Oh Dear!! It has been far too long since I posted last.
I have lots of excuses, or rather, pretty legitimate endeavors that I have been focusing attention on: a new personal chef client (my first), researching my Feast of the Seven Fishes class at Brooklyn Kitchen this Thursday (plug), building my website www.katcooksfood.com (another plug, I will stop), lots of holiday crafting, and Joe and I have finally implemented a weekly date night. I'm not bragging, but it sure feels good to be inspired again!! I'm singing carols and making the bed again - good signs.
My Needle Felt Christmas Wreath
There have been a few post-worthy meals in the past couple of weeks. My parents were visiting from South Dakota where dad shot several grouse. My God, that bird really opened my eyes! So simple and delicious! Another was dinner for the sitter. Poor Justin was getting over a cold and was kind enough to babysit VERY last minute. Which meant I needed to fix him dinner very last minute, something that would comfort and delight. In the store, I snapped up some chicken thighs and egg noodles while my brain quickly did the rest - red wine braised chicken with capers, mushrooms and onions over the noodles (I do love egg noodles!). There was a lovely hazelnut creme caramel that I made for a dinner with a special friend. And in preparation I have been cooking up a ton of seafood for my Fishes class: grilled baby octopus salad, stuffed calamari, fried bay scallops. On and on.
Tapenade Stuffed Calamari
But the meal I think I will share is a vegetarian dish, in honor of my brother Karl (the dear is marrying a vegetarian, bless him). This dish is very in keeping with what I like to cook for Joe and I - greens, veggies, poached egg in a bowl. Here it is.
Roasted Eggplant and Mushrooms with Kale
1 lb assorted mushrooms (shitaki, crimini, portabella, oyster, hedgehog...)
1/2 each eggplant
1/2 bunch kale
3 each shallots
4 cloves garlic
4 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb sherry vinegar
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp red chili flake
2 Tb butter
2 each eggs
salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Dice the 1/2 eggplant into cubes about 1/2 inch square. Put in a mixing bowl, toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, spread on a cookie sheet and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Slice your mushrooms into even width.
- Get a saute pan hot, coat with a little olive oil.
- In small batches, saute the mushrooms with a sprig of thyme, salt and pepper. Once they are tender, add a couple tsps of butter to the pan, when the butter is frothy, with a spoon, toss it around over the mushrooms (this is called basting).
- Repeat until all of the mushrooms are roasted. Place them in your mixing bowl, when the eggplant has cooled,, add it to the bowl as well.
- Wash and pat dry the kale. Slice into thin strips, add to the mixing bowl.
- Thinly slice the onion and garlic cloves lengthwise. Saute them in the same pan as the mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil, red pepper, salt and pepper.
- When the onions have become translucent, add the sherry vinegar. With a rubber spatula, stir the onions and vinegar, making sure to work any bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the veggies in the bowl.
- Bring a small sauce pot, 1/2 full of water to a simmer, add salt and a 1/2 tsp of white vinegar.
- Crack your eggs into a small bowl and slide them into the gently simmering water.
- Cook for a minute and a half, or until soft poached.
- Using spoons or your hands, toss the dressed veggies around. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Divide into two portions, place in bowls.
- With a slotted spoon, remove each egg, placing on top of the salad.
- Grate some parmesan reggiano over top and serve.
Karl, I hope you and Jessica enjoy this dish as much as Joe and I did. Lots of love!
Happy eating everyone!