Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Easy. So Good.

I've said it once; I'll say it again, cooking for one sucks. Sometimes it takes every fiber in my being not to chuck it all and put every single local restaurant's phone number on speed dial. Seriously. Luckily though, Melissa Clark of the NY Times came to my rescue just in the nick of time with some easy, fresh and seasonal dishes that fairly scream "loser, party of one."
Roasted Asparagus with Hard-Cooked Eggs and Sesame Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ lb asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ¾ tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
To keep eggs from cracking, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pierce the larger round end of the eggs with an egg prick or safety pin, then place in a saucepan just large enough that eggs sit in a single layer. Fill the pan with enough tepid water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Over high heat, bring water just to a low boil, then remove from heat, and cover. Begin timing immediately, 8 minutes for firm yolks. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and allow to cool completely. On a work surface, gently tap eggs all over to crack. Peel under cold running water with a sharp paring knife. Chop fine, or cut with an egg slicer.
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss asparagus with olive oil and spread over a large baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until crispy-tender, about ten minutes, then transfer to a platter.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat until fragrant and just golden, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and toss with the coarse salt.
Melt butter in the same skillet and allow to develop a little color, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and toss in peeled, sliced eggs.
To serve, spoon the egg mixture over the asparagus, then sprinkle with sesame salt. Top with shavings of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pan-seared Asparagus Salad with Frisée and Fried Egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • ¾ tsp finely chopped anchovy
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 1½ cups torn Frisée lettuce
  • 2 large eggs
  • Black pepper
Mash garlic and a pinch of salt into a paste with the side of a knife. Mix in a small bowl with anchovy, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of oil.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat for 20 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons of oil. When it shimmers, add the asparagus. Toss occasionally until golden brown and almost tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a large bowl; add Frisée and the garlic-anchovy dressing and toss gently.
Return skillet to medium heat and add the remaining oil. Crack eggs; season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until the eggs are just set, about 3 minutes. To serve, arrange salad on a plate and top with eggs.
Eggs and asparagus. Genius, pure genius. Each dish took about 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. I only wish I could say it took that long to wolf it down! Let's not get all hyperbolical with the claim that Melissa saved my life, but she did keep me from despair for another week.
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food


Nicole@ The Dirty Oven said...

Reading this right before breakfast makes me want to scratch my egg whites and dive into your fried beauties. I hope that you get more fresh produce soon. Can't wait to see what you will do. Thanks for posting!

Blog O. Food said...

Thanks so much, Nicole. A health kick has sort of evolved on its own here in the BX. I looked down at my plate one meal and discovered my eating habits had changed. And I hear congratulations are in order. Another mouth of a sailor is making her way into the world! Can't wait to teach her her first dirty word: margarine. All best to you and your beautiful family. B.O.F.