|S M A L L|
|Cyborg snails power up|
|Molluscs with implanted biofuel cells produce electricity from glucose.|
|Prince Philip quotes: Relive 90 classic gaffes to mark his 90th birthday|
|M E D I U M|
|I Was a Cookbook Ghostwriter|
|“I was really a food ghost — one of the ink-stained (and grease-covered) wretches who actually produce most of the words that are attributed to chefs in cookbooks and food magazines and on Web sites.”|
|L A R G E|
|The Man Who Broke Atlantic City|
|“Don Johnson won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-handedly decimating the monthly revenue of Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino. Not long before that, he’d taken the Borgata for $5 million and Caesars for $4 million. Here’s how he did it.”|
My friends who live in the suburbs have some new visitors. They’ve strung lights up on their porch and one day, it seems one of the lights had gained a little weight…
…but it’s not a tumor — it’s a hummingbird nest! Check out the closeup below.
I love the use of spiderwebs to knit the whole thing together. As of this writing, my friends say the tiny soon-to-be-hovercraft is just about ready to fly the coop.
[UPDATE] Baby hummingbird has left the nest. Bye bye hoverbird!
Their newest permanent addition is Spike the Bunny, shown here doing yoga.
I like his rad Egyptian-style eyeliner.
big fat zero
Well, I’m spending a lot of money on pool this year and I have exactly a giant goose egg to show for it. Figuratively, that means I have absolutely nothing to show for the money spent. Literally, I have a giant goose egg.
Actually, I have two goose eggs, gifted to me by Mike, a fellow billiards enthusiast. Thanks, dude!
Coincidentally, I was gifted these eggs right when I had some important exam coming up. Well, now. The exam doesn’t have a lease on freshness, does it? Meanwhile, it would be such a waste to wait one more day to cook one of these eggs…
Frisée Salad with
Poached Egg and Bacon
This is a classic French recipe but since I am lazy, I have altered the recipe to fit with my life philosophy.
Poached eggs are delicious and they are certainly one of my favorite ways to have eggs. To poach an egg, you simply crack an egg into boiling water. You wait a couple of minutes and then remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and then serve it as you like.
As simple as it seems, a good poached egg requires an annoyingly specific condition to be perfect: the egg needs to be as fresh as possible.
As the egg ages in your refrigerator (you are refrigerating them, yes?), the egg white gets thinner and thinner. Thin egg whites spread quickly in boiling water and result in misty, thready clouds of egg white. It might look magically delicious, but it’s super “meh” on a plate. Super-fresh eggs (straight from the hen to the pot!) are the best as the whites are dense and the resulting poached eggs look and taste delicious.
|Oh, look. Perfectly poached eggs on toast with a variety of scrumptious accompaniments. These are brought to you by the overachieving farm-fresh peeps at Martha Stewart.|
|Read more about poached eggs and how to poach them:|
|Recipe: Easy Poached Eggs|
|Article: The Search for the Perfect Poached Egg|
There are various methods to cook thin-whited eggs in water that will keep their shape. These methods utilize various containers including glass ramekins, tuna cans, tart pans, and even plastic bags. Creating a vortex in the boiling water (“RELEASE THE KRAKEN”) is also a must. Creating a vortex of superheated water definitely encourages me to try poaching eggs in the future.
But for now, f#ck that.
Too much effort.
Onward and eggward…
Since I did not know the condition of the whites inside the goose egg (and I was assuming the white would behave like that of a chicken egg), I eschewed ($2 word right there) poaching the egg and decided to cook it sunnyside up, which I felt was an acceptable substitute (you want slightly runny to runny yolks). (This paragraph could have used more parentheses. (Really.))
To eggfinity… and BEYOND.
Here we have one goose egg with the obligatory chicken egg next to it for comparison.
left to right • Masters “pre-flag” chalk dredged up from the accessories pocket of an ancient cue case (circa Cuetec Era), a Grade AA large size chicken egg, the goose egg
I added a cube of chalk to make this post slightly billiards-related and also because we pool players automatically use cubes of chalk (then pool balls, then cues) to convey scale.
In addition to eggs, you will need its best friend, bacon. Cut across the slices to get small strips. I should have cut these strips thinner but I was — wait for it — lazy.
Put the bacon strips in a cold skillet and cook them over medium heat.
You’ll be rendering the fat from the bacon so that gives you a little time. As the bacon cooks, you’ll be working on the greens and dressing.
|This is frisée, a member of the endive family. It is also known as curly endive. It is a nice, crunchy green with a hint of bitterness.|
|Thoroughly wash (and I mean thoroughly — those curly leaves hold a lot of soil and grit) a quarter-pound of the endive, picking off discolored leaves or stems. Tear into medium-size pieces (I did 2″ x 2″) and spin dry with a salad spinner or blot dry with paper towels. Set aside.|
|Stop! Shallot time! Finely chop a small shallot to get about 2 tablespoons. Place them in a large bowl.|
|You don’t need to mince the shallot, but you definitely want the fine chop. The shallot will be part of the dressing so small bits are better than large bits.|
|Full disclosure: I only chopped the shallots fine for this photograph. The rest of the shallots I just chopped in what-the-hell style because I was lazy.|
|Next, you’ll need some acidity for your dressing.|
|I had a lemon on hand and got 2 tablespoons of juice out of one half.|
|I used lemon juice here but you can use red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. I do not recommend using balsamic vinegar here as you want a sharp acidity without sweetness.|
|Add the lemon juice or vinegar to the chopped shallots in the bowl.|
|Pardon me, have you any Dijon mustard? Specifically, have you 1 to 2 tablespoons of it?|
|Here I am using my favorite brand and type of mustard — Maille whole-grain dijon mustard. It is not necessary to use whole-grain mustard as any dijon mustard will do, even Grey Poupon.|
|Depending on your taste, toss in 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) of dijon mustard into the bowl with the shallots and lemon juice. I use about 1-1/2 tablespoons.|
|If you are not a rabid fan of mustard, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon increments of mustard to the mix and tasting as you go to see how you like it. Adjust as necessary.|
Of course, you have been diligently watching the bacon cooking on in the pan this whole time because — BACON.
Make sure to give it a stir every so often and keep an eye on its crisping progress.
|Meanwhile, back at the salad bowl…|
|If you have absolute faith in my ratios of mustard and have not done the add-mix-taste thing, you now have…|
|…a salad bowl with finely chopped shallots, lemon juice, and mustard.|
|If you are a little more adventurous, you can add a pinch of crumbled dried tarragon here for some extra flavor.|
|Mix it thorougly with a whisk, if you have one. If you are non-fancy like me, I mixed it with a fork. Because it was clean. And I had a lot of forks.|
Oh, look. BACON.
The bacon should be crisp by now. Turn the heat to low. Line a plate with paper towels and place your fresh Baco-Bits on it to drain.
|You have some bacon fat in the pan.|
|This is good stuff and we are not going to waste it.|
|I take a few tablespoons of it and add it to my dressing-in-progress.|
|Bacon-fat salad dressing. Ironically delicious. But still so very delicious.|
|Although you could use bacon fat as the only oil for your dressing, I do not recommend it. Bacon fat solidifies when it cools, leaving you with a lump of salad. Yuck.|
|I mix bacon fat and extra-virgin olive oil. The olive oil adds a nice dimension to the dressing.|
|The mix I use is 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat and then about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Whisk it all together to emulsify the dressing. Taste, and add salt and fresh ground pepper.|
|You will have more dressing in the bowl than you need for the greens. Take out however much extra dressing you want and save for later, or, add more greens.|
|I took out half the dressing and saved it for later. The dressing tastes even better the next day after it’s had some time to let the flavors meld in the fridge.|
|Add the frisée pieces to the bowl. Give the greens a few quick tosses to coat them with dressing.|
|Oh, look. BACON — FAT.|
|Pour off all but just enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat back up to high.|
When the pan is hot, crack open the egg and fry away! If you are using chicken eggs, two eggs should be good.
Yeah, yeah. I broke the yolk (hey, I’ve never cooked goose eggs before) so it’s not going to be a pretty, pretty salad. Awww.
As you can see, the yolk of the goose egg is huge. It was at least golf-ball sized. The white had an interesting texture — it was more translucent than those of chicken eggs and almost had a gelatinous quality to it. I realized quickly that the yolk, being that large, would take too long to cook to a nice sunnyside before the white burned.
So, I flipped it to make it overeasy.
Now it really won’t be a pretty, pretty salad.
Yeah, I’m on two fouls. Whatever.
Place the dressed frisée on a plate and sprinkle some bacon bits on it. Place the (hopefully not ugly) sunnyside egg in the middle. Add a few grinds of fresh ground pepper over it all, and enjoy!
The goose egg yolk was something else, dude.
It was super-rich.
The difference between a goose egg and a chicken egg is like the difference between margarine and butter. My friend Mike says the guy who sells the goose eggs only sells them seasonally — I guess geese (or his geese) don’t lay eggs year-round. I’m super-happy to have had the chance to cook not one, but two goose eggs. The second egg shall be cooked soon and its epic pilgrimage to my tummy shall also be documented.
where’s the recipe
I’ve decided not to do detailed recipe formats for these Easy Fancy Schmancy Food posts. Cuz, c’mon — y’all can read and handle it. However, I will include an ingredients list just so it’s easier to check off what you have and what you may need to buy.
Frisée Salad with
Poached Egg and Bacon
- Frisée, or greens of your choice
- Lemon juice, or vinegar of your choice
- Dijon mustard
- Tarragon (optional)
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper