ll join us!

Sing a new song and poach a new egg,
Alyce