Ok, you may or may not agree with me on this when you find out what it is, but let me tell you…
THIS STUFF IS AWESOME!
(ok, it may have been the huge amounts of butter and olive oil, combined with a chaotic day, and the decadence of cooking this ONLY for me and not having to share for once…)
I got the idea from a book I just finished, The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. Kimberlie mentioned it in a 7 Quick Takes a few weeks back as a “why I never want a farm” kind of read. I read it for the completely opposite reason: I want a farm. Badly. I’m not getting one any time soon, but we had a possibility that fell through for a job change… and now I realize how much that desire never died.
The book is an interesting read. There are occasional recipe descriptions (but no actual “1 cup of this, 1 tsp of that…”) and lots of farm life. For the morally sensitive, yes, she sleeps with him before he proposes (the food gets more descriptive time) and moves in with him more than a year before the wedding… and then nearly leaves him right after the wedding. But, finally, she does realize something plenty of us need to realize: travel or running from marriage or running from the committment of the farm isn’t the solution. We’re most afraid of ourselves, but hiding it under movement and committment avoidance. In the end, she goes home from her writing assignment in Maui, dives back into the farm and her marriage, and then wrote a book about the entire experience.
Anyways, when the author first met her future husband, she cooks something like this for the farm crew, although I think she said she used kale.
Poached Eggs in Swiss Chard
one baby leek or several scallions (sliced, white and green parts)
big bunch of swiss chard (stems and leaves, sliced into ribbons)
half a stick of butter
balsamic vinegar (I used pomegranate-infused)
leftover shrimp scampi (Optional. DH made it for my birthday; the shrimp had garlic, thyme, and even more butter.)
slices of homemade bread
Dubliner white cheddar (or any other sharp white cheese; I think orange cheddar would be the wrong flavor for this)
1. In a small frying pan, melt the butter. Add sliced leeks and saute until soft.
2. Pile in the chard, stem pieces first. Cover (I used my dinner plate) and let cook down slightly. Drizzle generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Stir, re-cover, and cook until limp.
3. Make a bit of a well in the limp chard mixture. Think “nest”; the pan should not show through the bottom. Crack an egg into each nest. Re-cover and let the eggs poach. (I nestled some shrimp in between the eggs at this point.)
4. When eggs are white and cooked through, but not hard, you’re done! Serve on top of thin slices of homemade bread (mine had a seed mixture in it). Top with thin slices of the cheese.