Thursday, June 7, 2012

Savory French Toast

This was a complete and total experiment. We had some bread that was on its way out, and a craving for Mexican food. So Alex whipped up some french toast batter made with eggs, milk, cinnamon, paprika, and cumin. When all the bread was used up we scrambled the left over batter and constructed the picture above - Mexican Toast topped with scrambled batter, sauteed onions and asparagus, sour cream, cilantro, and cheddar cheese. And to our surprise, this was totally delicious! ...I definitely want to play with savor french toasts more!

Baked Eggs

Ever since Alex convinced me five years ago that eggs are delicious, I've been very slowly exploring the myriad of ways to cook an egg.  We had breakfast with our upstairs neighbors one morning and Candice made a dish simpler than scrambled eggs. It blew my mind and I went through a bit of a crazy egg-baking phase. It's just an egg or two in a ramekin with a splash of milk, some chopped kale (or spinach or whatever is in the fridge), topped with cheese, and baked in the oven just until it sets. If the eggs are still a tad runny, toast makes a great companion. And no breakfast is complete without a piece of Skagit River Valley bacon!

Love Soup

Several months ago I heard a friend of mine had caught a nasty cold, so set out on a mission of creating the most healing soup I possibly could. This is something I do for my friends every once in a while, and making soup for people always gives me the satisfying feeling that I'm some sort of good witch brewing up healing potions.

I started by making pasta.  This is where that magic ingredient of "love" comes in. I kneaded a lot of love into that dough!  Also, I find freshly made pasta is just generally a special treat.

Fresh made pasta is a simple ratio:
1lb. All Purpose Flour
4 Eggs
1oz. Water
1oz.Vegetable Oil

These ingredients are combined all at once and kneaded for at least a couple minutes either by hand or in a mixer. I usually eye-ball the amount of water and oil, I probably actually use more than 1oz. of water because it's much easier to add flour to a moist dough, then it is to add water to a dry dough later on. Anyway, making pasta honestly just takes practice to know what good pasta dough should feel like.  It should be neither sticky nor dry and it should have a tough elastic quality to it. After the initial knead, the dough must rest for at least an hour, preferably two, or overnight in the fridge. Then you can start rolling it out.  You can simply use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle!) and a knife to make noodles, but I have a manual pasta machine, so that's how I make my noodles.

To make the soup, I sauteed onions, leeks, carrots, fresh-frozen ginger, and garlic (I used a lot of ginger and garlic - for good health!). Then I added duck stock made from Stokesberry Farms magical ducks and let it simmer with a cinnamon stick and some dried chanterelle mushrooms. Meanwhile I roasted a chicken. When the soup was done, I added the fresh pasta since it only needs a minute to cook and will continue to absorb moisture as long as it's in the soup.  I finished the soup with pieces of roasted chicken, pesto, salt, and pepper.

Yay healing soup of love!