This is a story about a poached egg –– pierced with a fork and spilled all over warm bacon and tangy frisee. But really, this is a story about remembering to breathe, breathe, breathe.
For the past couple of months I’ve been putting culinary school on the back burner — so to speak — to work on a writing project (an exciting one that I can’t wait to share with you soon). But in the mean time, I haven’t been cooking as much. I miss it. It feels like a lost friend or a faded photograph.
That’s why I’m going to tell you about salad Lyonnaise. Even if it’s December and you’d rather hear about gingerbread cookies or something dipped in peanut butter. Because last night, one thing led to another and there I was, firing up the range, spoon in hand, living in the moment.
Plunk. I slipped an egg into a pot of water.
Tink-tink-tink-tink-tink. My whisk hit the sides of a glass bowl.
Tssssss. Bits of bacon danced in a saute pan.
Outside it was cold. My neighbor’s Christmas lights flickered in the wind. Inside it was warm. And with every sound and every movement, I felt myself breathe, breathe, breathe.
Making garlic confit. Garlic cloves –– braised for 45 minutes in gently simmering oil until tender and sweet. Smashed into a paste and whipped with an egg and some oil into a creamy, earthy mayonnaise. Perfect for slathering on a piece of ciabatta and serving alongside this salad — with a warm bacon vinaigrette and a gooey poached egg.
Perfect for remembering to take a moment to cook. And to eat. And to breathe, breathe, breathe.
Recipe from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon
4 large eggs
1 tbs. white wine vinegar
8 ounces bacon
2 tbs. dijon mustard
5 tbs. rendered bacon fat
6 cloves garlic
1 cup canola oil
1 large egg, room temperature
kosher salt, to taste
4 heads frisee
4 slices brioche
1 tbs. shallots, minced
2 tbs. chives, minced
1 tbs. tarragon
1 tbs. parsley
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
For warm vinaigrette:
Cut bacon into small strips and fry them in a nonstick skillet until crispy. Set bacon aside and reserve rendered fat in a small bowl. Whisk together vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add rendered bacon fit, whisking until well incorporated.
For poached eggs:
Bring 4 inches of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add vinegar and reduce heat to simmer. Gently crack eggs into water and simmer fo 1 or 2 minutes or until egg whites are set. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon.
Peel garlic cloves and very gently simmer them in canola oil for 45 minutes or until very tender. Remove the cloves and smash them with a knife. Garlic will have a paste-like consistency. In a small bowl, beat garlic into a whole egg using a whisk. Slowly stream in garlic-infused oil, drop by drop, to create an emulsion. Season with salt.
Cut bread into triangular pieces and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Set pieces on a baking sheet and toast under a broiler until golden brown. Spread with thin layer of aioli and reserve.
Cut off root ends of frisee and separate leaves. Toss with shallots, chives, parsley, tarragon and chevril. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with vinaigrette. Place egg on top, sprinkle with bacon and chives and serve with warm bread and aioli.[/print_this]