Since as long as I can remember, I haven’t liked eggs. As a child, I would turn my nose up at the slightly sulfuric smell of hard-boiled snacks, and then pawn them off on playground friends. I have fond memories of preparing deviled eggs with my grandmother for holiday meals, but I was drawn to their pretty appearance and the family tradition, and never ate them. Even as my tastes began to develop in culinary school, I continued to dislike the taste of eggy hollandaise sauce and egg-rich cakes.
A few months ago, all that changed in the dining room of Tim Raue’s lovely La Soupe Populaire. His version of the classic German dish senfeier— eggs in mustard sauce—was silky, smooth, and delicious. Most surprising was the fact, that even though the egg was poached and featured the kind of just-cooked-yolk I can usually only barely stomach, the dish had me actually wanting more.
Since that meal, I’ve dreamed of returning to La Soupe Populaire just for the senfeier dish. (The rest of the menu was also lovely, and I highly recommend a visit.) And beyond Chef Raue’s dreamy dish, I have found myself not only liking eggs, but actually craving them. Who is this woman, I’ve asked myself, as I dip a spoon into soft-boiled eggs over the classic German brunch or prepare hard-boiled eggs for lunch salads.
With the nice weather this week, I’ve been wanting something light and refreshing, and a springy sandwich with hard-boiled eggs came to mind. The braised fennel here takes on brightness from lemon and adds sweetness to the sandwich. And the cucumber and pickled onion give that freshness I craved. For bread, I’ve used small slices from a fresh loaf of sourdough, but a French baguette or ciabatta would also work well.
fAter a wonderfully mild start, Berlin’s winter has finally hit in full force. The city’s streets were lined in a slick ice that had many dangerously falling over on Monday, and yesterday we woke up to the first snow of the year. After braving the cold, Sarah’s wonderfully warming Gold Rush Soup—doesn’t the name just make you feel warmer already?—was the only thing I wanted. Lately I’ve been cooking just what I want, and thankfully that also means lots of healthy fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices.
I didn’t have Sarah’s combination of sweet potatoes and turmeric on hand, but loved the idea of turning roasted vegetables into a quick soup. Our CSA pumpkin, garlic, and ginger did the job nicely. But the real secret to this soup is the lovely chickpea croutons, spicy and crunchy and quite addictive. While it’s not required, I do suggest roasting the chickpeas in coconut oil—it adds such a nice aroma. The chickpeas are also delicious tossed into salads, if you can manage to keep from eating them all directly off the roasting pan! Read More
Back in Berlin, two weeks into 2014, and we’re starting to settle into a routine again. Monday nights tend to be a working late kind-of-night, which usually means I have the house to myself for dinner. Left to my own devices, I generally cook the kind of meals best enjoyed alone—simple soups, easy-to-throw-together salads, and the super-earthy-crunchy food TH probably wouldn’t be interested in. This week I wanted something warm, but wasn’t interested in soup or a curry dish. A rice bowl is sort of like the warm version of salad, with lots of steamed vegetables and plenty of texture, and this bright and tangy vinaigrette is delicious if I do say so. It might look like something right out of a hippie retreat, but it did the trick just right.
For an added boost of flavor, I’ve been adding smoked tofu to pretty much everything lately, including soups, sandwiches, and now this rice bowl. If you don’t have it on hand, or can’t find it, enhance the flavor of plain tofu by marinating it in a mixture of soy sauce and chili paste. The best part of making the dish for a solo dinner: having enough left over for an equally delicious lunch the next day! Read More