Friday, June 23, 2017

How to cook beef tongue, Part 1: Chile Colorado Lengua Tortas

This is the first in a three part series on how to cook cow's tongue (lengua) then use it in three different Mexican dishes: chile colorado tortas, a la Mexicana, and in chile verde for tacos. First up: chile colorado tortas (sandwiches).

When I was probably about 5 years old, Dad asked me to go to the kitchen and grab him a drink from the refrigerator. I remember happily bouncing to the kitchen, opening the refrigerator door only to run from the room screaming straight to mom. Upon opening that door, staring at me at eye level was a big ol' pig’s head! Come the weekend, with a houseful of friends and relatives eagerly awaiting the barbacoa that my dad had prepared by digging a big hole in the backyard for the meat to smolder over hot coals during the night, I had no interest in going anywhere near that head. However, as an adult, the idea of tasty pig cheeks and crunchy pig ears has a certain appeal.

There is something about odd cuts of meat that can be quite polarizing. Take for instance cow’s tongue. I love it. Always have. But try to serve me a bowl of menudo (tripe, a.k.a., cow stomach lining) and I’ll be gagging at the very first whiff. Blehhhh.

When I was in college, tongue (along with liver, also another favorite), was super cheap meat mainly because it wasn’t mainstream. You rarely found it at major grocery stores. If you wanted tongue, you’d have to go to a butcher or better yet, a Mexican market. When I treated myself to meat while going to art school, it was invariably tongue or liver because they were the cuts that fit into my beans and rice grocery budget. Since the head to tail movement, odd cuts of meat can get pretty darn pricey! Tongue now costs as much per pound as a decent cut of steak. But here’s the thing, sure you might spend anywhere between $30 to $40 for a 5-pound tongue but that tongue can be served three different ways for four people. That’s 12 servings which comes out to about $3.30 per serving of meat.

About 25 years ago now, I served this chile colorado lengua over Mexican red rice with freshly made pinto beans on the side to a good friend. Of course, when he asked what was on the menu, I merely answered stewed meat in a Mexican red sauce because I didn’t want him to pre-judge the meal. He couldn’t stop mentioning how tender and flavorful the meat was while we were eating. After, he caught on that I had avoided saying what cut of meat we had been eating so he point blank asked. I said lengua, because I thought it sounded more exotic. He just laughed. My blond, blue-eyed surfer friend had spent enough time surfing Baja to be a better Spanish speaker than I was. He admitted to never having had it and was surprised at how much he enjoyed it.

Today I’m showing you how to cook the meat which will then be divided into thirds for three different meals. Along with how to cook the tongue, I’m sharing my dad’s chile colorado tongue sandwich recipe. We’re making a basic pan red sauce that my parent’s use for 90% of their Mexican red sauce needs. Our family rarely made chile colorado from whole dried chiles. That preparation was reserved for homemade chorizo and occasionally, mole for tamales. Everything else has always been made with California chile powder (sometimes they will use a combination of California chile powder and New Mexico chile powder). It cannot be made with generic chili powder so please don’t attempt to substitute it. Those spice jars that simply say “chili powder” have a muddled flavor profile. There is a distinct flavor to California chile powder that is absolutely necessary for Mexican dishes. You can find it in 1-ounce plastic cellophane bags in the Mexican aisle of most major grocery stores and Walmart stores. Preferably, it’s El Guapo brand and the package will say: Chile California Molido (Ground California Chili Pepper). It’ll run you anywhere between .99 cents to $1.60 depending on where you get it. Also, if you wind up liking the flavor, I suggest stopping in at Smart & Final and picking up their larger 8-ounce jar.

Next week, I’ll be sharing the other two preparations: Lengua a la Mexicana (with tomatoes, jalapeño, onions, cilantro) and chile verde lengua tacos.

Ok, ready to cook? Let’s get started!

So this is what five pounds of cow tongue looks like. I know, it's hard to make raw meat look appealing. You know how a really well prepared filet mignon practically melts in your mouth? Trust me, when this has cooked for 3 or 4 hours, it's just as tender and rich but with a much smoother texture.

To cook the meat, we're going to need salt, whole peppercorns, garlic cloves, some bay leaves, half an onion and whole Mexican oregano (find it in the Mexican spice section of your local grocery store, usually El Guapo is the brand most readily available).

We're also going to need half a bunch of cilantro.

All of this goes into a soup pot and gets covered with fresh cool water. Then onto the stove to bring to a boil.

After the meat comes to a boil, we'll reduce the heat to medium-low to keep the water at a low simmer. During the first hour of cooking, the impurities will be released from the meat. Use a spoon to skim it off and discard.

After 4 hours of cooking, we'll remove the tongue from the broth to cool. You want to reserve the broth because we'll be using it for all three dishes following the basic cooking process. 

Once the meat has cooled enough to handle, we're going to need to remove this tough skin.

Starting at the base of the tongue, we're going to grab a corner of the skin and lift. 

Slip a sharp knife between the skin and the meat and carefully slice through it, lifting the skin as you go.

The closer you get to the tip of the tongue, the more difficult it will be to remove the skin–it gets thinner as it moves down the length of the tongue. You might need to make horizontal cuts into the skin to help remove. Once it's completely removed, the skin can be discarded.

Back up at the base of the tongue, this underside resembles more of a pot roast in texture. It also often has excess fat. Trim away the fat.

Then slice away the underside–tenderloin, I call it–and save it for the taco recipe. We want to make the tortas first, using the thickest part of the meat here at the base of the tongue as they fit best on the rolls. Removing the "tenderloin" allows for cleaner cuts and better slices for the sandwiches. At this point, you could wrap the meat up and pour all the broth into a container, refrigerate and continue the rest of this recipe the next day. Or continue. 

For the tortas, starting at the base of the tongue, we'll make 8-10 thin slices. Set aside.

The Mexican red sauce starts like most sauces do: with a rue. We're using butter, chile powder and flour. We'll also be using beef bouillon in place of salt during the finishing stage of the sauce.

As soon as the butter has melted, in goes the chile powder and flour.

Cook the flour and chile, stirring, for one minute. You want to cook it long enough to get rid of the raw flavor in the flour but not too long as the chile burns easily and that will make it bitter.

In goes 2 cups of the broth, whisking it until it's smooth. Then a small can of tomato sauce is whisked in.

Then comes the bouillon. It gets whisked in.

Add the sliced meat.

Turn the meat to make sure it's fully covered in sauce and heat until warmed through. If the sauce seems too thick, add more broth, a tablespoon at a time. It should be a little thinner than gravy but not as thin as soup. 

A generous slathering of mayonnaise goes on the bottom slice of the telera roll. If you don't have a local latin market or bakery, choose a soft crusted roll. But to make it authentic, do search out a telera roll. It's flatter and softer crusted than a bolillo or birote (basically, two different names for the same kind of Mexican-style French bread, just depends on which part of Mexico the bakers are from). A bolillo can be used in a pinch but you'll need to hollow out the inside a little to make room for the sandwich fixings otherwise they'll simply slip out when you try to take a bite due to the harder crust. Next comes the avocado, followed by the thinly sliced cold iceberg, then the meat. Lastly, the top half of the bread gets a quick dip in the sauce before topping the torta. Also, like a good burger, I feel like Coca-Cola is the best beverage with this. But that's probably just me. 

Until next time, friends, be well and buen provecho!

Basic Beef Tongue and Chile Colorado Lengua Tortas 

To cook the meat:

5 pound beef tongue
1 tbs salt 
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
½ tbs whole oregano

½ tsp cracked black pepper or peppercorns
3-4 bay leaves
Small bunch cilantro
½ onion
3-4 peeled garlic cloves 

Place ingredients in a soup pot. Cover with water by 2-inches. Bring to a boil then lower to medium-low and simmer for 4 hours. During the first hour of cooking, skim off the foam as it appears and discard. Once the meat is cooked, carefully remove to a plate; allow to cool until it’s easy to handle. Drain the broth, reserving the cooking liquid and discarding the solids. You’ll need the broth for all three cooking preparations to follow.

When meat is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to remove the skin. Start near the base of the tongue, grip a corner of skin, slip the knife between the skin and meat and carefully slice away the skin, gently pulling up on it as you go; try not to cut into the meat. Discard skin. Cut away any visible fat near the base of the tongue. Also, there is “tenderloin” of sorts at the base of the tongue that can be sliced off to allow for cleanly slicing the rest of the tongue for the tortas; the tenderloin will be reserved for the tacos.

At this point, once the meat and broth have completely cooled, you can refrigerate and continue with the recipe the next day.

For the chile colorado:

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon California chile powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups reserved cooking liquid, plus more as needed
8-ounce can of tomato sauce (I prefer Hunt’s because it doesn’t have added sugar)
1 tablespoon powdered beef bouillon, such as Knorrs

To make the rue: Warm a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the chile powder and flour, either with a whisk or silicon spatula, stir to incorporate for 1 minute.

Make the sauce: Whisk in the cooking liquid until smooth. Add the tomato sauce. Pour 4 ounces of cooking liquid into can, swirl to rinse and add to sauce. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the bouillon. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more bouillon, if needed.

Starting at the base of the tongue, make 8-10 thin slices. Add to sauce.

For tortas:

4 telera rolls
mayonaise, to taste
1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced
iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced or shredded

Split the rolls. Spread mayonnaise, to taste, on the bottom halves. Divide the avocado slices between the four bottoms. Top the avocado with lettuce. Next, add the meat, divided between the four bottoms. Dip the top halves of the rolls in the sauce, then top the sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Easy Beef Tagine brings Moroccan spice home

Last month I introduced you to a new line of tagine sauces. It was a big hit in my family so this month I'm sharing my results with Mina Tagine Moroccan Lamb or Beef Cooking Sauce. Hands on time is 15 minutes and depending on the cut of meat, you can have dinner on the table in about an hour-and-half. The smell while this is cooking? Oh my goodness, I just can't stand it! All those warm spices mingling in the air filled me with anticipation for dinner time. Even my grandmother came out of her bedroom to seek me out and tell me how the entire house was filled with the most delectable aromas. Grandma is a picky eater so it was high praise, indeed.

real food, please
You know I'm a big advocate for making things from scratch. I'm totally into real food, not packaged food. Often, jarred food tends to be ridiculously filled with chemical additives. But just like with the chicken sauce last month, this Mina tagine sauce is super clean: water, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, ginger, salt, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, mace, cardamom, nutmeg and saffron. That's it. Real food, real spices and no added chemicals. (I really appreciate, too, that they list the actual spices and don't just say "spices" which always leaves me thinking that a company is being vague because those spices might not all be natural.) There's a recipe on the label that gets you started. I suggest making it the first time as suggested on the jar then the next time, just use the recipe as a jumping off point for future meals. Next time, I'm nixing the fruit (recovered diabetic here) and will be adding some veggies like chunks of carrots or butternut squash for the sweetness. Maybe even some dark leafy greens because, well, why not? I add them to nearly everything (they're good for you!).

the recipe, in pictures
Ok, so these are the ingredients listed on the jar for how to cook the tagine:

• jar of Mina's tagine sauce for beef
• beef 
(or lamb; I used chuck pot roast because it was on sale but warning, if you go this route, it needed an hour more cooking time than the recipe called for before the meat became fall-apart tender)
• one whole onion 
(I had red on hand but you can use brown or white)
• dried apricot 
(shop natural food stores with bulk bins that have a high turn over so your fruit will be soft and fresh and you can buy just what you need; locally, I buy mine at Sprouts)
• almonds 
(I LOVE Spanish Marcona almonds, which is what's pictured here. They're plumper than California almonds and have an almost macadamia-like texture with a flesh that is just a little sweeter, I think)
• fresh cilantro,
for garnish

The onion can be finely diced or grated. I used a box grater. I find that grating produces a lot of onion juice so I squeeze it out and discard it.

Here's a tip to help keep the tears away

Peel and quarter the onion and place it in the freezer for twenty minutes or up to half an hour. Pull out a quarter at a time and quickly, but mindful of fingers, grate. Repeat until all the onion has been grated. This will slow down the emission of the enzyme that irritates the tear ducts and makes you cry. 

The pot roast was fairly well trimmed. I removed more of the silvery connective tissue and excess fat. The jar recipe says to cut into 3-inch chunks but I prefer smaller pieces so I cut mine into 2-inch chunks. Whichever size you choose, just be consistent about it.

I heated my 12-inch cast iron on medium high until it was blazing. I added a teaspoon of cooking oil, then added half the meat. There are two things to remember when browning nearly anything, but most especially meat: don't overcrowd the pan or the meat will stew instead of brown and secondly, don't fiddle with the meat. Place it on the hot pan and leave it for at least three minutes before testing to see if it's ready to flip. You'll know, trust me. The meat will release easily from the pan when it's ready. If it's sticking, leave it a little longer.

A side note on the pan

 Last month, I bought a ceramic tagine to cook the chicken tagine. This time around, I wanted to show you that you don't have to run out and buy a special cooking vessel, especially if storage space is at a premium in your kitchen. Use any heavy bottomed 10- or 12-inch skillet with a good fitting lid. Was there a difference in the finished dish between the cast iron and the tagine? Well, the ceramic tagine I bought was glazed inside so it trapped the steam and kept the tagine sauce from evaporating. I never had to add water to it. Cooked in the cast iron, even with a good fitting lid, the tagine needed an additional 2 cups of water. Surprisingly, the sauce, even with the additional water, was still rich and flavorful, never tasting diluted.

As the meat browned, I removed it to a bowl. 

I deglazed the pan with a little water to loosen up the charred bits of meat before adding the onions.

I returned the meat to the pan then … 

poured in the sauce.

I added water to the jar, swirled it and then added it to the pan before baking. Towards the end of the baking the chopped apricots were added (I chopped half and left half whole for presentation purposes; feel free to chop all) then the pan was returned to the oven to bake a little longer.

These colors are just so gorgeous, aren't they? Make sure to put additional chopped cilantro, chopped fruit and Marcona almonds on the table so your guests can personalize their garnishes. Serve over your favorite grain (I used leftover farro) and with some crusty bread (I prefer whole wheat since I try to avoid white bread whenever possible).

Glass of red wine optional.

Until next time … xo, ani

easy beef tagine
adapted from Mina Tagine

The directions I'm placing here with this recipe assumes you're using chuck pot roast like I did. If you're using a more tender cut of meat, follow the cooking instructions on the jar. Also, the jar ingredient list suggests 1 cup chopped dried fruit such as prunes, apricots or raisins. It was too much fruit for me. I prefer it with a bit less as listed below. Also, for presentation, I left the nuts whole. If you use regular almonds, definitely chop them.

Serves 6

1 large onion
2 pounds beef, such as chuck pot roast
1 teaspoon olive oil
¾ cup chopped dried apricots
⅔ cups roasted and salted Marcona almonds, or ½ cup chopped almonds
fresh cilantro for garnish, optional

Peel and quarter the onion. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the onion. Squeeze out excess water; set aside. 

Remove excess fat from meat; cut meat into 2-inch chunks. Heat a cast iron (or heavy-bottomed skillet) over medium high heat until hot. Swirl-in the oil. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan, add the meat, browning on all sides. As meat is browned, remove to a bowl. Repeat with remaining meat.

Add ¼ cup water to the hot pan, scrape the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon to bring up the caramelized bits left behind from the browning process. Add the onions and sauté for one minute. Return the meat and all the meat juices to the pan, stirring to combine. Pour in the sauce. Fill the jar with water, shake, and pour the water into the pan. Stir to combine. Cover pan (use foil, tightly fitted, if your skillet doesn't have a good-fitting lid) and bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After the first hour, check and see if the sauce is looking too dry, if it is, add ½ cup more water.

At the end of two hours, add ½ cup of water, stir in the apricot and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes. Top with almonds and serve over your favorite cooked whole grain or couscous. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

This post was created in partnership with Mina. All opinions, recipes and photography are my own. Connect with Mina on TwitterInstagram and Facebook

I occasionally work with brands that I love and use in my own kitchen. These sponsored posts help to offset the cost of running this site. Thank you for supporting my sponsors!

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Favorite Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

I love cornbread. It’s pure comfort food. One that I still indulge in every once in a while.

Cornbread can be a very controversial subject so let me just get something out right here and right now: This post doesn’t profess to be sharing the definitive cornbread recipe because I have no intention on stepping on anyone’s toesies. I’m not going to get into the sugar/no sugar debate because I’m not Southern, I’ve never been to the South and I certainly have no intention of slighting anyone’s grandma. 

I’ve had had traditional Southern cornbread. You know the kind? The one with no wheat flour and no sugar made in a blazing hot cast iron skillet? But I gotta say, not my cup of tea. Or should I say, not my slice of bread? Whatever. Point is, every time I’ve had it, it’s been on the dry side plus I’m not a fan of the crispy, brown, even drier edges. 

For nearly 35 years, I’ve played with cornbread recipes. I’ve made cornbread from white cornmeal and I’ve made it from yellow. I’ve even made it without sugar and with. I’ve made it without added corn kernels and with. I’ve made it using mixes and I’ve made it from scratch. But in the end, I gotta say, I prefer it with a little bit of sugar, a little bit of wheat flour, definitely with buttermilk and most definitely, with whole kernel corn for a bit of added texture and some real corn flavor. 

So, this is my family’s favorite version. I hope you find a place for it in your kitchen, too, even if you have to call it dessert. 

Buttermilk Cornbread

I use oil instead of butter as I find the oil makes a more tender crumb. Feel free to use butter if you prefer. Substitute it one-to-one. Also, don't skip letting the batter rest for 10 minutes before baking off. It really makes a difference by giving the cornmeal time to re-hydrate. 

Makes one 8x8 square pan

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (or ¼ teaspoon regular salt)
1 cup cold buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup canola oil 
1 cup whole kernel corn

Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over on two sides These will be used as “handles" to lift out the cornbread later. Spray the pan and the parchment lightly with a coat of non-stick spray (I use high quality baker’s spray which has flour in it). Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the corn to the flours. Fold in the wet ingredients using a silicon spatula, pulling the dry ingredients up from the bottom. Don’t over mix, just stir long enough so no dry flour is left. Pour into the prepared pan; let sit for 10 minutes to hydrate the cornmeal. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before lifting out and slicing. Store covered at room temperature for 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days (or if using butter, store in refrigerator once cooled).

Friday, June 2, 2017

{ cooking for one } Fava Bean Toast with Poached Egg

a breath … grief can linger so don’t beat yourself up over it

May Gray has transitioned into June Gloom here in San Diego. For a city that has the reputation for being bright, sunny and easy going, this weather is contrary to the image my hometown likes to project. Truth be told, the gray weather kinda suits my mood these days.

I’m going to talk a bit about this awesome breakfast toast in a bit but first I need to be authentic and talk about something that’s been percolating in the background for some time. It’s about grief and how sometimes, no matter how much you try to deny it, it demands to be felt and dealt with. Feel free to jump down to “a bite …” to get to the food portion of this post. I won’t mind.

You might have noticed that things have been a little off at Casa Confessions from the (mostly) cone of silence that has enveloped this space for much of the past year. Turning 50 in 2016 was a lot harder on me than I thought it would be. Even a birthday trip to Hawaii for the first time did little to dispel the growing sense of “what’s the point?” that has nagged me the last year-and-a-half which, if I’m honest, began following the unexpected death of a dear friend in August of 2015. That’s a long time spent grieving, I know, and I’ve done my best to push it down, ignore it, deny that it's played such a significant role in my general apathy. But if I take a hard look at myself, the truth is that I’ve been quietly choking on it this entire time. 

I had been on a roll: I’d successfully reversed my diabetes within three months of the diagnosis; I was consistently posting about my progress. Work was stressful but manageable after having won several international awards. Loved ones were doing well. 

Or so I thought. 

I remember I was setting up lights to shoot a post when I got the call about my friend’s passing. At the time, we didn’t know details. I walked outside, away from the distraction of the TV and the looks of apprehension from my aunt and grandmother who immediately picked up on the transformation in my body language. I sat on the back steps, numbly listening as our mutual friend told me what he knew. When the call ended, I just sat there. Everything around me stopped. I couldn’t hear the noises in the house, the airplanes flying overhead, my neighbors pounding in the yard. 

There. Was. Just. Silence. 

Excruciating in its heaviness bearing down on me.

It would be two weeks before I found out that it hadn’t been an accident. That knowledge hit me even harder as questions crashed around in the depths of my soul screaming, “How could you miss this!?!” Several weeks before, we’d run into each other at our local park, he finishing up his workout, me walking Starbuck. He ran up to me, enveloped me in his sweaty arms and held me just a little longer than normal. He asked how I was, bent down and played with Starbuck while telling me how much he missed not having a dog any longer. He looked better than the prior time I’d seen him. A month earlier he’d been in a fierce battle with his demons and it played out in his shaky hands and erratic behavior. But standing before me, sweat pouring off of him post-run, face and bare shoulders sun-kissed and beaming at Star, I missed it. I MISSED IT. 

Earlier that summer he’d called well past midnight. He wanted to talk about us, about our history, no holds barred. He wanted to know how I characterized our relationship, both when we were intimate and after. Over the years, we’d find our way back to each other, take comfort and part again. But always, the connection was there and we both knew it. It was an intensely weird night of conversation and soul-baring. He cried. I cried. I told him I had long since forgiven him because the bottom line was that I had been in love with him from day one and, though different, loved him still. After his passing, I wondered if I should have been as truthful as I had been. Yes, he had insisted on knowing the depth of the pain he’d caused me but I could have sugar-coated it because I knew it hurt him to have his words and actions replayed from my perspective.

I dreamt about him again last night. I dream about him often. But last night, it was 1999 again and things went so very differently than they did in real life. I woke with tears in my eyes and his scent around me. I know it was my subconscious still processing grief but a part of me likes to think that these dreams are him visiting me, letting me know that he’s okay now and that even in death, we’re still connected. 

I am looking out the window as I type this. Literally, the clouds have begun to part and late afternoon sun is piercing the grayness. I breathe deeply, feeling the fog beginning to lift. I miss him terribly. I miss having a him in my life to tell me how it is, to cheer me on, to share our highs and lows, to laugh and be silly with, to make me feel like a woman and not just a friend, a sister, a daughter, a niece. 

I’m working on getting back on track. No matter how much I wish I could, I simply can’t change what happened. And I can’t keep thinking that I could have changed the tragic outcome had I known more, paid closer attention, tried harder to connect whenever he backed away into his corner. 

But I couldn’t have known how lost he was because he didn’t want anyone to know. 

I’m starting to get that now. I’m working on finding joy while letting go of the guilt. When he wasn’t fighting his demons, he lived big, passionately, boldly. I’m working to honor the memory of him by trying to live as passionately as he did. I have a long way to go, but at least I feel the forward pull again. 

Rest in peace, my friend. See you in my dreams.

a bite … because, toast!

My friend and I loved breakfast time. If he was cooking, it was waffles engorged with whole oats, seeds and nuts. If I was cooking it was often eggs in new and surprising ways or French toast. He loved my French toast. 

I rarely partake in sweet breakfasts anymore, usually opting for eggs. And I’ve traded in French toast for a slice of toasted whole grain bread and eggs. I also love legumes with any meal of the day so here, I’ve paired toast and a poached egg with fava beans. Although the peak season for these broad beans just ended, this nutrient-dense food is available year-round. A good source of lean protein, fava beans are high in folate, iron, manganese and dietary fiber plus they’re a good source of vitamin K, copper and zinc. A little bacon. A little shaved parmesan, some fresh herbs and breakfast is served.

If you’ve never worked with fresh fava beans before, I’m reposting my video tutorial on how to shell and prepare them for using in your recipes. I shell and blanch all the beans, allow them to cool, then store them in the fridge so they’re ready to add to salads, stir-fry’s or soups. They should keep for about a week. 

Fava Bean Toast with Poached Egg

I used fava beans but feel free to substitute it with shelled edamame, lima beans or even English peas. Using a sieve to prep the egg for poaching removes the watery portion of the egg white making for a prettier poached egg without those flowing “feathers” of egg whites.

1 slice bacon, rough chopped
1 tablespoon finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, peeled, sliced in half, divided
⅓  cup shelled and blanched fava beans
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, mint or basil, plus more for garnish
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1 slice whole grain bread
olive oil
2 tablespoons goat cheese 
1 large organic egg
shaved parmesan, for garnish
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Render bacon in a medium skillet. Once rendered, add onion, stirring, until translucent. Finely mince half the garlic, stir into the onions. Add the blanched fava beans, cook, stirring until fava beans are al-dente or to your taste. Turn heat off and stir in the fresh herbs; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet, preferably cast iron, until smoking. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the bread then rub the reserved half clove of garlic on both sides of bread. Add bread to skillet and toast to your liking on both sides. Careful, don’t walk away or the toast will burn. 

Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil. Place a small sieve over a cup or small bowl and crack the egg into it, discarding the watery white that falls into the cup. Place the egg into a small custard cup. Once water is boiling, use a spoon to swirl the water and carefully slide the egg into the eye of the whirlpool. Cook for three minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the egg to a plate lined with a paper towel.

To assemble, spread goat cheese onto one side of the toast. Add the fava beans then top with the egg. Garnish with shaved parmesan, fresh herbs and salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. 

Until next time … xo, ani