26 March 2012

Soft Boiled Eggs, Rye Soda Bread, Miso Mayo

I've been remiss in posting because I've, mostly, been remiss in cooking. A quick trip to Austin for SXSW had me subsisting on yogurt, sandwiches, energy bars, pastries, and booze. I came back exhausted and in no mood to cook; I even went so far as to shop for groceries and just buy a pre-made falafel wrap instead of making a thing at home. There has been some spotty cooking recently - a "fritata" in my cast iron with greens and toast, a veggie-quinoa soup with a heavy beer backing, and the usual assortment of bread.

These dishes, you'll note, consist of putting many ingredients in a pot and cooking them until you eat them. Planning is not involved, aside from deciding the veggies to buy at the grocer, and everything was haphazard. This past weekend I managed to cook something with a bit more planning (though not quite enough as to get groceries before). Talk of cookbooks over a dinner reminded me that I needed to sample the Momofuku book a bit more; a breakfast of soda bread was more delicious than anticipated; an article on miso reminded that miso is good. So I made this.
We have here a first experiment in the direction of a sublime dish; this meal was simply delicious but flawed. We have "rye" "soda bread" toasts; the first set of quotes as they used no rye flour nor caraway, opting for fennel on hand instead. The second set of quotes as this was most definitely not soda bread, lacking butter and butter milk - again, going for the almond milk and greek yogurt on hand. It isn't that I don't have butter handy, but more that I wanted to do without. The ratios were based more on my vegan pancakes and not so much on soda bread recipes; it was more batter than dough, falling towards an english muffin.

They are topped with miso mayo, a heavenly topping. 4 parts mayo to 1 part red miso, "whipped", with a splash of lime juice. Nestled on the plate you'll also find two soft-boiled eggs using the method from Momofuku - straight from fridge to boiling water (hoping they don't break), cook for 5:10, direct to ice bath, peel (again hoping you don't break one). In the photo, the top egg broke when peeled and the bottom broke when initially entering the water, but only slightly. Not perfect, still tasty. The only thing lacking is a veggie - like spinach to make them Florentine-by-way-of-Korea.

Notes on the prep: I tried flouring the ramekins, would not recommend this. The breads stuck. I'll try a spray oil next time. Also, I used volume instead of weight measures, so it may be off.
Soft Boiled Eggs, Rye Soda Bread, Miso Mayo
Makes 2 tiny soda breads (one plate)

Rye soda bread
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp white flour
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses
<1/8 tsp baking soda
<1/8 tsp salt

Miso mayo
4 parts mayo (1 tsp for this recipe)
1 part red miso paste (1/4 tsp for this recipe)
splash lime juice

Soft-boiled eggs
2 eggs, refrigerated

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all dry bread ingredients in a small bowl and combine. Add liquids and mix with spoon for 1-2 minutes. Prepare two ramekins by misting with oil, then splitting the batter evenly between them. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until browned, crispy, and a toothpick comes out cleanly. 

Alternatively, you could cook them as english muffins, in a frying pan with ring molds. I have not tried this, but it should work.

While the bread bakes, prepare a pot of boiling water and a kitchen timer. Gently put the eggs into the rapidly boiling water using a slotted spoon, starting your timer the second the first egg hits the water. Prepare an ice bath. After 5:10 on the timer, remove the eggs to the ice bath. Let them cool a bit, then remove from ice bath to gently crack them against a flat surface, returning them to the ice bath to peel them (underwater). Gently place peeled eggs on a dish.

The breads should be done now, and for better timing it should finish as the eggs go into the water. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from ramekins and carefully cut them in half. Lightly butter them the open face and cook in frying pan to slightly brown them.

Prepare miso mayo by combining and mixing ingredients. Spread evenly on the breads. Get some hot water running from a faucet and very gingerly bathe the eggs in it to ensure they are warm. Eat.

05 March 2012

Sandwich Party

Another beautiful weekend and I thought it a good idea to host a lunch party. Whoops - at least the guests got to enjoy the day after they left, where I was mostly left in a food coma and drained from all the prep. The sandwich menu I prepared was enjoyed by all, so those are the recipes you shall get. Three options were suggested: a BLAT, the Brekkie, and the Veggie. They went something like this.
BLAT: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato, Mayo (sprouts added by eater). The keys to this are to use a small amount of bacon, crisped - the goal is for each bite to contain a bite of bacon, a bite of lettuce (crunchy and flavorful, like butter lettuce, frisee, or some other fancy liberal leaf), and a bite through a tomato slice. It is easiest if you mash the avocado in its skin and spread that on.
Brekkie: Fried egg, coarse ground mustard, sliced apple, cheese. Think a grilled cheese, but after grilling you open it up, add the mustard, and throw in a runny fried egg and a thin layer of apple slices. Messy as hell, but delicious. I didn't have time to grill sandwiches, so I simply toasted them with cheese before finishing the assembly. If making at home, do it properly.
Veggie: Tofu, lettuce, tomato, avocado, kimchi. Two keys for this one: pungent, spicy kimchi as it provides the only strong flavor, and a properly crusted tofu. I can't help you with the first one, but the second I can. You can give tofu a nice skin without deep frying it assuming you possess spare time. Slice your tofu thinly and very cleanly - if the large faces are uneven, they won't generate a good skin. Put the tofu between some paper towel and squeeze a bit; rub with salt and let sit in paper towel for a bit to really make sure the moisture is gone.

Heat some oil in a pan over medium-low and place the tofu in. Cook for ~15 minutes - from the side, you should be able to see a skin forming. Brush the tops with oil, flip, and cook for another 15. You can increase the heat but you risk burning it (though the skin develops quicker and browner). If you have a cast iron, this works even better in it.