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Salade Lyonnaise

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The other night I had some girlfriends over for dinner to celebrate Space Cadet’s birthday. Initially, Space Cadet just wanted to pick up some Taco Bell (has anyone tried the new quesalupa??), but my friend – who shall be known as Georgia from this point forth – and I were able to convince her to elevate the menu a little. I realized that I had all the necessary ingredients for a Salade Lyonnaise, which is basically a fancy breakfast salad. It’s pretty hard to screw up, as long as you nail the poached egg. Luckily for me, I assigned the egg poaching to Space Cadet and since she is a perfectionist they turned out wonderfully.

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Salade Lyonnaise (serves 4)

  • 1 lb of small fingerling potatoes (try the “Teeny Tiny Potatoes” from Trader Joe’s), halved
  • 3 TB olive oil, divided
  • 2 TB dry sherry
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 TB whole grain mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Crunciferous Crunch Collection
  • 1 lb bacon, roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp white vinegar, divided
  • 1 TB chopped preserved lemon peel (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes in 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them flat side down on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping them half way through.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a medium jar or bowl, combine 2 TB olive oil, sherry, shallot and mustard. Season with salt and pepper then whisk to combine. Set aside to let flavors meld.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over a medium flame. Add bacon and cook, tossing often, for about 10-15 minutes or until your desired doneness. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the fat.

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Divide the dressing equally into four shallow bowls. Add a cup of the Crunciferous Crunch Collection to each bowl, then top with equal portions of potatoes and bacon.

With about 10 minutes left to the potatoes, bring two medium pots of three inches of water to a low boil. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar (rice vinegar also works) to each pot. Crack each egg into a small dish or ramekin (do not break the yolk). Poaching two eggs at a time (one in each pot), use a rubber spatula to make a whirlpool in the pot, then carefully slide the egg into the center of the swirl. Use the spatula to keep the whites close to the yolk, and cook each egg for about 4 minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and add to the top of the salad. Repeat with the other two eggs.

Top each egg with a touch of cracked pepper and a bit of preserved lemon. Serve and tell you’re guests to slice the egg and mix all the ingredients together, including the dressing on the bottom.

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We all went nuts over this salad. It had enough protein for a dinner, but still leaves you feeling light and healthy. If you want to lighten it up more, use fresh frisee instead of the Trader Joe’s blend (though, I swear by Crunciferous Crunch Collection). I have to give big thanks to Space Cadet for mastering the poached eggs, as the whole salad would have been ruined if the eggs were runny or overcooked – no pressure.

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I also have to give some credit to Canuck for telling me to preserve my own lemons three months ago, because I finally found an opportunity to use one! Just a bit of preserved lemon peel in this dish adds some salty bitterness that compliments the dressing well. In fact, you could probably just add it directly into the dressing. Note: if you’re going to preserve your own lemons, I recommend using Meyer lemons and incorporating 3 parts salt and 1 part sugar, plus cinnamon stick, peppercorn, whole clove and fennel seed. Once ready to use, rinse, remove the flesh, and rinse again. 

We enjoyed this salad with a Twomey Sauvignon Blanc and a Ram’s Gate Syrah – both incredibly different wines but each of them paired deliciously with the salad. In fact, I think this salad would pretty much go with anything, especially your closest silly girlfriends.

 

Perfectly Poached

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All week long I have been fantasizing about poached eggs. It is by far my favorite way to eat an egg, however I’ve never actually cooked them this way – just ordered at restaurants. After talking to some foodie friends and doing some online research, I discovered a blog with thorough directions to cooking the perfect poached egg. I was so excited to make my poached eggs! But I had nothing in the house to pair them with – not even some bread. So this morning I popped into the farm stand down the street and picked up a bunch of asparagus, prosciutto, and a lemon. I proceeded to create the perfect poached egg meal.

 

  • 8 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 TB whole wheat panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
  • 2 oz of prosciutto, torn into smaller pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • salt & pepper to taste

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, arrange asparagus spears in a banking pan. Toss with olive oil, and add garlic, bread crumbs and a dash of salt and pepper. Once the oven is heated, cook for ten minutes, tossing once half way through. Once the asparagus is cooked, transfer to a plate and top with pieces of prosciutto.

While the asparagus is cooking, heat a large pot with about 1-2 inches of water and add the white vinegar. You do not want to heat to a boil, but the point of bubbling right before it starts to boil. If the water boils, lower the heat to bring it back down to a lower temperature.

Crack each egg into a separate, smaller dish. This will make it easier to transfer into the pot.

Once the water is ready, slowly slide each egg into the pot, using a rubber spatula to keep the whites around the yolk. If the egg sticks to the bottom of the pan, use the spatula to lift it up a bit. Cook the eggs like this for about three minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Top the asparagus and prosciutto with the eggs, salt and pepper, and lemon zest.

When devouring this dish, I would aim to get the perfect bite with every spoonful: a piece of asparagus, a slice of prosciutto, and some egg. YUM!

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