Sunday, May 17, 2009

Four-Minute Egg Gribiche

It didn’t seem like it would ever happen, but spring finally did arrive. Not in a big, exploding way. You didn’t exactly hear the screen door slam. It sort of sneaked through the back door.


All through March and April we had lots of rain


and unseasonably cold weather, followed by an occasional day so hot you would think you flew forward to the end of June, only to get wet and cold again by the next morning. Last week – last week – the Yankees radio announcer said she was wearing her winter down parka at the new stadium, and she still felt cold.
There were, of course, intermittent signs that spring might really appear. The Park Avenue tulips were as beautiful as ever


- except this year they were all deadheaded before the weather matched their cheery hue.


Until Mother's Day there was not a single day when it would have been appropriate to get a spring coat out of the closet. Not even my navy coat, very plain – sleek really – with no collar and brass buttons right down the front.


I’m always happy to reacquaint myself with that coat, but never was I as anxious to get it out as I was this year. Jane and Marsha got me a candy-colored pink beret at the Sunday organic market on Boulevard Raspail when they were in Paris, and it will be perfect with that coat.


And then at last, even though it was very windy, on May tenth the sky was almost cloudless and very, very blue. It didn’t seem like summer, and it didn’t seem like winter, and, thank goodness, it didn’t even seem like fall. Spring was here. Spring was really here.


And with spring, with its flowers – tulips and daffodils, hyacinths, lilacs and hydrangeas -


comes spring food: lamb, soft-shell crabs, salmon, and, best of all, bright green asparagus. We didn’t get to go to the farm to eat our own asparagus; we had to stay in town to work. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t get local asparagus from the farmer’s market and eat asparagus hours (instead of minutes) after being picked.
When I read Molly’s post I knew she was on to something. I didn’t have to look any further for my next Zuni recipe. There it was staring me right in the face.

Four-Minute Egg Gribiche
Sauces & Relishes, Page 291
For this sauce, you start out by making a sort-of mayonnaise using a partly-cooked egg instead of a raw one.

I brought a little pan of water to a simmer


and following Judy Rodgers’ instructions



made an egg with a set white and a runny yolk.
(It’s hard not to stop at this point and just eat that kind of egg right then and there – perhaps with a toast soldier?)



But I digress.

Then you add some Dijon mustard. This is my favorite brand.



and a little salt. (Be careful - I added salt with too heavy a hand and had to start over.)




Then you dribble mild olive oil into the bowl very s-l-o-w-l-y, whisking all the while until the ingredients emulsify into a lovely yellow mass to which you add minced shallots, lots of fragrant herbs,





some coarsely chopped capers,



and a little (preferably sherry) vinegar.
We ate this delicious sauce


on cold asparagus, and it was certainly good.


But - as Molly said - it really shines mixed with steamed new red potatoes, quartered and chilled overnight. (I'm sorry, but the next night we ate those potatoes so quickly I didn't even think about getting a picture.) It will be my go-to recipe for potato salad from now on.
Obviously The Zuni Cafe Cookbook is good for more than reading and cooking.

Sylvano

7 comments:

EB of SpiceDish said...

He really is the most handsome, sleepy chef ever.

Claudia said...

First - I think you stole my cat. That is totally Pippin asleep on your book. I need to find him to be sure. That recipe looks so luscious I will have to npw go out and finally invest in the Zuni cookbook. I've avoided it but one cannot live in avoidance forever. Delicious.

Lia Muse said...

The cat must be so tired reading that book for exam; till he fall asleep. Cute though.

lola said...

wow, what beautiful pictures and such a cute cat! i'm from san francisco (living in new york now) and i've never been to zuni, but your blog is definitely making me want to go, or at least check out the cookbook.

hanne said...

Here in Canada (at least in Alberta) we're still kind of waiting on spring. It's 7 Celsius this morning. Sad.

That sauce gribiche looks amazing. Can't wait to try it myself!

Garret said...

We are huge fans of the cat sleeping on the cookbook!!!!

Thanks for this great post!

~Garret
secret restaurant recipes

Garret said...

Has anyone read the Hunger Games Mockingjay book yet??