I'm still alive.
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 EggYield: 2
Adapted from Vegetarian Williams-Sonoma Cookbook
Adapted from Vegetarian Williams-Sonoma Cookbook
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.
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!