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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Swiss Chard Nest with Poached Egg, and the Incident



I'm still alive.
I'm here.

I've been traveling a lot this year especially this month and December as well. Sorry folks if I have been MIA! I just got back from Hawaii and I'm going to Europe: Spain, Italy, and France, this weekend. I won't be back until the end of October. I have November in between before I'm leaving again in December. Crazy huh? The December trip is kinda a forced-to-go trip. So, I just wanted to let you know that I might not be able to stop by your blogs as often as I wish I could. However, I will stop by to say hi whenever I can and have full access to internet! It will drive me crazy to not have full access to the internet but we will see :=)

Before leaving, I'd like to leave you my new piece of freelance work and an easy delicious recipe. My new piece of work with International Examiner was published last week. Please feel free to check it out. Some of you already have, so thank you for checking it out!

Indulge Yourself with Fall Flavors

I still have a lot to learn and grow. I'm not a good writer. I just love to write about food. I'm glad they are in a process of launching a program for contributors to enhance that area of interest.  Wish me luck!

Now, come to an easy recipe. It's really easy and good for a first course or appetizer meal. This recipe is  in a vegetarian cookbook from Williams-Sonoma that I got at a garage sale for only $2! The key of poaching an egg is to bring room temperature water to a simmer slowly and then add white vinegar. You could also put the egg on a chard nest under a broiler for a few mins until it's cooked and yolky. Chard is in season now so it's good to give it a try. The creamy yolk is good on anything!


Swiss Chard Nest with Poached Egg
Adapted from Vegetarian Williams-Sonoma Cookbook
Yield: 2

1 big bundle of swiss chard
2 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage

  • Cut the stems from the leaves and keep them separated.
  • Chop stems; set aside. Chop leaves; set aside.
  • Heat up a large skillet pan over medium high heat. Add butter and olive oil. When butter melts and gets bubbly, add chopped stems. Saute for 5 mins.
  • Add chopped leaves and saute, stiring for 2 mins or until wilted. 
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add sage, wine and cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until tender for about 10-15 mins.
  • Fill a non-stick small sauce pan with water halfway. Add vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and brings the water to a simmer over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Crack an egg into a small bowl and slide into a simmer water. Cook for 2-3 mins. When the white has set and firmed, use a slotted spoon to scoop out.
  • Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and stir into the chard.
  • Remove the chard and place on a small bowl. Arrange it like a bed nest.
  • Place the egg on top of the chard bed. Sprinkle with pepper and fresh sage

The Incident: Dennis from More Than A Mouth Full is a King of squash blossoms. He has a variety and variation of stuffed blossoms. If you read his blog regularly, you will know what I mean and couldn't agree with me more. I made this dish quite sometime ago now and forgot to post it. After seeing his wonderful posts, I promised to myself that I needed to make one of the stuffed blossoms one of these days. The day had come. I went to a farmer's market after work and saw zucchini blossoms for the first time! I enthusiastically grabbed some home with peaches. I didn't know how to pick and look. I assumed everything was edible. I went on his blog and picked out one of his stuffed blossom recipe. The next day I was ready to roll.


The peace salad is inspired by a so-called sunset crest salad at Waterbar in San Francisco. Dennis' recipe is great! The stuffing is tasty. I could smell fried blossoms while cooking. It smelled terrific. When I bit into it and had some more, I then tasted something bitter...really bitter..but I kept eating it. I had to stop myself as it was too bitter while wondering what it was. Later that night, I went to the bathrooms a few times..

That was my incident.

To figure out what went wrong, I googled it. Most people say we're supposed to remove the outer leaves (if possible) and the stamen (male organ of flower) and any little bugs hiding inside. Apparently, I didn't do so. The bitter taste was from stamen? from bugs? or chemicals on the leaves? YIKES!

I got bad blossoms?

On my Facebook page, Alisha aka Magic of Spice from the Ardent Epicure was graciously left me a comment that some people didn't remove stamen and was fine. It can happen to a sensitive stomach.


Okay, I'm probably one of those sensitive stomach since Keith was fine. I still think something was coated on the leaves..I tried the next day and the leaves were bitter. I sure made a few trips to the bathroom later that night.


Anyway, it was just a rare incident. Don't misunderstand this message. Dennis's recipe is excellent. The stuffing is wonderful. I'd better pick a new vendor and make sure I wash the flowers carefully next time. I've seen a lot of great recipes out there and they are fine. So, it's just me with bad luck...

Other than that part, the salad is tasty!


Ricotta Stuffed Blossoms: recipe is here

Peach salad:
3 peaches, peeled, cored, and sliced thick.
Olive oil
2 tbs lemon or orange juice
salt and pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar


Add 1 prepared peach in a blender, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend everything until it's smooth. Add olive oil to lighten it until it reaches your desire of thickness.

Coat sliced peaches with about 1/4 cup of the peach mixture. Drizzle some more on top. Garnish with thinly sliced leek and berries. Serve with fried stuffed blossoms on the side. Enjoy!




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Chef Dennis said...

your blossoms look incredible! I am so sorry about the incident, I have been eating squash blossoms and feeding friends the same for a long time, and never once had a bitter blossom. I have to say, I have never taken out the stamen either...and if you remove outer leaves,. there is nothing left....sigh....I am so sorry it didn't agree with you :(
As for your writing, you are an incredible writer, I love reading your blog! and don't worry about us while you are traveling, just check in when you can to let us know you are ok! We will miss you very much!
Sorry again for the incident....

Stella said...

Hey Tanantha! Sorry about your tummy. I have my mother's steal stomach, so things don't usually bother me. When they do, I'm always shocked.
Your food looks wonderful here though. I love the look of Dennis' fried blossom fritters. Ooh, and your swiss chard nest looks so healthful. I might make that actually (smile)...
Don't forget to relax, Tanantha;)
XO, Stella

Pacheco Patty said...

Hi Tanantha, I'm excited about your upcoming travels, have fun and be safe. Sorry about your incident, I wonder what it was?? Maybe an allergy but the salad looks so creative and appetizing, oh well;( I like the poached egg on swiss chard nests, that recipe I may try soon, yummy:)

lequan said...

Hi Tanantha,

Aaack! I'm so sorry about your "incident". I hope you're feeling much better now though. I always see such beautiful blossom dishes from Chef Dennis and they always make me drool. Your dishes are having the same affect on me right now. Such beautiful plating and pictures. I wouldn't have a clue as to how to prepare a squash blossom. If I ever try making them, I think I'd try with and without the stamen and see which I like better.

Hope you have a great time on your vacations. Definitely don't worry about blogging too much. Really really enjoy your vacations. We'll all still be here when you get back. Safe travels, my friend!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Ugh!!! So sorry about the "incident"... my husband has those occasionally but I don't hardly ever. I do tease him about his sensitive system!
I sure hope you get some pleasure time in all of those wonderful locations. That is indeed a lot of traveling. Hope you have safe and incident free travels and we'll all be here when you return!
Nicely done on the article, btw!

She's Cookin' said...

I grew up eating swiss chard from our garden and I really like the flavors combinations in your dish. Yes, I'm going to France on Wednesday for 9 days - 3 in Cannes and 6 in Paris! So excited - have fun on your trip! P.S. I don't bother to remove stamens and have never had an "incident", but you probably have a sensitive tummy.

Lazaro Cooks! said...


Lovely poached egg. What a great recipe with all those harmonious flavors.

Have a great trip. Be safe. Have fun.

Be Good...

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Hey Tanantha, that was a nicely written piece at IE. You must be excited with your upcoming travel to Europe. How exciting!

Sorry to hear about your tummy :( It happens sometimes when others who eat the same dish seems to be fine. I think some people are just more sensitive to certain chemicals, etc.

That poached egg on the swiss chard looks really good. I have just started using kale and it is really good. Will have to try chard next and this dish is a good one to start.

Monet said...

I have a very sensitive tummy too! My stomach often gets upset while Ryan's stomach is just fine. No fun! But I must say that those squash blossoms look incredible! I only wish they had been better on your stomach. But on another are one busy woman and one talented writer! I hope you are able to enjoy your safe and stay rested.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love your Swiss chard dish...beautiful, healthy and delicious!
What a busy life you have! But don't worry about us when you need to travel and work.
Take some time to relax too!

Magic of Spice said...

I loved your article, well written and engaging as always...
Next this swiss chard dish is lovely :)
As far as the "Incident"...Most likely it was a sensitivity. But if I may be more specific, if you are not sensitive the the squash itself than it is unlikely you have an allergy to the blossoms themselves. However as the stamen holds the pollen, that is a possibility. Or perhaps there was a residue of insecticide remaining that you were sensitive to. as the bitter taste may suggest?
Your blossoms turned out beautifully, and I hope you try again :)
Have a beautiful time on your trip...and be safe :)

roxan said...

You had squash blossoms at your farmers market?! i was looking out for them all season but didn't see any =( i don't believe you that they tasted bad! they look wonderful.

have fun on your post-honemoon!!! i'll be w you in spirit (but not in a creepy way)... sigh... i LOVE europe. i'm so envious you're leaving to go there soon!

Marisa said...

Oh no, sorry to hear about the incident! You did a great job with Chef Dennis's recipe as well as the swiss chard nest. You are so lucky to be traveling to so many amazing places. Have fun and enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the incident, Tanantha! You must have been feeling pretty badly :( Like you, I have a sensitive stomach, so I can understand how some things would affect you more. I'm glad you seem to have made a speedy recovery, though :) And the recipe looks excellent - all of them, really! I'm a huge Swiss chard lover, so I must try the recipe with the poached egg!

I can't believe how much you're traveling! Have a great time and be safe!

Jessie said...

Oops, sorry! That last anonymous comment was from me. Nice job filling out your name, Jessie! :P

~Lisa~ said...

Tanantha all the dishes look amazing! And sorry about the "incident" boo. And who says you can't write? Hope you're having a fab time traveling, lucky! Have fun and visit when you're able.

GreenGirl said...

I love poached eggs and your recipe sound great.
Sorry to hear about your incident, I'm a zucchini blossom eater and never took out the stamen and outer leaves, wonder why yours were bitter.
Enjoy your trip

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Oh Tanantha! I am so sorry about your incident! I've never had squash blossoms before so I have no idea what could've happened to you :(

Anyway both your Swiss Chard Nests and your stuffed blossoms look gorgeous - your poached eggs are perfect and I love the idea of the chard nests :) Hope you're feeling much better now!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Oh Tanantha! I am so sorry about your incident! I've never had squash blossoms before so I have no idea what could've happened to you :(

Anyway both your Swiss Chard Nests and your stuffed blossoms look gorgeous - your poached eggs are perfect and I love the idea of the chard nests :) Hope you're feeling much better now!

Mo said...

Hahaha. More Than a Mouth Full... I cracked up. :P

I'm sorry about your unfortunate encounter with squash blossoms. :(

Foodessa said...

Tanantha...I totally felt for you because I tend to have quite a sensitive your incident was unfortunately very familiar to me.
As busy as you've been and as you are going to be...we will surely be here to await your next post.

Fly safe and find time to have fun and relax too ;o)

Flavourful wishes,

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

I have already left a comment earlier but I just wanted to let you know I have an award waiting for you at my blog. Do come soon to check it out :)

Dr.Sameena Prathap


Love the dish....beautiful presentation...:)


Elisabeth said...

I love the idea of the poached eggs with the swiss chard. I'm glad I found your blog...looked through some of your beautiful dishes, and the photos are stunning.
So sorry about your fun, hope you'll be feeling better soon.
Have a wonderful and safe trip!

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