More Ramps: Ramps with Poached Eggs

bon appetit poached eggsThey say that getting to like ramps is an acquired taste, but for me it was love at first smell. Short of a nice cup of coffee, there is nothing better than the smell or ramps gently sautéing in butter in the kitchen. This delightful recipe for Ramps and Poached Eggs served over toast comes from a recent Bon Appétit.   The recipe is quoted in its entirety below, but just follow the hyperlinks and you can see how they do it on an embedded video:

Poached Eggs on Toast with Ramps

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ramps
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices ½”-thick country-style bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preparation

  1. Cut dark-green leaves from ramps and slice crosswise 1” thick; slice bulbs and red stems crosswise ¼” thick.
  2. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add bulbs and stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 5–8 minutes. Add tops and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 2” water to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer and add vinegar. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites of eggs in water are opaque before adding the next egg (about 30 seconds apart). Poach until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels as they are done.
  4. Toast bread, brush with 2 Tbsp. oil, and season with kosher salt. Spread toasts with goat cheese and top with ramps and eggs. Drizzle with more oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

Editor’s Note:  If you have issues with goat cheese, you can substitute it with something more to your liking, however, the goat cheese is a nice counter-balance to the ramps.  Also, we generally use Ezekiel bread which is lower in carbs and can generally be found in the frozen goods section at most Whole Foods.

Homemade Walnut, Pecan and Olive Bread

Homemade bread with goat cheese

Alison the “Baguette Lady” has outdone herself for my birthday:  a lovely gift of her homemade walnut, pecan and olive bread together with 3 goat cheeses.   She cautioned me that I was likely to be transported to a “familiar but exciting” place after sampling her bread and artisan cheeses.  She was soooo right:  Mount Olympus still feels the same, but is a tad bit rundown with the Greek austerity plan.    Actually, I had memories of sitting under a Greek olive tree eating yogurt and honey while Abigail and Miranda were running about as little tots.    For the record, Greece simply doesn’t make bread like the Baguette Lady and I suspect that most Greek dairy farmers would find it difficult to match the lovely varieties I received from San Francisco.   No question about it:  this delicious rich bread full of goodies and the artisan goat cheeses were food fit for a God!  I humbly accept.

With four types of Greek olives (possibly, Spain and Italy thrown in), the pecan and walnut bread was dark and full of mystery in every bite.  The three goat cheeses also had their distinctive flavors and texture and, while I favored the cheese from Nocturne Andante Dairy, the smooth Goat Capricho and complex Goat Humboldt Fog were simply delicious.

Sharing bread with someone – even if they are 3,000 miles away – is perhaps one of the most enduring rituals of friendship and civilization.  When the bread is made with such love and affection, the experience is all the more moving.  Al, thank you for remembering me on my birthday with such a lovely and thoughtful gift.

Goat Cheese & Tomato Tart with Cornmeal Crust

No, I was not suffering  writer’s cramp, I was busy attending to our first granddaughter, Corinne, who was born on October 9 to Dan and Miranda.   Unless grandparent duties demand otherwise, I will try and post  articles on a more regular basis.  Also, I would be happy to publish recipes and other food or family related items from aspiring writers and foodies. 

This delicious goat cheese and tomato tart with cornmeal crust come from a 1998 Gourmet magazine.  This goat cheese and tomato tart recipe may be found on Epicurious.com.  Epicurious is a delightful website full of great recipes from Gourmet magazine and Bon Appétit, a passable “foodie” substitute for readers of  Gourmet magazine.  whose wings were unfortunately clipped last fall when Conde Nast decided to close it down.  The world of international “foodies” was deeply saddened.

Now there are many similar recipes circulating on the Internet, but this is – in my opinion – the best!  Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that the tomatoes need to be roasted before they are added to the custard to avoid having the tart become too soggy.

In this recipe we call for a 10 1/2- by 7- by 1-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable fluted rim; you could instead use a 10- by 1-inch round tart pan with a removable rim. The cornmeal makes a tender, delicate crust.

For crust:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • pie weights or raw rice for weighting crust

For custard:

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 7 ounces mild soft goat cheese, softened
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, well softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 pound vine-ripened cherry tomatoes (preferably red)

Make crust:
Cut butter into pieces.

In a food processor pulse together flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and pulse until incorporated and mixture just forms a dough. Press dough evenly into bottom and up sides of a 10 1/2- by 7- by 1-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable fluted rim (see note, above) and roll a rolling pin over rim of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Chill crust about 20 minutes, or until firm.

While crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F.

Line crust with foil and fill with pie weights or raw rice. Bake crust in lower third of oven until edge is set, 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights or rice and bake crust 5 minutes more, or until just dry. Leave oven on and cool crust in pan on a rack (crust may crack slightly). Crust may be made 1 day ahead and kept, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make custard:
Chop basil. In a bowl whisk together basil and remaining custard ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Pour custard into crust, spreading evenly. Halve tomatoes and arrange, cut sides up, in one layer on custard, pressing lightly into custard. (Make sure you have roasted the tomatoes – see above – to avoid having a runny tart).  Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and bake tart in lower third of oven until custard is just set, about 25 minutes. Cool tart to warm in pan on rack. Tart may be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered, in pan. Reheat tart, uncovered, in a 350°F. oven or bring to room temperature before serving.

Carefully remove rim from pan. Cut tart into roughly 2-inch pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy