Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mushroom and Thyme Bruscetta with Poached Egg

Sunday dinner is always a tough one. On the one hand, I want to eat something hearty because it's Sunday(!) and you just need that comforting end to the weekend, but on the other hand, I'm at the edge of feeling guilty from the weekend binge and/or motivated about (possibly) re-starting my gym routine the next day.

Whether or not I make it back to the gym again this week is a question to answer next weekend, but until then, here's a very simple, but flavorful take on bruschetta--yes, as a main course. The serving size suggested below will leave you full to the top. Although I did manage to squeeze in a massive mug of coffee and a chocolate biscuit for dessert as well. 

Once again, laziness and lack of good lighting means that I didn't get a decent picture of the meal, but the one above looks pretty much like it should, unless you're creative, in which case it might look like this:

Good god, I hope not.

Any way, here goes.

Serves: 1-3 
depending on whether you serve it as an appetizer or main course.

1 ciabatta roll, or baguette, or similar, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
200g seasonal large mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2-2/3 tsp dried thyme, powdered
2 medium eggs, poached (here's how to do it)
  1. Grill or toast bread slices for roughly 2 minutes until lightly browned on both sides with a good bit of a crunch. Lightly rub the raw garlic clove on the bread. Raw garlic is strong, so unless you want horrible breath, don't overdo it. 
  2. Heat oil and margarine in a pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. If you're using oyster mushrooms with shitake or button mushrooms, put in the latter a minute or so before the oyster mushrooms. Fry until the mushrooms are tender but still retain their shape (4-5 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, poach the egg. Sous-vide technique is best, but you can just as well use the age-old technique of adding vinegar to boiling water, then swirling the water with a spoon to create a whirlpool. Crack the egg slowly into the middle of the whirlpool and simmer for 4 minutes. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. To serve, lay out the toasted bread in a circle on a flat tray. Pour out mushroom mix in the middle, topped with the poached egg. If you prefer to be neat, do it like it's done in the 1st photo. I prefer messy antipesto presentation. It's more fun. Just don't be as messy as the 2nd pic.

5 Minute French Toast

I was very hungry this morning and completely and utterly sick of eating toast, jam, peanut butter and/or cereal for breakfast. Solution? French toast! But who wants to go through all that hassle? Well, tried out this quick and simple way of making it and it was as good as anything I've ever eaten.

Could it be improved? Yes--with cinnamon and nutmeg added to the liquid mix, but that would make it all too Christmassy. It's good as it is without these ingredients..

No picture of what I made because I'm lazy, but here's a photo of a cat eating French Toast instead,! And also because the internet doesn't need more pictures of battered bread with syrup.

Now, I prefer if the bread is a couple days old and hard to start with because it has a certain texture which I happen to like, but anything goes, really. I highly recommend against soft Asian bread, though, unless you like mushy textures.

Serves: 1

1 large egg
1/3 cup skimmed or whole milk
1 pinch salt
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 pinch cinnamon (optional)
1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
3-4 slices of bread
Butter or margarine
Maple or regular golden syrup

  1. Beat the egg, milk, salt, and optional ingredients together in a wide-mouthed dish.
  2. Melt a bit of butter over medium-high heat in a frying pan--enough to coat the surface of the pan. As it's melting, dip a slice of bread in the liquid mix. Let it soak the mix for a few seconds (and no more!) on each side. 
  3. Into the pan with the bread! Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Repeat Step 2 with the rest of the bread. Serve with maple or golden syrup, and if you like, a bit of butter or margarine.