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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dark and Rainy Day Salad

Despite D.'s ribbing about how long it was taking us to make this, T. and I enjoyed a lovely simple spring salad for lunch today. These are eggs from Clare's chickens (we left our hens with the old house's new owner in Carlton), and tender, sweet lettuce from her garden, all of it so generously delivered straight to our doorstep. So basically this is a salad from Clare. Thank you!

While the eggs were taking an eternity to medium-soft-cook, we made your basic vinaigrette: rubbed the bowl with cut garlic, then whisked minced shallot, Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, and salt and pepper; drizzled in olive oil, whisking. Added some slivers of chewy sun-dried tomatoes (no lardons here, sorry to say, but these added a similar texture) to soak up a bit of dressing. Then at the last minute—at last!—we tossed in the lettuces, peeled and quartered the eggs, and flaked some canned tuna over the top (this was albacore in water, but you know what would've been much better is light in olive oil—salty and delicious, and not at all resembling cardboard). More black pepper, and an extra drizzle of tangy dressing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick Huevos Rancheros

This is hardly worthy of the first post on this blog in months, but a friend and I were talking recently about how sometimes one just forgets how to make easy, quick meals that don't require any thought or effort. So in case I forget again, self: huevos rancheros is a perfectly delicious supper, even if you have to use canned beans and store-bought tortillas, and if you have no other plans for tonight you should make it. It'll take about ten minutes.
Huevos Rancheros

Put two skillets over high heat, and a small saucepan over medium heat. Open a can of black beans and dump them in the saucepan to heat up. Put a few tortillas in one skillet, and heat a little olive oil in the other. Flip the tortillas. Crack a few eggs into the oil and season them with salt and pepper; lower the heat to low and cook until they're as done as you want them (flip if desired—my daughter won't allow any flipping, as she insists they be runny sunny side up).

Chop up a tomato and a couple scallions and a handful of cilantro, put them in a bowl, and squeeze in some lime juice. Season with salt.

Stir the beans and put a tortilla on each serving plate. Season the beans, if necessary, then spoon them over the tortillas. Top each with an egg, then some of the salsa. Flick some of the onions and adobo sauce from a jar of chipotle chiles over the top of everything and serve with lime wedges.

In other news, we moved! A few weeks ago, we packed up and left our beautiful old nineteenth-century farmhouse half an hour outside town and brought ourselves to Athens proper. We couldn't be happier in the super-efficient, smartly designed 1958-built little ranch house we're renting in a shady old subdivision right smack in town. T. and I walk to and from her school most days, or, often, ride our bike (she has a little half-bike that hooks onto the back of mine). We bike to the grocery store. D.'s drive to work takes about five minutes. And our yard, though lacking in quirky double-seater outhouses, shotgun shells, and old broken bottles and such, has a mulberry tree as well as the perfect spot for a hammock, the hanging of which was of course the first thing I did when we arrived here. Town life is being very good to us.