Saturday, March 29, 2008
A Sunny Hello
I would like first to apologize for my absence. I just returned from a wonderful week in San Francisco and the Bay Area, a questionably well-deserved break after finals. We ate and ate, and I have many wonderful things to share with you, but I would like to give this past week the attention it deserves, which happens to be a bit more than I can muster up the time and energy to devote right now.
Though I have a backlog of things to share, my trip included, I did want to stop by and share a nice little brunch I made for myself this morning (in about 5 minutes). My no-holds-barred approach to food this past week left me yearning for something healthy and light, yet still filling. And the textures and the flavors seemed befitting of an all-too-cold spring morning; brightness of the salmon and green onion, a perfectly oozing poached egg, accompanied by the heartiness and identifiable graininess of the wild rice. The flavors were bright, the dish was not heavy, but it still had substance and bite thanks to the rice cakes.
Wild Rice Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs
I used leftover rice from my dinner last night; it is SunWest Harvest Medley, a medley of CalMati Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Heirloom Red Rice and Sweet Brown Rice. It has great bite and crunch to it, which is what I love about it. Any substantial rice would work, but I especially like the fact that this has a variety of textures running throughout. The rice cake is a nice healthy alternative to an English muffin – though it has another egg in it, there’s whole grains and protein in there, as opposed to just some measly flour. The cakes would be great topped with salmon and crème fraîche as well, if the addition of more eggs is not to your liking. They’re a great base and are open to infinite adaptations and uses. Try the rice cakes with chorizo and jalapeno inside for a spicy spin and top with fried eggs, for example.
For the Rice Cakes:
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 green onion, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pinch dried thyme
1 tablespoon Butter
4 oz smoked salmon
1 T vinegar
Chooped fresh parsley for garnish
Mix rice and green onions in a small bowl. Mix in the egg and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Using a 1/4 cup dry scoop, spoon the mixture into four equal-sized mounds in the skillet. Use the back of the dry scoop to flatten each slightly until they resemble pancakes. Cook until lightly browned, about three minutes, and flip to brown the other side.
While the pancakes are cooking, fill another skillet with about 1 1/2 inches of water. Bring it to a boil and add in the vinegar. Reduce to a simmer and crack the eggs, one at a time, near the surface of the water. The fresher your eggs, the better they'll poach.* Cover and allow to simmer for about four minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. If you like your yolks more well-done increase the cooking time until they're cooked to your liking. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess water to drip off.
Neatly arrange an ounce of salmon over each rice cake, then top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with parsley. If desired, a hollandaise sauce would work quite nicely with this, but that's definitely going to up the prep time of this quick meal.
* I learned a neat trick recently to tell whether your eggs are fresh. Fill a glass (wide enough to fit an egg) with water. Gently place your egg in the glass. If it sinks horizontally to the bottom, your egg is very fresh. If it sinks with the tip to the bottom, it is less fresh. If it floats, it is bad and should be tossed. Helpful, no?