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Thomas The Accidental Gourmet

Friday, December 31, 2010

Truffled, Slow-Scrambled Eggs

My cousin, Catherine, stopped by for a visit recently and made us something absolutely sinful: as her brother calls them, "frenchified eggs."  The thing about Catherine, other than that she never learned to draw inside the lines, is that she lives out loud.  If she had a leopard-print scarf and big sunglasses, she'd get a Cary Grant boyfriend with a convertible just so she could drive around a la Audrey Hepburn.

(Wait a minute...she does have the outfit.  Wonder why she's driving a Toyota Rav 4 with Somers?)

Anyhoo, part of living out loud for the cousin is an absolute intolerance for low-fat cooking.  Let's just say her eggs were tasty.

I, on the other hand, have a doctor- and spousal-mandated LOVE for low-fat cooking.  So, when we found ourselves wandering through our crack dealer, and noticed they had fresh truffles on sale, we immediately bought some and went about trying to decide how we should cook them.  After a few quasi-failed attempts (I curdled a truffle and clam cream sauce), I settled on stealing my cousin's eggs...with some modification.

Truffled, Slow-Scrambled Eggs

What You Need

1-2 eggs per person, scrambled
Fresh black truffle (about 1/8 ounce per person), shaved and sliced
1/8 cup finely-chopped Italian parsley
A pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. fat free half & half
1 tsp. butter
Toasted ciabatta slices

What To Do With It

Melt the butter in a pan over LOW heat.  If you're using a gas stove, use the smallest burner possible.  Add the half & half and salt to the eggs and mix. 

Now get ready for your morning calisthenics:  pour the eggs in the skillet and start stirring.  Just keep stirring. For about 20-30 minutes.

Your eggs will slowly begin to curdle, but it will take a while.  Be patient.  You'll know they're ready when you stir them and rather than just moving eggs around in a swirl, you actually almost fold them.  Cook for one minute more, then remove and keep stirring for another minute.

Spoon on top of your toasted bread, sprinkle the truffles and parsley on top and enjoy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Baked Apples and Steel Cut Oatmeal

Over Christmas, I got a great present: we went to Colorado and it was actually COLD, with (some) SNOW, no less! (To make you jealous, here's a photo of the tree, set up outside on the deck under a full moon.)  

The great thing about crisp, Colorado mornings (as opposed to the bone-chilling, albeit technically warmer ones we have in Dallas), is that they invite you to get up and enjoy the morning at a leisurely pace. 

We were reminded by my father (too late, I might add) that there are, in fact, stores in Colorado. Accordingly, we found ourselves with far too much fruit.  So I decided to take advantage of our leisurely morning and, after about four cups of coffee, cook up some steel-cut oatmeal (that's NOT anywhere close to the Quaker Instant stuff, thank-you-very-much) and bake some apples to go with it.

Baked Apples and Steel Cut Oatmeal

What You Need

1 small apple per person
1 tsp brown sugar per apple
Ground cinnamon
Orange juice
Steel-cut oatmeal (I use McCann's)
1/8 cup buttermilk per person

What To Do With It

You're going to start the apples first, as they take about 30 minutes (the oatmeal takes only about 20 minutes).

Core your apples. Cut off about 1/4"-1/2" from the top and make the bottoms flat (cut off about 1/8"). Place them on a baking sheet lightly coated with butter. Pour just enough orange juice to lightly cover the bottom of the sheet.

Put 1 tsp brown sugar in each apple, and sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or so (cooking times at 9000 feet are always different from anywhere else).

When the apples are done, place one in a bowl, surround with oatmeal, and pour the buttermilk (TRUST ME!) in the center.  There will be some juice in your pan: spoon some of that up, and ladle it around the outside of your apple, directly on the oatmeal.