Shirred Eggs with Spinach, Mushrooms and Toast Soldiers

Shirred Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms TGF -1

When Jody said, “Hey let’s do Shirred Eggs with Spinach, Mushrooms and Toast Soldiers,”* I responded with an enthusiastic, “Huh?”  Something stirred in the part of my brain where meal descriptions from Dickens and Wilkie Collins rattle around with episodes of Jewel in the Crown, Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, reasonably accurate associations because Googling shirred eggs brings up the original 1896 edition of Fanny Farmer.  She explains that shirred eggs are baked; the name derives from the dish used in the preparation, an egg-shirrer, a shallow gratin dish for baking the eggs.  Did you catch that?  …are baked  …for baking the eggs.

That’s it, the whole circus?  I mean, shirred means baked?

Wilted Green Salad with Fresh Chickpeas, Feta and Greek Yogurt

Craig Claiborne, the late pioneer of food journalism for the New York Times once wrote a New Year’s Day column that included the line, “Blessed indeed is the household whose refrigerator contains an overlooked tin of caviar.”  Yes, well.  For most of us, caviar times may be gone, but that only means the return of our salad days.  Substitute chickpeas for caviar and you’re halfway to Wilted Green Salad with Fresh Chickpeas, Feta and Greek Yogurt.

Seared Char with Creamed Spinach and Sorrel

This is the easiest elegant dish you will ever make.  Seared char with creamed spinach and sorrel.  Despite my French introduction to cooking I’m not a fan of the just-add-butter-and-cream approach to life on the stove top. It’s too easy to lapse into a dish whose primary flavors are cream and butter rather than the ingredients you brought home from the store.  Nevertheless, there are combinations that ask for butter and cream.  Salmon, spinach and sorrel is one of them.