I know I should be thrilled that summer is here and since I get summers off from my shift at the brewery, I should be busy cooking up a storm, churning out all the complicated dishes that I can't find the time to make on work days, but for weeks all I've been putting on the table is Pasta And.
Like Pasta And diced tomatoes and oil and vinegar and left over grilled chicken.
Or Pasta And broccoli with lemon and left over grilled chicken.
Or Pasta And butter, with left over grilled chicken on the side.
Just last night we had company, and all I could muster was Pasta And shrimp with green beans, garlic and diced tomatoes.
To make matters worse, I have screwed up all of the memory cards I have for my camera so I haven't been able to take a single picture. Actually that isn't true. I can take pictures, I just can't save pictures. And yes I could go buy another memory card, they are all of 9 bucks, but the funk has prevented me from getting up the motivation.
Today for lunch I finally ate my way to happiness. This recipe, which comes undiluted and undoctored straight from Mark Bittman, is scrumptious. It's a good thing my kids wouldn't touch it at gun point, because I ate the whole bowl, standing at the kitchen sink. With a cold glass of Pinot Grigio because, well, why the hell not. It's summer vacation damn it!
Warm Spicy Greens with Bacon and Eggs
Mark Bittman; How to Cook Everything
Makes: 4 Servings (ha!)
Time: About 30 minutes
The salad for meat-eaters.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About 1/2 pound of pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small shallot, chopped
4 cups torn dandelion or other bitter greens, like mustard or turnip greens or watercress
About 1/4 cup top-quality red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 poached eggs (see recipe below)
1. Put the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon and cook slowly until it’s crisp all over, 10 minutes or more. Add the shallot and cook until softened, another minute or two. Keep the bacon warm in the skillet.
2. Warm a salad bowl by filling it with hot water and letting it sit for a minute. Dry it and toss in the greens. Add the vinegar and mustard to the skillet and bring just to a boil, stirring. Pour the liquid and the bacon over the greens, toss, and season to taste (it shouldn’t need much salt). Top each portion with an egg and serve immediately.
To soft boil an egg: bring a small sized pot of water to a bubbling simmer--about 2 cups in a small saucepan. Add a teaspoon of vinegar and a healthy pinch of salt. Crack the eggs individually into a small bowl and gently slide the egg into the water. Let cook for 3 minutes for a fairly gooey egg (my choice) or 4 minutes for a more solid center. Remove with a slotted spoon, let drain and plop on top of the salad.