August, 2008 Archive

Friday, August 8, 2008

how to poach an egg, smitten kitchen-style

how to poach an egg

I am tortured by two opposing forces in my life: the fact that I love poached eggs–on anything and everything, from asparagus to slow-roasted slices of tomato, crisped cups of Canadian bacon, black bread, I could keep going… — and the fact that I’m terrible at making them.

And this is why it is so ridiculous amusing that I am giving you–or at least the eleven of you that said you were afraid of poaching eggs–a poached egg tutorial today. And by “today” I mean two days because it took me two tries to even get one worth photographing (though in my defense, holding the camera in your right hand while lowering an egg into a pot with your left does have a certain inevitability of disaster).

Obviously, this makes me some sort of expert, so let’s get started!

How to Poach an Egg

There are about as many methods to poaching eggs as there are eggs on this earth, from plastic wrap (sorry, ew) to poaching cups to cupcake liners seriously, I’ve lost track but I am sure that people will be eager to share their own in the comments. This is simply the one that works for me. When I’m not holding a camera in my other hand.

First, heat a pot with a few inches of water in it.

1: heat up some water

Put a splash of vinegar in the water. This helps tighten up the egg. I know there are strong pro- and anti-vinegar in egg-poaching waters out there, but like I said: this is just what works for me!

2: add a splash of vinegar

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

grilled eggplant with caponata salsa

grilled eggplant with caponata salsa

I spend a good lot of my spring, summer and fall weekends on my friend Jocelyn’s roof. Not only do we get to catch up with friends, drink an unthinkable amount of pink wine and/or Pimm’s cups, shoot awesome pictures of sunsets, Joc has a consummately awesome grill, allowing us all of the summer deliciousness we’re deprived of in our Manhattan apartment. It’s a good deal if there ever was one.

However, some weekends Jocelyn goes out of town. And occasionally, Alex and I have family or other friends to go see. And sometimes, we go a whole two or three weeks without making it onto Joc’s roof, and it makes us very sad. Because we miss the grill.

caponata salsa

Which brings me up to the purchase that broke the Smitten Kitchen’s back: our new grill pan. The history of this is that pretty much any time I ever say to Alex, “ooh, look at this [kitchen item]! We should get it!” his standard response is “That’s great, honey. But where will we put it?” To which I respond, “Blah, blah, blah… We’ll FIND a place.” And you know what? We usually do. (Please don’t ask about the wedding cake pans in Alex’s closet. It’s a best-not-touched-on subject.)

eggplant

But this grill pan doesn’t fit anywhere. And it weighs a metric ton. And it might literally be the first time in Smitten Kitchen history that I will admit that Alex was right: maybe we should have figured out where it went before I bought it. Right now it lives on the floor under the single cart/counter with god-knows-what and its good friend, I’d-rather-not-think-about-it. This is not an ideal long-term solution.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, August 4, 2008

key lime meltaways

lime meltaways

Alex loves limes. I mean, loves them. He eats them, and no, I don’t mean dusted in sugar. No, not squeezed into a glass of seltzer. He simply eats them, the way that most people eat those slices of oranges that come with your fortune cookies at suburban Chinese restaurants. He eats the wedges that people put out on their bars for cocktails, the slices that come on top of a pile of Pad Thai, those on the side of a sizzling fajita platter and the other half I haven’t used in a recipe, lying unloved on the cutting board.

one inch limes

The first time I saw him do it, I was taken aback. “Did you just eat a lime?” Perhaps it was because it was from my gin and tonic, it was an early-on date and he’d obtained it in a “Are you using that?” kind of way. But I loved that he didn’t think it was the least bit odd. I love that now we’ll be at a party or bar and one of our friends will notice his lime-eating ways for the first time and be shocked.

I seriously think they dipped his baby bottle in vinegar. It’s the only logical explanation.

golf ball limes

Continued after the jump »


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