Thursday, November 12, 2009

Breakfast Served All Day

It's Championship Week at school, and I'm finally called upon to justify the wildly extravagant salary I pull in annually. Meaning lots and lots of extended hours on our athletic fields and a very narrow window for dinner. If I rush, I can whip up something quickly and still have time to put my feet up for a few minutes before getting back to campus.
As organized as I pride myself on being at the office, I'm an accidental tourist in my personal life, stumbling along oblivious to the chaos I nest in. I'll go weeks ignoring the growing pile of laundry until I'm without clean socks or shirts to wear to work. It won't dawn on me that the cupboards are bare until I'm looking for something to make for dinner. So tonight, if I was gonna eat at all, I had to run to the market and find something that would takes minutes instead of hours to prepare. I am lucky to live within the confines of New York's real Little Italy in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Fresh is just blocks from the front door.
Mesclun salad with poached egg & lardons
  • Fresh mesclun or rocket greens
  • ½lb pancetta
  • ¼lb cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3 large brown eggs*
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Dried herbs - basil, thyme, etc
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
*"Brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh!"
PancettaGrape tomatoes
Mesclun greensBrown eggs
In a small mixing bowl, toss whole grape tomatoes in olive oil and a couple pinches each of dried basil and thyme, salt and pepper. You know I hate measuring, so I've learned a thing or two through trial and error. Add a little more basil than you would thyme. Everyone ought to know how to season with salt & pepper. If not, see you at IHOP.  Put tomatoes into a small baking dish and place in a 450° pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Cut pancetta into a large dice and set to browning in a skillet over medium heat. Once crispy and brown, drain on paper towels.  Wash your greens and give them a ride in a salad spinner. Five minutes before the tomatoes come out of the oven, prepare a shallow bath of very low boiling water with a tablespoon of distilled vinegar. Break eggs separately into small bowls and slowly roll them into the hot water bath. Poach for three minutes for soft yolks. While eggs poach, gently toss greens with a good homemade vinaigrette and arrange greens on a pretty platter, sprinkle lardons of pancetta around the mesclun and arrange roasted tomatoes. Place poached eggs atop greens and serve.
Lardons of diced pancettaBrowned lardons
Roasted grape tomatoesMesclun salad with poached egg, roasted tomato and lardons
The aftermath
There's a reason diners serve the morning meal all day, it's because they can!
Gotta dash - Blog O. Food

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