Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Garlic and Eggs

Indeed, it was a chilly evening, one that would have been well-served by a steaming cup o’ DucCat’s finest.

However, he had a poker game to attend, and I was home far too late to get a pot on. I poked around the fridge, browsed through a few cookbooks, and finally settled upon Gourmet's “Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs.”

The recipe was simple, fast, and I had all the ingredients close at hand. I began heating the broiler while chopping the garlic and onions. While they were softening in the pan, I broiled a piece of bread, chopped a tomato, and washed a few dishes.

I am notoriously bad at attempting to halve a recipe, and this little experiment proved no different. It was all good, right until I threw in a large pinch of red pepper flakes- the full recipe amount. Thank goodness I like the spice, but it was rather overpowering.

While the egg simmered in the stock, I finished chopping some parsley (sadly, my cilantro had already turned to mush in the fridge), and tidying up around the kitchen. All that was left was the eating.

Even though the red pepper flakes demanded immediate attention, I was still able to discern the simple, soothing melange of flavours in the broth . The bread, toasted extra crisp in the oven, soaked all the garlicky juices right into itself. The addition of the onions and tomatoes made this feel a bit more substantial, and any excuse to work in some extra veggies are fine by me. The perfectly poached egg was the crowning jewel of this little dish, pulling it all together with that wonderfully rich yolk.

With the promise of colder temperatures right around the corner, I know this will be my go-to weeknight comfort food.

Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs
adapted from ‘The Gourmet Cookbook’

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium head garlic (2-inches in diameter), separated into cloves, peeled, and thinly sliced
8 (1/2-inch thick) baguette slices
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large eggs

garnish: 1/2 cup loosely packed small fresh cilantro sprigs and 4 lime wedges

Heat oil in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and pale golden, 8-10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a small bowl.

Increase the heat to moderate, add bread to skillet, and cook, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes total. Divide toasts among four large soup bowls.

Add stock, red pepper flakes, and garlic to skillet and bring to a simmer. Break 1 egg into a cup and slide egg into simmering stock. Repeat with remaining eggs, spacing them evenly in pan. Poach eggs at a bare simmer until whites firm, but yoks are still runny, 3-4 minutes.

With slotted spoon, transfer eggs to toasts and season with salt. Ladle soup over eggs and garnish with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

s'kat notes: Added some chopped onions along with the garlic. Due to using what was on hand, I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup veal/beef stock. Forgot that I was reducing the recipe, and added the full amount of pepper flakes, not really recommended. Chopped tomatoes were added just before it came off the heat. Used parsely, but cilantro really would have made this sing. Oh, and I toasted the bread under the broiler instead of the pan.


Blogger McAuliflower said...

Wow- quite the money shot with the flowing yolks there!


February 02, 2006 12:17 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Perfect weeknight meal - I usually have all this hanging around the fridge. I'll have to try this, and I may stick with your extra red pepper anyway!

February 02, 2006 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Kat said...

Yummy. I will be sure to try this recipe in the near future!

February 03, 2006 4:51 PM  

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