Poached Egg + Braised Kale
Sometimes the simplest two things make the most delicious one thing. I am into poaching eggs lately, partly because of the lore around them (the scene in Julie and Julia, for instance, in which she tries again and again to get it perfect), and partly because of the amazing results. I don’t know of any cooking method that makes an egg more luscious. The whites become silky and firm, and the yoke becomes something ethereal–just runny enough to release a river of golden goo when your fork hits it. And, really, they’re simple to make. Mine may not be perfectly shaped, but they taste good.
And, what’s better about winter than big, leafy greens? Everything that thrives in this season is hardy and chock-full of vitamins. Kale is no exception–in fact, it’s the epitome. According to wikipedia, “the hardiness of kale is unmatched by any other vegetable. Kale will also tolerate nearly all soils provided that drainage is satisfactory.” It’s also full of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants. And it seems good to ingest such things during the Midwestern winter–hardiness, tolerance, the promise of health.
I served this with beans and hot sauce (Tapatio, my favorite). It’s almost too simple to blog about. But, it was surprisingly delicious and sustaining. And worth a go.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 head of kale, cut into thick swatches
salt and pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 oz. stock of your choice
In a medium pot with a lid, over medium heat, warm the olive oil and saute the garlic cloves until they release their fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Then add the kale. Using tongs, toss it in the oil over heat until it changes its color, becomes shinier. Add the stock, reduce heat to low-medium, and cover. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, or until the leaves are wilted, but not completely defeated. You want a bit of bite left in them.
1 pot of water
1 tsp. vinegar
1 egg (Julia Child suggests you use very fresh ones)
Bring the pot of water to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Now is the tricky part. You need to break the egg gently and let the whole of it slide into the pot. You also, here, discover your relationship between process and presentation–how integral you’d like your egg to look. Julia suggests breaking it into a bowl and then sliding it in from there. Once it’s in the pot, you can use a wooden spoon to help shape it. Let it cook for about 4 minutes, and then gently remove from water with a slotted spatula.