Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Chicken or the Egg?

I was going to open this post with a playful bit about "Nobody here but us chickens!" (Where does that come from anyway?!) Or a teasy little reassurance about not having really flown the coop...even though I know it's been looking a little deserted here in La Fourchette's kitchen. So I'll dispense with the "cute stuff" and simply pull the cobwebs down from the corners of the place, polish the pots and pans, throw open the doors and humbly acknowledge my absence...albeit unintentional.

It's always lovely to receive your comments and messages. The email messages I've received have ranged from "Where are you?!?" to gentle nudges to checking to see if everything was okay to people thinking they had done something wrong to have ended up knocked off of the subscription list. Not so unexpected as I received similar messages the last time I dropped off the radar screen. And like last time, I've appreciated all of the prompts (some more gentle than others) and offer up no excuse other than I've been having a bit of fun (bloggable and not-so-bloggable).

There have been nights filled with music in the streets...

...invitations to very special places...

...there was a lovely trip to Corsica...

...and some unexpected guests from the US bearing flowers.

Add to that the happy settling process into the new digs and a bit of "behind the scenes" work on La Fourchette and suddenly, summer was flying by.

It may have been a bit quiet in the kitchen lately but La Fourchette has been thinking of you and there is much to share in the days and weeks ahead. To begin with, there's some new stuff to introduce right away. If you'll peek over to the right, you'll see THE RECIPE BOX and "Les Recettes de La Fourchette". Go ahead...take a peek. Click if you're feeling courageous (but once you're there, come right back through the HOME link at the top right-hand side of the Recipe Box!)

You see! All of La Fourchette's recipes are now organized for easy access! Voilà!

There's more to come but we'll leave it at this for now and move onto the important stuff:

"Bon Anniversaire, La Fourchette!" Yup! She's two years! woohooo! Put on your party hats and slap a candle on whatever you're eating. It's party time!

As to that chicken/egg conundrum...we'll leave the koan aspect of it to the zen monks and just dig into the eggs today.

One of my favorite local farmers in the marché sells a lovely example of what eggs are supposed to be. Bright orange yolks cradled by whites that have a healthy viscosity. Beautiful poached, boiled, fried, scrambled or poured into a tart, every time I crack one open I'm glad they got crossed off of the "bad for you" food list. (They did get bumped off of that list, didn't they?!)

Try a poached egg on a bed of Roasted Ratatouille with a slice of 6-cereal bread slathered with black olive tapenade. Man, I'm telling you...that is a breakfast of champions...or dinner...or lunch...or late night snack for that matter! (Poached eggs end up on a lot off surprising things here in Provence. More on that later.)

If you happen to have a good egg (or four) within reach, here's another way to whip them up for a taste of Provence.

And thanks so much for staying on the path with me!

Bon appétit!

p.s. I'm not caught up on email and comment responses but this is a start.

Les Tomates Provençal

4-6 ripe tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
a few cloves of garlic (to taste, minced
a handful of fresh parsley and basil leaves, finely chopped
olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle the halved and seeded tomatoes with salt and let them sit on a plate, cut side down, to drain for a couple of hours.

Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place the tomatoes, cut side down, into the hot oil turning them once with a spatula. Cook them until most of the juices have cooked down.

In a medium bowl, mix 4 eggs with the garlic and herbs. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Pour the eggs into the pan to cover the tomatoes and cook slowly until the eggs are almost set. Turn it once using the lid of the pan tojavascript:void(0) invert it and then slip it back into the pan for a final finishing touch on its uncooked side.

Serve it hot, warm or cold with a tossed green salad and a crusty baguette and you've got a late summer meal Provençal style.

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