Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's not all about beads....... (well, it is..but sometimes we need to talk about something else)

This morning we slept late because of all the work we have been doing with the D.Y.I Bathroom Renovation and we just did not have the enthusiasm to "jump right up" and start in's going to take us long enough so a little light reading and TV wasn't going to hurt any.  I was flipping through the channels and stopped to watch Rocco Di Spirito's - Rocco's Dinner Party and started to think about how much fun I used to have when I cooked every night.  I know I have been extremely busy lately and just haven't had the time but I never thought of cooking for Hank, family or friends as a chore-it was always something I looked forward to.  I taught myself how to cook..when I met Hank, probably because all he did was eat and no matter what I made he always loved it.  Whether that was the truth or not, he appreciated every meal as if it were his first or last and I don't think there is a better feeling than having something you create appreciated by the ones you love.  So for the last 20 years whether it was something quick or something that took all day to prepare he has always acted like it was the best in the world.. (he is reminding me now, there was that one time I made the carrot soup which did not only taste bad --he is deathly allergic to carrots)  Oops.

(getting back to Rocco's Dinner Party) So, as we were watching the show he asked me if I would know what to make if I was a contestant and I honestly could not think of anything..and it kinda pissed me off.  I tried., I thought about all my "never fail recipes" (which are not recipes at all..I have never used a recipe or repeated a recipe that I can think of other than a simple dressing or sauce) and honestly could not come up with anything that I could feel confident about in a show like that.. So, he (Hank) challenged me..  The episode we were watching was called "the fashion forward challenge" and the contestants had to create a "couture and a ready-to-wear finished dish using the same ingredients.  Hank told me to use whatever we had in the house and do the same.. (he was not allowed to exit the bedroom while I was cooking.)  Basically we were trying anything NOT to go back to work in the bathroom and this gave us a reason not to.

So I walked into the kitchen and then right back outside to the garden - grabbed two beautiful green tomatoes.  One being totally green and one being a little pink and green and decided I was going to make A version of Fried Green Tomatoes for my ready to wear...Hmm, now what was my couture going to be??  Since this was breakfast of course eggs popped into my head but now how to make it "fancy"??... and I immediately thought of Eggs BenedictAt that moment my dish was decided.  

So, what is this mountain of goodness?  Well, first let me say this would be perfect if I did not serve it over toast.. that is too much food for regular people.  Hank is not regular people so sometimes here it is not Quality over Quantity it is Quality AND Quantity.. but toast was the mistake-not a terrible mistake, but for company-leave it out or's a personal choice.  Maybe go with small toast triangles or something..   OK.  SO this is my Fried Green Tomatoes with Poached Eggs with Spicy Mayo and Corn Relish.  The Eggs over the Fried Tomatoes visually for me was "Eggs Benedict"  the spicy mayo was my "Hollandaise"  For Color I added the Corn Relish #1. because it was a gift and #2 I adore corn relish #3. It made it look really pretty!
And my "recipe as follows" ( I don't read directions well and I don't write them well.. u can figure it out)  There is no time to rest when making this... I am doing everything at once so clear space in the kitchen!

1. Start Boiling your water for poaching eggs

This was the first time I poached an egg the "right way".  I have poached them in egg cups and silicone floatation devices but I honestly do not know why I never just poached them them this's easy.  I used a Medium size Enamel Sauce Pan and used the "vortex" method of poaching.  I added some white vinegar to my water. 
2. Readied my pan for frying (I also do not fry so this was a first..I used a shallow stone omelet pan with canola oil)
3. put a baking dish in the oven to keep tomatoes warm while waiting for the others to fry and some paper towels out to soak up excess oil.

I cut thick slices (about 3 per) of Green Tomatoes
Dipped them in an egg wash first (2 eggs lightly whisked with a fork)
Dredged them in Corn Meal & White Flour with S & P ( I used coarse corn meal because that is all I have, but I think the medium or fine would be better.. I am not sure...mine was fine)
Drop one at a time in hot oil, fry well on both sides.  I do not check for any sort of  "done-ness of the tomato..I just use the corn meal as my guide.
Lay on Paper Towels until any excess oil is absorbed then place in warm oven
Repeat over and over until they are all done.

Sauce:  In a blender I combined Mayo, Thin Hot & Sweet Pickled  Pepper Slices (just a few) some capers and blend.  If the mixture is too thick, thin it out with a smidgen of milk or water or whatever.  Pour into small bowl and fold in Green Relish or diced pickles or whatever you like. ** I added lavender flowers to this mixture..which I add another dimension to the vinegary & spicy peppers/relish... only about 5-6 florets which as far as flavor is concerned-didn't come through, but about 2-3 times I got a really beautiful whiff of lavender while eating which was really nice.**

Poach 2 Eggs at a time per dish.  Crack 2 eggs and place them in 2 different ramekins then Take your Wisk and in a circular motion create a center vortex in your boiling water.  Pour your egg into the center of the vortex, then (this is tricky) take the next ramekin of egg and pour it into the boiling water sort of/kind of near the other but not too close.. and dont touch them.. leave them be at a rolling boil for approx. 3 mins.  When 3 mins has ended (I didn't time it, it just felt like 3 minutes) I removed them gently from the water with a strainer/ladle whatever you use and just set down on a wood carving board.  The were perfect I tell ya..

Layer all this yummy goodness they way they do on TV ;) and top with corn relish if you have a friend who gave you one as a gift!! Thank You Keith from Shangri-La!

Veggies from our (SMALL-Urban) Garden in June
Summer Food...........

Hank finally learned how to grill properly by watching Create TV's Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen.  At the lake we only have the channels available through the converter thingie..and we have become addicted to watching Create TV.   One of our favorite shows is Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen and it was only after watching about 10 shows in a row on rainy afternoon that Hank even realized we had a "still-in-box" Weber Grill in our shed, brand new-never used.  He realized this after he said to me " Can we go purchase the small Weber Grill that he used on the show"?  and I gave him that look... that look that makes him stop and think before asking the next question...then I pointed towards the shed.   He gets that look alot.. so he knows. I love this little Weber, BTW.. no need for a big, fancy grill at the lake..that's for sure.

Slow Cooked Ribs that I marinated for 24 hours in a nice little Secret Bourbon Marinade I thought up that day.. yum!

It doesn't matter what you are cooking, where you are cooking it or how you are cooking it. I honestly think that if you are not making your food from your soul and thinking about the ones you love while doing so that it will not deliver.   Ingredients are key and those that come from our own gardens even better.. 

Now, that I have procrastinated long enough...It is time to get back to the renovation --the sooner it gets done the quicker I can get back to BEADS..and stop talking about all this food ;)

Til then, I bid you Happy Cooking AND Happy Creating....

Choc. Martini's
Fresh WILD Berries from the house in the mountains!   



Cindy Cima said...

Yum! all looks great!

Lisa Peters Russ said...

Thank you Cindy!!!!

Just Beady Jules said...


You're right, it's not all about beading but finding the creativity within ourselves to complete whatever it is we are doing. Whether it be cooking, beading, sewing, even cleaning. LOL.

I loved your article...and cheers to Hank for creating the challenge...

Lisa Peters Russ said...

you are right Julie!!! even with the cleaning part??? lol! xoxo