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Eggs with Garlic Scapes, Mushrooms, & Asparagus

While brunch is basically a gay sacrament and thus something of a big deal in DC, there are times when breakfast is called for instead. Smaller, mellower, less boozy, and–oh yes–earlier, breakfast it not a meal I’m frequently involved with, unless you count a few bites of something leftover straight from the fridge while I’m trying to tie my tie in the still-dark of morning. Saturday, however, we had need of a breakfast, not a brunch.

A dear friend was swooping through town, and first thing on Saturday morning was the only place we elbow our way onto her dance card as she was in DC for only a day and a half. So, breakfast it was, and what better breakfast than scrambled eggs? Of course, not just any scrambled eggs, perfect ones, tossed with a vibrant mix of earthy mushrooms, pungent garlic scapes, and verdant asparagus. And since said friend was coming from six porkless months in Cairo, bacon. A big heap o’ bacon. Also, coffee, challah toast, and a pretty yogurt berry granola parfait. Perfect!

Of course, this means we need to discuss the proper approach to scrambled eggs. We want to avoid, at all costs, those buffet-bound, bouncy yellow clods swimming sadly in a steam tray of their own tears. Those are not scrambled eggs; those are nuggets of sofa cushion. Ech. Well-made scrambled eggs are a creamy mass with small, barely noticable curds that stays all together in a hot, silken heap till they’re eaten–which shouldn’t be long at all.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

Holy crap, it’s cold. I mean, for D.C. And dark. It’s dark, too. What better time then, to have some friends over and huddle around the stove stirring a delicious pot of risotto? Done and done. Since our guests were mostly veggie, I even made veggie stock from scratch. (Yes, that light you see is my halo glowing.)
Fortunately, the effort involved in risotto is quite a convivial one, and I don’t think anyone suffered for having to keep me company in the kitchen as the rice made its magical transformation into silky wonderfulness. You could go wild with the additions, of course, but having made several risottos in the past few weeks, I can say with confidence that a few judiciously chosen ingredients of quality is better than several. Here, woodsy mushrooms and bright, verdant asparagus and depth and perfume. A little lemon zest at the end could be nice too, but then I think a little lemon zest improves just about anything.
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Asparagus Salad: What the Hell Did I Do?

I’ve scratched-deeply and repeatedly-the prep work for my Easter Dinner from memory as it was quite THE LIFT. A number of you asked for the asparagus recipe which I’ve delayed posting because it requires a bit of forensics on my part. Honestly, I didn’t remember what I did. I threw a bit of this into it. Grilled that. Rendered those.

Allow me to deconstruct.

Upon thinking through the recipe, I’ve realized it’s quite easy. The tricky part is poaching the eggs. A challenge! I will elaborate in another post as, honestly, I still need to master this technique; my eggs were a little overcooked. Thankfully, they were unfertilized.

Enjoy. Last asparagus post. Promise. There’s only so much smelly urine one can handle.

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Liking It Raw

Admittedly, I was inspired by this post from The Bitten Boys (who were inspired here) coupled by my love of raw vegetables. And asparagus–plumb, thick, stalky–this time of year are very hard to resist. The salad was devoured the other night at a dinner party I hosted save for one friend who pushed it aside. I don’t delude myself into solipsistic thought that my cooking is amazing and loved by all. Honestly, I want legitimate feedback and criticism. If something needs more flavor, if a dish, simply put, sucks, tell me. I can’t improve without feedback.

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For Some Elegance, Bake Your Eggs!

BakedEggsEggs=Breakfast.

There is no finer–nor more appropriate–food to serve in the morning. Though most egg dishes–in any significant quantity for a large number of guests–are impossible to pull off successfully. There is nothing worse than an overcooked egg. Scrambled eggs must be served and consumed immediately, most appropriate for two, no more than four people. Frittatas are excellent but keep said dish in mind for no more than four guests. And omelettes? Just make them for yourself.The last thing you want to do is become a short-order cook on Sunday:

“Two more sunny-side up eggs, Charlie? *smack* Coming right up!”

So,  how do you still manage to serve eggs provided you have six or more guests over in the morning? Enter, the baked egg.

It’s elegant, classy, and giggly; easy to make an army of them all at the same time, from 6- 20.  Read the rest of this entry »