Monday, April 18, 2011

creamy grits & sweet apple balsamic

A few posts ago, I blogged about the glory of one-pot meals.
Today, we're talking about the excellence of one-bowl meals.

Balsamic-Glazed Spring Vegetables atop
Yellow Corn Grits with Fresh Basil and a Poached Egg

This vegetarian recipe fuses three main components:

rustic, creamy grits
in-season vegetables with rich balsamic
and a perfectly poached egg (over easy, of course)

The integration of these three things seem so simple but make magic together.

Magic, I say!

I've often embarrassed myself talking incessantly in public about my love for the perfectly runny yolk (I won't get into it now), but this bowl is a sexy combination of silky, runny yolk, al dente vegetables glistening with sweet vinegar, creamy grits full of texture and pungent fresh basil.

The trick to this recipe is very simple:
use the best ingredients you can find.

I used organic, yellow corn grits, local asparagus, organic, cage free eggs, sweet apple balsamic from Italy, fresh-cracked peppercorns, aged Parmesan Reggiano and sea salt.

Who needs meat anyway?

yields 2 servings

1/2 bundle asparagus, ends trimmed
2 c water
1/2 c yellow corn grits
1/4 t salt
2 T unsalted butter
splash of vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, diced small
1 T fresh garlic (about 2 cloves), minced
2 T fresh basil, sliced chiffonade, plus additional to garnish
1 T fine balsamic
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
shavings of parmesan to garnish

Begin by blanching asparagus. Submerge asparagus into boiling water approximately 2 minutes until bright green then submerge into ice water (as shown). Slice in 1 inch pieces on the diagonal and set aside.

Make yellow corn grits. Combine water, grits and salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, stirring constantly, and simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside off the heat.

Meanwhile, begin simmering water in a large saucepan with a splash of vinegar to later poach eggs. Then, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, zucchini, asparagus, basil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Saute approximately 5 minutes to soften (as shown). Off the heat, stir in balsamic to combine then set aside.

Finally, with a slotted spoon, create a circular vortex motion in simmering water. Crack eggs into two small bowls (as shown) then gently slide into heavily simmering water. Poach approximately 3 minutes for an over easy egg. Remove eggs, one at a time, with a slotted spoon.

To plate, spoon grits in two bowls. Top with vegetables and poached egg. Finish with salt, pepper, fresh basil and parmesan shavings.

Now for the best part.
Break that beautiful yolk.


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