Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's play, "What Can You Make with the Dregs of Your Fridge?"

So...we have a problem in my household. My poor roommate has a job that requires her to get up at a truly ungodly hour of the morning, which consequently compels her to go to bed somewhat early (by 10pm). But as I have shared many times, I am totally nocturnal, and it only gets worse when I have a relaxed work schedule during the summer. The other factor is the long days; I don't really even think about cooking dinner until the sun has gone down, and that's not until after 9pm these days! So my roommate tends to make a sandwich and then shuffle up the stairs just about the time I begin cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

Last night, we had spent all evening working outside--Cyd mowed the back forty while I cleaned the pool. (Yeah, yeah, I know! It should have been opened a month ago. But it's still in the 60's and rainy, so what's the rush?) We were so pooped by the time we came inside, that Cyd went to bed without supper, and I considered doing the same. But around 10pm, I found myself staring into the fridge, trying to conceive of what I could make without too much actual cooking. I found greens (a tiny head of leaf lettuce and some baby spinach), some leftover bacon, several slices of multigrain bread that had become a bit dry, and a dozen farm-fresh eggs. So I snipped a handful of thyme from the herb garden, whisked up a dijon vinaigrette, toasted some croutons, basted a couple of eggs, and ended up with a salad that nearly brought me to tears of joy! I thought myself a genius for inventing such a deliciously savory salad, but as it turns out, this a classic combination of flavors that the Frenchies call Salade Lyonnaise. Of course, it's usually made with frisee or other such bitter greens, but I am a mild, buttery lettuce type of gal.

The croutons were fashioned from four pieces of stale Milton's multigrain bread cut into chunks and tossed with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic, then toasted in the oven at 400 degrees until deep golden brown. Sidebar: I got a Facebook response from Milton's, and they apparently had a recent crouton-off in their office, and the winning combination was triangle-shaped croutons with thyme, olive oil, garlic and parmesan. So next time, I'll have to try cutting them into that shape (for even toasting and maximum crunchiness) and adding parmesan! But I was pleased to read that my instincts were confirmed at the source, "The flavors of the thyme and the subtle sweetness of Milton’s bread really worked well together to make a truly delicious crouton."

For the vinaigrette, I whisked together two shallots and two cloves of garlic (finely minced), a generous tablespoon of whole-grain Dijon mustard, a scant tablespoon of honey, a pinch of salt, a good bit of black pepper, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar and perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 cup of olive oil, and a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped.

Then you wash up some greens of your choice, fry up a few pieces of bacon, poach or baste a couple of eggs (try to keep the yolks a little runny so that they mix with the dressing and sumptuously coat the lettuce leaves), assemble, and DEVOUR!

1 comment:

Randi said...

I love Milton's bread, it makes the best toast. I buy it at Costco. They have the best price on it.