Eggs Baked in Avocado

Eggs Baked in Avocado-1

Eggs Baked in Avocado is as easy and foolproof a brunch as you’re likely to find, unless your local patissière delivers bags of warm fresh-baked croissants.  If you happen to come into some warm croissants or decent bread to serve with the eggs and avocados, all the better.  Baked avocadoes are delicious, but it’s hardly surprising most people have never eaten one, not when a ripe avocado is so good with just a squeeze of lime and a bit of salt.  A baked avocado has a rich, deep flavor that loves complimentary fat, like an egg yolk or cream, or the acidic contrast of a salad.  As we were pulling the elements of this post together I suggested topping the eggs with a spoonful of crème fraîche and calling it a day.  Not Jody.  The rule in our house is, once you open an avocado, you eat it–or you make sure someone else does–that same day, so just setting aside the cup of avocado flesh leftover from making a bit of room for the eggs was completely unacceptable.  You’re the lucky beneficiaries – you get eggs baked in avocados, served with a spicy avocado salad and crème fraîche.

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Eggplant, Pepper and Tomato Gratin

Eggplant, Pepper and Tomato Gratin-1

Gratin typically brings to mind a rich and cheesy dish of root vegetables (pronounced by all American children to rhyme with “all rotten”).  Nutritional guilt over this fat fest drives food bloggers to frantic rearrangements of their refrigerator poetry magnets into epithets like “a holiday indulgence” and a “once in awhile treat.”  But in the Adams-Rivard kitchen we scoff at a such reservations.  We eat gratins when we feel like it, whether Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny is joining us for dinner or not. Thank God for bicycles.  Which offers me a segue into this week’s dish, Eggplant, Pepper and Tomato Gratin.  While pedaling through Provence a month ago we couldn’t help but notice how much lighter a Provencal gratin is than its Gerard Depardieu-like cousins to the north.  The cream had vanished, along with much of the cheese, both supplanted by olive oil, bread crumbs, and fistfuls of crushed herbs.  Olive oil, we were reminded, transforms the flesh of vegetables into something unctuous.  Caramelization is the gilding on the lily.

A patio of one’s own – Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco

Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco TGF-1

Here’s the scene: working-class neighborhood, first house, first back yard, first patio.  Radical move against the local pave-the-yard-build-a-grape-arbor esthetic.  We christened the patio’s finish by inviting neighbors Pam and Chris to join us for Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco.  At the time, almost two decades ago, I’d heard of Romesco, the thick Catalan sauce based on roasted red peppers and nuts, but not grilled spring onions, which my wife assured me was a big deal in Barcelona.  She was right.  The Calçotada is a month-long Barcelonan lovefest to calçots, spring onions, which are then grilled and slathered with Romesco.  Imagine a sloppy Falstaffian bender lasting most of April, involving untold quantities of red wine and masses of fragrant grilled onions wrapped in newspapers or served in inverted clay roofing tiles and eaten with your hands.  Uh-huh, who isn’t down for that?

Fireworks for the Fourth of July – Pickled Eggs 3 Ways

Pickled Eggs 3 Ways is the final and most colorful installment in our recent trilogy of egg recipes.  We made two batches of each of these eggs, a week apart, both to test the recipes and so I could photograph the process from pickling juice to finished eggs.  As I write this the first batch of three dozen eggs is nearly gone–in case you’re wondering if kids will eat pickled eggs,  the answer is Yes, they will.  Who can resist wedges of a saffron and purple egg, child or adult? These eggs are tart, but not completely sour (note the sugar in the recipes), which makes them a flexible dining companion.  Of course pickled eggs are the ultimate picnic food–festive, not prone to spoilage, and given to pairing nicely with other preserved items like cheese, smoked fish–and great beer.  They stand out with mixed greens–and when combined with with wasabi mayonnaise make a killer egg salad

Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Romesco Sauce

After reading Robert Harris’s entertaining novel IMPERIUM about the Roman orator, essayist and politician Cicero, and his parlous ascendency to the position of consul in ancient Rome I assumed I’d gotten most of the salient details of his life.  I was wrong.  Pull up a plate of Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Romesco Sauce–it’s an interesting …

Back to Paris – Potted Peppers

Some weeks ago I wrote about a spring visit to Paris where our son Oliver and I had a great meal at Chez Janou.  In iconic French fashion a nearby blackboard listed daily specials, including an hors d’oeuvre of  Poivrons grillées au feta.  Grilled peppers with feta.  Sounded straightforward, simple.  Okay, I could go with …