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Archive for May 16, 2014

RECIPE: Poached Egg With Lentils & Arugula

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A delicious trio of tastes: poached eggs,
lentils and arugula. Photo courtesy
CulinaryChronicles.com.

 

We love to discover new food blogs and introduce our readers to their bounty. Today, we’d like to present a recipe from Nam of Culinary Chronicles. We encourage you to visit her blog for more.

Nam used Safest Choice pasteurized eggs in this recipe. Pasteurized eggs are recommended in dishes that use raw eggs without further cooking (Caesar salad, mousse and steak tartare, for example). In this recipe the eggs are fully cooked, so pasteurized eggs are a nice luxury.

Consider this tasty trio of protein, legume and green, leafy vegetable for weekend brunch or lunch, and a celebration of National Egg Month (see all the May food holidays).

RECIPE: POACHED EGGS OVER LENTILS &
ARUGULA

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, thoroughly washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup lentils
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh arugula leaves
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese shavings
  • Quality extra virgin olive oil
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MELT the butter with the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot, over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, leeks and garlic. Sauté until softened but not browned—about 5-7 minutes.

    2. ADD the red chili flakes, thyme sprigs, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the lentils and then pour in the wine. Continue simmering until the wine has reduced and is nearly evaporated.

    3. ADD the vegetable stock and bay leaf and bring the liquids to a boil. Partially cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook the lentils for about 25-30 minutes or until tender. While the lentils cook…

    4. BEGIN POACHING the eggs. Fill a separate pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in the vinegar and slightly lower the heat. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl it around quickly in the pot to make a whirlpool in the water. Slowly pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The movement of the whirlpool will help the egg form but you can also use a spoon to help it along.

     

    arugula-salvatica-wild-burpee-230

    There are different varieties of arugula available. We prefer baby arugula, which has just enough pepperiness and none of the bitterness of some other varieties. Photo courtesy Burpee.

     

    After about 2 minutes…

    5. USE a slotted spoon to remove the egg and set aside in a warm bowl of water. Cook the eggs just under of how you’d normally like your eggs. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Once done, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low to keep the water hot.

    When the lentils are tender…

    6. REMOVE the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Drain any excess stock that may remain. Season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Toss the lentils with the arugula leaves and use a slotted spoon to plate into 4 dishes. Using the slotted spoon…

    7. DIP each poached egg into the pot of hot water to rewarm it. Gently blot them dry with a paper towel and place on top of each lentil mound. Place Parmesan cheese shards over plate and drizzle the tops with a bit of the olive oil. Garnish with additional thyme sprigs and serve immediately.

     
    FOOD TRIVIA: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARMESAN AND PARMIGIANO REGGIANO

    In the European Union, Parmigiano-Reggiano is a D.O.P.-protected term that can only be used by members of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano, which approves each and every wheel of cheese as meeting the highest Consorzio standards (substandard cheeses are removed from the process before aging concludes).

    However, in 2008 the E.U. also defined the term “Parmesan” to refer to the genuine Consorzio cheeses. Prior to then, Parmesan referred to Parmigiano-Reggiano-style cheeses made outside the D.O.P.-designated regions of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy. Thus, within the E.U., Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano are the same cheese. (Why ask why?)

    In the U.S. and other parts of the world, the word “Parmesan” is not regulated. A cheese labeled as Parmesan in the U.S. is a domestic cheese approximating Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    Why is the word capitalized? It’s an editorial choice. Both Parmesan and Parmigiano are adjectival forms of Parma, the city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna where the cheese originated. We would apply the same style, for example, to an Iowan cheese or a Chicagoan cheese (as opposed to an iowan cheese or chicagoan cheese).

    Here’s more about Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: New Talenti Gelato Flavors

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    Each flavor is better than the next. Photo by
    Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Among the happiest days of THE NIBBLE’s year are when the samples of Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto’s new flavors arrive. This privately owned business produces a superior artisan ice cream at a better price than the big “superpremium” brands like Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.

    Discriminating consumers know it. As proof, since 2007, Talenti’s revenue has exploded from $1 million to $49.3 million in 2012, the last year for which we could obtain figures.

    Three new flavors have recently joined the line:

    Caramel Apple Pie is more cinnamon apple pie with a subtle hint of caramel in the swirl, which is just fine with us. With plentiful pieces of Red Delicious apples and flaky pie crust, it is like apple pie in pint. Instead of baking a pie for a gathering, bring a few pints of it!

    Fudge Brownie is an extra-dark chocolate with a welcome bittersweet edge and chewy chunks of brownie. If there could be an improvement on the original Talenti Double Dark Chocolate gelato, this is it.

    Raspberry Vanilla is like a dish of fresh raspberries and cream that has been frozen. The sweet cream gelato with pieces of fresh berries has a tart raspberry and balsamic ripple for a sophisticated twist.

     

    Talenti gelato also has 30% less fat than regular ice cream—though you’d never know it. It’s a better-for-you option that’s as rich and creamy as you want it to be.

    The milk used is rBST free. Vegans and those avoiding lactose can enjoy four delicious sorbets.

     

    Like all Talenti flavors, these new flavors are made using the finest natural ingredients that are carefully sourced from around the world: chocolate from Belgium, caramel from Argentina and mangoes from India, to name a few. Premium fresh fruit and spices are used.

    The line, which includes sorbetto and ice pops, is certified kosher (dairy) by OU. The products are available at major retailers nationwide, at a suggested retail price of $4.99-$5.99

    Those who judge an ice cream line by its vanilla are encouraged to try the ethereal Tahitian Vanilla Bean. Chocolate lovers can dish up Double Dark Chocolate and Belgian Milk Chocolate (try a combination of both!).

    Our personal favorites: Banana Chocolate Swirl and Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

     

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    Un-piggy banks for everyone! Photo courtesy Talenti.

     

    Check out all 25 Talenti flavors.

    And please, Talenti: We’d love for you to make peach gelato. Maybe for next summer?

    Also in stores nationwide are Talenti’s Gelato Pops, in 8 delicious flavors dipped in Belgian chocolate. We’re especially addicted to Banana Swirl and Caribbean Coconut.

    Chomping at the bit? Here’s a store locator.

    Coda: Talenti’s unique see-through containers can be popped into the dishwasher and reused for food storage. Or, make everyone a piggy bank to collect loose that pesky loose change.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Gougères, An Elegant Hors d’Oeuvre

    gougeres-pancetta-thyme-fontina-gougeres-aidamollenkamp-230

    Fragrant, warm and irresistible. Photo
    courtesy Chef Aida Mollenkamp.

     

    Gougères (goo-ZHAIR) are airy French cheese puffs, savory choux pastry that is mixed with grated cheese and baked.

    The cheese is most often a hearty Swiss mountain cheese: Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler and a hint of nutmeg is added to the recipe. Served warm from the oven, gougères are simple yet elegant hors d’oeuvres—a perfect choice to serve with Champagne, other sparkling wine, or any wine or craft beer.

    In fact, we received the recipe below from Moet et Chandon, courtesy of Cooking Channel’s Aida Mollenkamp.

    There are many variants of the recipe, from plain cheese to mix-ins. Here, Chef Mollenkamp adds pancetta and fresh thyme, and opts for a mix of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano and Fontina cheeses instead of one of the Swiss cheeses.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, total time is 50 minutes. And it’s worth it! You may want to double the recipe in case your crowd clamors for more. (You can freeze any extra dough.)

     

    PANCETTA, THYME & FONTINA GOUGÈRES

    Ingredients For 32 Cheese Puffs

  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk or water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  •  

    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 375°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.

    2. PLACE pancetta in a medium nonstick frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta to paper towel-lined plate and set aside to drain. Meanwhile…

    3. COMBINE 1 cup of the milk or water with the butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, dump in all the flour, and stir vigorously until flour is incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly, until dough comes together in a ball and feels dry to the touch, about 2 minutes.

    4. TRANSFER dough to a food processor fitted with a blade or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Pulse or beat in five of the eggs, one by one, letting each egg completely incorporate before adding the next. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the Parmigiano cheese then add pancetta, remaining cheese, and thyme; pulse or mix on low until thoroughly incorporated.

     

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    The versatile Swiss cheese Gruyère, named after the Swiss town of Gruyères. Photo courtesy Emmi Roth USA.

     

    5. DROP tablespoon-size portions of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Whisk remaining egg yolk with the remaining 1 tablespoon milk and brush tops of cheese puffs then evenly sprinkle reserved Parmesan cheese over top.

    6. PLACE in oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until puffed and golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. (Can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store, covered, at room temperature.)

    TIP: Freeze the pancetta for 5 to 10 minutes to facilitate dicing. If you can’t find pancetta, use Canadian bacon or cooked ham instead (don’t crisp it in the pan, though).
     
    MORE GOUGÈRES

    Here’s a classic gougères recipe with Gruyere and nutmeg.

    Goat cheese fans: Substitute a semi-hard chèvre.

      

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    NEWS: Chipotle Serves Up American Culture With Tex-Mex Food

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    Have some philosophy with your burrito.
    Photo courtesy Chipotle.

     

    Chipotle is a popular Tex-Mex restaurant chain that stands for quality, value and sustainability.

    The company uses organic and local produce when practical, and supports family farmers who care for their land and animals, the latter raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.

    The company uses the phrase, “food with integrity.” So we were curious, then charmed, by its new in-store program, “Cultivating Thought.”

    We might have expected it at Starbucks instead; but author Jonathan Safran Foer (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”) is more of a Chipotle fan. He conceived and brought the idea to Chipotle.

    A group of award-winning writers, comedians and thought-leaders selected by Foer have each composed [very] short stories that are featured directly on the restaurant’s cups and bags. They serve up philosophy to go with the burritos and sodas.

     

     

    According to the restaurant, the idea behind this initiative is to pique consumers’ curiosity about their world and to connect with the musings of the selected writers:

  • Judd Apatow, Golden Globe nominated writer/director/producer, Bridesmaids, “Girls”
  • Sheri Fink, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter/author, “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital”
  • Jonathan Safran Foer, New York Times bestselling author, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Eating Animals”
  • Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author, “The Tipping Point”
  • Bill Hader, Emmy-winning comedian/actor/producer, “Saturday Night Live,” “South Park”
  • Michael Lewis, New York Times bestselling author and journalist, “Flash Boys,” “The Blind Side,” “Moneyball”
  •  

    chipotle-thought-culture-soda-cups

    Save your empty soda cups for further contemplation. Photo courtesy Chipotle.

  • Toni Morrison, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author, “Beloved”
  • Steve Pinker, award-winning experimental psychologist, renowned writer on language, mind and human nature
  • George Saunders, New York Times bestselling short-story and essay author, “Tenth of December,” “The Braindead Megaphone”
  • Sarah Silverman, Emmy-winning actress/comedian, “The Sarah Silverman Program,” “Saturday Night Live,” “School of Rock”
  •  
    All of the stories are standalone, and will be randomly sorted to ensure even distribution. The program launched yesterday and will be eased as the conventional packaging supply is replaced.

    Next year, how about extending the idea to customer entries?

      

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