Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Eggs and toast

Maverick Farms bought five new chickens yesterday, bringing our total flock to 11 (one rooster). Our flock peaked at something like 25 in the year and half since we took over the farm; there's been a steady stream of death since the peak, and at some point this summer, a weasel or some other diabolic creature had ravaged our birds, killing five in the span of seven days. A proud old rooster, the "cock of the walk," succumbed during that spasm of violence. The flock was never the same after that, although we managed to secure it from the attacks of predators. A steady stream of nearly one egg per day per hen had fallen close to zero.

The new birds are almost spookily calm, and today two large eggs appeared in the henhouse.

Everyone else around had eaten dinner; I will here recount what I did with those two eggs.

Farmhouse eggs and toast
2 eggs, preferably free range
1 tomato, yellow if possible
2 slices bread
1 handful of watercress, well washed
Extra-virgin olive oil
vinegar--Sherry or whatever is on hand
butter to fry eggs
1 clove garlic
sea salt and pepper
white truffle olive oil (optional)

Crush garlic with a pinch of sea salt in mortar and pestle, or on a cutting board rotating between chopping and pounding with the flat side of a knife. Add to salad bowl with a splash of vinegar and a bigger splash of olive oil. Swish with fork. Add watercress to bowl but don't toss.

Smear bread with olive oil and toast on one side under a broiler. Meanwhile, core tomato and cut of two horizontal slices. When bread is brown on one side, flip and place the tomato slices on top of each one. Sprinkle with sea salt and return to broiler.

Now slice the remaining tomato into wedges and add to salad bowl on top of watercress.

Heat butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the eggs, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Check bread in oven--it's probably ready now (tomato slices heated through; bread around tomatoes brown). Remove when ready.

Flip eggs and cook to desired doneness.

Place toast on a plate, and add a fried egg to each one. Add a generous grind of pepper to salad, then toss. Correct for salt. Make room on plate, and add salad.

For a decadent result, drizzle the eggs with white truffle oil. Enjoy with a crisp white wine--or better yet, a dry rosé.


At 8:57 PM, Blogger DMS said...

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At 8:57 PM, Blogger ddunlap1 said...

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At 8:25 AM, Blogger Paul Hue said...

The ratio of 11 chickens to one rooster sounds about right to me.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Paul Hue said...

I discovered a way for you to get more of those greens (watercress in this case) into this meal. Chop a bunch of them and saute with the garlic. Leave the lid off, so water steams away. When the greens reduce, add the eggs and scramble. Your colon with thank you for getting more greens into the meal, although they be (albeit?) non-raw.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Paul Hue said...

1) I think your instructions should specify when adding the eggs that you are going for the "fry" style, rather than scramble.

2) If you have a toaster oven you don't have to turn the toast, and you can set it to turn itself off.

3) Might I suggest a slice of Parmesean or some other cheese added somewhere here?

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Paul Hue said...

Tom: Alexander Dumas of Three Musketeer fame (and author of the first cook book?) has this tip for fried eggs: Crack them all onto a plate, then slide them into the skillet together.

At 2:51 AM, Blogger Law Firm Marketing said...

This is a great recipe that I enjoy making on camping trips.
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