Tag Archives: toast

Kick-Ass Mother’s Day Breakfast in 10 minutes (I timed it)

Simple can be phenomenal.  The thought of  perfect soft-boiled egg ( runny, rich yolk,  sea salt) and generously buttered toast makes my shoulders relax and my mouth water.    Relaxation, pleasure and fun (dipping toast into your yolk is fun after all) can be delivered to mom in 10 minutes.  Best of all, no clanging pots to wake her from her sleep and barely a dish to find “soaking” in the sink when she finally comes downstairs.

But the key word for soft-boiled egg heaven is “perfect”. Not too loose, not too firm.  Let me, soft-boiled egg fanatic, give you the inside scoop.

Take the eggs out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature before cooking them.  This helps prevent cracking (less shock of a cold egg hitting hot water).

I  never remember to take the eggs out of the fridge in advance, so I put them into a bowl of warm water while I bring a small pot of water to a boil.

Using a pin (a safety-pin from your dry cleaning hanger will work just fine) make a small hole in the bottom of the egg to relieve some of the pressure when it goes into the hot water (another trick to prevent cracking).  I admit to skipping this step on regular days but–come on—it’s an occasion.

When your water is boiling add your egg(s) and keep the water at a gentle simmer.  You want some bubbles still breaking the top.

Water should cover the whole egg. Do as I say not as I do.

Now set your time for 5 minutes (6 minutes if you want the yolk slightly firming at the edges) and go to work on getting the toast into the toaster (don’t toast it yet though) and butter at ready.

When the timer goes off, drop the eggs into a bowl of cold water to stop their cooking.  NOW press the toast down.  When done, butter the toast, cut the cap off your egg (be confident with the knife to make the first crack and then gently slide the knife through to the other side, turning the egg upright fast for fear of losing any of the runny yolk.).  Sprinkle  sea salt on the egg and the toast.  Tad-ah!  Done.

Bring directly up to mom with a little spoon and a napkin.

Garnish with good coffee.

And gild the lily with a bar of sea salt chocolate.  (yes, kind of cliché yet kind of genius at the same time).

Bring it all up, allow for a quick kiss and thank you and then leave her the hell alone.

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Toast Post: Welsh Rarebit

See--there's veggies--totally healthy meal.

If it were up to me, melted cheese on toast would be acceptable sustenance for snacks and meals alike.  In fact, forget the melting part;  toast, butter and the sliced fromage will do just fine.  But others (grumpy family members) don’t agree that simply swapping aged cheddar for Oka is a “whole new meal.”

So here’s my lazy solution, Welsh Rarebit, also known as Welsh Rabbit, is essentially a savory melted cheese sauce, poured over toast and then broiled and browned.  (Yes, in the UK cheese sauce can be a main course.)

The name originated as a tongue-in cheek reference to a meat-less meal made from whatever was left in the pantry or one could afford.  So I will lean on tradition and call this a perfect, well-rounded supper—ideal for the Sunday night “Oh God, is tomorrow Monday?” blues.

Traditionally made with cheddar, you can swap in any cheese on hand (that’s the point I believe) but I’m going to go with Lancashire (for tanginess) and some Oka (for the nutty, fruity quality) in this recipe.

Welsh Rarebit (one of many versions)

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ cup Guinness beer

¾  cup cream  (less for a thicker sauce)

1 ½ cups shredded cheese (1 cup Lancashire, ½ cup Oka in this case)

salt  (adjust to taste , some cheeses are saltier than others)

fresh ground pepper

8 slices toasted sourdough or rye

Method

  1. In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter until foaming subsides. Add the flour and whisk it in until you form a smooth past (a roux).  You do not want the roux to brown at all.

 

  1. Take the roux off the burner and cool slightly (so will not splatter) when you add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Whisk until smooth and then back on medium-low heat add the beer.

 

  1. Now add the cream and whisk until the sauce thickens, this will take a couple minutes.  You don’t want this to boil, if it does just lower the heat.
  2. Pull the sauce off the heat and slowly add the cheese.  It should melt easily, (if you need to you can throw the sauce back on the heat for a minute as you stir).  Set aside, keep warm.

  1. Season to taste.
  2. Turn on your broiler or preheat the oven to 500°F (260° C).
  3. Toast the bread until crisp (to avoid sogginess once cheese is added)
  4. Put the bread on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Pour the sauce over each piece.  Broil until browning slightly (1-2 minutes).

  1. Allow to cool slightly -so it can be handled- and serve to salivating dinner companions.  (Don’t forget to drink the remaining beer!)

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK

chatteringkitchen.com, who first generously posted this as a guest blog this week–do check her out.

and also mention Mr. Cardwell who wrote a comment on the Fromage Fort post asking me to do a little testing and come up with a recipe.  I took inspiration from this great Welsh Rarebit link he sent from The Guardian.

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Toast Post: Cottage Gold

Cottage Gold, sibling to Niagra Gold

It’s not my camera, it’s the Guernsey milk.  The cheese really is this intense colour.  All due to the elevated beta-carotene levels found in the milk of the Guernsey cow.  (It also has more protein and vitamin A and D than Holstein milk.)

Let’s stop picking on the Holstein and concentrate on the fact that this cheese is A. only here for the summer and B. the summer is not that long. (I’m being a pessimist like my mom, who on the first day of a long-awaited vacation will point out “well, it’ll all be over in 10 days– also there’s a lot of rain in the forecast.)

Cottage Gold is a cheddar-like version of Niagara Gold (an Oka-style cheese) made by Upper Canada Cheese, who are also known for Comfort Cream and the lip-smacking and grillable Guernsey Girl.  Cottage Gold is dense, salty and buttery with a pleasant earthiness at the   rind. Avoid the rind if you prefer but if sliced thinly the “earthy” quality appeals on the palate and evokes a real sense of the outdoors.

Today was my first time trying the Cottage Gold and I can already see it doing a heelside front flip on the wakeboard and then drying off with a threadbare “Florida: The Sunshine State!” towel obtained from a long-ago family drive to Daytona Beach.  Also I can see Cottage Gold reclined on a patio chair drinking a cold beer.  Actually, that’s me on the chair with a beer, and a slice of cheese.  Or maybe I’d melt it onto a burger or pack it with some pickle chips and apple slices for an afternoon outing to Snake Pond (childhood reference–insert any mucky, deliciously squishy-between-the-toes pond with frogs and dragonflies from your own youth).

Cottage Gold in 11 words or more:    The Guernsey cow breed, originally from the British Channel Island of the same name, was introduced to North America in the 19th century and officially imported to Canada by future prime minister Sir John Abbott in 1878.  If you’d like to know more, check out this informative review of Cottage Gold  by Stacey at A Taste of Cheese. I’m going to eat more cheese.

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Duck, Duck, Duck Eggs…

Quack not Peep.

Duck Eggs, $1 each.  Three left.  East York Civic Centre Farmer’s Market.  Wrapped in half a torn carton vacated by previous egg tenants.

The Toddler Hand is Quicker than The Parental Eye.

Imagine a rather shrill shriek emitting from somewhere inside me, “Don’t touch!”.  Then in a calm, firm, Supernanny-approved tone I bent down to eye level and rephrased, “These are duck eggs. We only have three.  If you break one I will make you lay it again.”   But I smiled while I said it so it seemed friendly.

The yolk was very intense and orange. Boiled for 6 minutes so the yolk slightly firmed but was gooey in the middle.  Still good for dipping crusts of toast.  5 minutes would have been runny.

Essentially:

Brought water to boil.

Brought eggs to room temperature by holding in warm water.

Pierced end of eggs with a needle.

Added to boiling water for 6 minutes and then into ice water to stop cooking.

Cut off top.

Licked yolk and salt off fingers.


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Toast Post: Louis D’Or

Louis D'Or from Quebec reclines on avocado from Mexico

I first had Louis D’Or last fall.  I was smitten fast.  I wanted to move the relationship forward, make it more permanent but our fling was brief.  Louis D’Or was one hard cheese to track down.

It entered my life again this April, at the same time as Ben Mulroney who was hosting the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. Being in cocktail attire, at an event where wedges of cheese are being flashed onto giant screens while Ben Mulroney is announcing, “and nominees in the fresh cheese category are…” is slightly like being at a Star Trek convention for cheese lovers (geeks, OK, geeks) or (as my friend pointed out) being in an excellent mockumentary.

Louis D’Or swept the night. I wondered what Louis was thinking about all the fuss around him.  Maybe, “If I win this category will Ben Mulroney’s hands touch my rind? Ok, I’ve now won two categories, this is going well, now will he touch me?   Maybe if I sweep the awards, surely he’ll glance my way.  Nothing?!  Are you serious?  There’s my maker–he’s shaking hands with my maker!  OMG, please come over here and wash my rind before I ferment myself!”

Louis D’Or in 11 words or more:  Firm, washed-rind. The producer is Fromagerie du Presbytère in Sainte-Élizabeth de Warwick, Quebec.  They also make the excellent blue cheese Bleu D’Elizabeth. Made with raw, organic cow sourced from the cheese maker’s farm.  When I first had the cheese last fall I loved its complexity and fruity, caramel and herbal notes which reminded me a bit of Comté.   I think I may have had the 9 month old version because when I tasted it at the Grand Prix it seemed further aged (further sleuthing has me thinking 18 months)–more crumble, less suppleness and though complex, perhaps a little less fruity or “fresh”.  It was still lovely but I think I prefer the younger wheel.

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Toast Post: Bothwell Horseradish Cheddar

Horseradish zing on South Dakota Loaf.

Like the first stiff drink of the day, Bothwell Horseradish cheddar is more of a midday or “after 11am” cheese.  It’s certainly not meek.  But it does taste of real, bright, fresh horseradish and would be a champion on a sandwich or melted on a roast beef sub (mmmmm mmmm, the taste buds are rallying).

The South Dakota bread (post to come) toasts really nicely–the crust gets crisp and all the seeds inside warm up.  You’d nibble on this cheddar while waiting for your toast and think, “This cheddar is so damn pungent I’m breathing it out my nose-like a big hit of wasabi hidden under tender sushi.  Man!  I finally  feel alive-let’s do an extreme sport.  I would totally serve this to my arch-enemy who hated horseradish.”

Bothwell Cheddar in 11 words or more: Bothwell hails from Manitoba and the company has been making cheese since 1936–no preservatives, no MMIs.  Dairy farmers still deliver the local milk to Bothwell themselves.  I am curious about the horseradish flavour itself–does it come from fresh horseradish root?  I have sent in an inquiry and will keep you updated. (FYI: Horseradish is the 2011 herb of the year.  Keep on rockin’ in the herb world little horseradish.)

April 19- Got a response about the horseradish from Bothwell:

Hello Sue,

It is always exciting to hear feedback from our customers.  The
horseradish that we use for our horseradish cheddar is a highly
concentrated liquid horseradish extract.  It is added during the make
process to give the desired flavor that you enjoy.

If you have any further questions just let me know.

Regards,

Pauline Doerksen
Bothwell Cheese Inc.

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Toast Post: Riopelle

Riopelle: Butter on Butter on sunflower seed rye.

A pleasant surprise greeted me in the cheese drawer–there was just enough Riopelle left from Saturday’s cheese plate for a toast run.  (Usually my husband sniffs out a crumb of Riopelle faster than a racoon hunting down a green bin.)  I like this triple-creamer on a lean piece of toast that gets nice and crunchy so that the contrast of  crisp and buttery are in perfect harmony.

As you lean against the counter and wait for the toast to pop you might nibble on some Riopelle thinking, “Mmmmm, hit me baby one more time!  oh oh.  Now that song is in my head.  I wish I didn’t kind of like it……also I hope no one can read my mind.  Unless it’s when I’m thinking about a cool band like Arcade Fire.  Like now.”

Riopelle in 11 words or more: soft, bloomy rind, triple cream from Fromagerie de l’Île-aux-Grues in Quebec.  The Fromagerie began as a co-operative of 14 local dairy farmers in 1977 when its first cheese, Cheddar de l’Ile-aux-Grues, was born. Today, the milk is sourced from the island’s six remaining dairy farms. The cows are fed in part on hay that grows naturally on the local mud flats.  Riopelle is made from thermalized milk.  The label may say “unpasteurized” which is true in theory, but this does not mean raw milk.  Thermalization is a gentler heating process than pasteurization which  kills potentially harmful bacteria while keeping some of the milk’s beneficial microbes.

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