Saturday, November 13, 2010
A perfect late night snack and a winner in the CSN giveaway
First of all I want to thank each of you for the incredible response to my blog's 2nd birthday/anniversary. I am touched by your generosity and kindness in your well wishes. I also wish to thank CSN for hosting the fabulous giveaway.
We have a winner in the $75 giveaway from CSN and it is Lea Ann of Mangos Chili and Z. Congratulations. I know you’ll enjoy spending the $75 at CSN. I know I would. Please send me your email address to me at samhoffer (at) gmail (dot) com so CSN can contact you.
More congratulations are in order for Lea Ann. Her recipe for Scallop Sandwich appetizer is one of the winners of the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest and it is published in their gorgeous new book book – Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. Why don’t you run on over to Mangos Chili and Z to tell her congratulations. Look around while you are there. She is amazing photographer as well as a fabulous cook.
I have really enjoyed reading your comments on whether you have stools in your kitchen or not. It was divided pretty much 50 -50 on those of you who used stools like I do and those of you who don’t. Some of you like people to visit with you while you cook as I do and others don’t. Our winner Lea Ann left the following comment. “I love stools in the kitchen. My mom always had a couple when I was growing up. Usually my aunt and I would sit there and pester her while she cooked. :-)”
Speaking of visiting with people in the kitchen while you cook, my friend Susan of The Schnitzel and the Trout left a comment that brought back memories. Susan said, “I do not like anyone in my kitchen because I get so involved in conversation that I forget what I am doing.” Susan, you have no idea how right you are and it’s happened to me. Read on…..
Visiting with people while you cook almost turned into a disaster for me when I was the Mississippi finalist in the 40th National Chicken Cooking Contest. It was one of the big three contests and the oldest of its kind. In other words, the National Chicken Cooking Contest was a big deal and the cash prize in 2009 was $50,000. Sadly, because of economic conditions, the contest has been suspended.
As Mississippi’s contestant I was awarded an all expense paid trip to the competition where participants are introduced to the press and audience as the state winner. With a banner draped over your chest, you walked out feeling very much like "Miss America". Everyone had their very own kitchen. A flag was provided that each contestant could raise or lower, indicating whether they were available for conversation and questions while preparing their dish.
My dish was Chicken Breasts stuffed with Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Rosemary. Goat cheese in 1993 was a fairly exotic ingredient. Many people stopped by my booth with questions. As you know I like to visit in the kitchen, so I eagerly answered their questions until I glanced down at my watch and realized I had talked away valuable time and I was running out of time to prepare my dish twice - one for the judges to sample and the other for display. I quickly changed my flag and got to work. In other words, I realized that I might not finish on time which would ruin my chances to win. Thankfully I did finish, but Susan, you are so right. You can definitely get involved in conversation while cooking and forget what you’re doing and the results for me could have been disastrous.
I still love goat cheese and use it often. This sandwich would make a great late night after the theater snack or a lovely light lunch. Goat cheese has become increasingly popular. For this dish I can see flavoring the goat cheese with many combinations such as sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, assorted fresh herbs and garlic, black olive tapenade, or crushed pink peppercorns and herbs de Provence. The combinations for mild creamy goat cheese are almost endless.
Open-faced sandwiches with goat cheese and fried eggs
A perfect late night after the theater snack or a light lunch
Adapted from Cooking Light – serves 4
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup organic spring mix lettuce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices five grain bread or other hardy bread
4 large eggs
4 oz soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Toss the mixture with the organic baby lettuce mix and set aside.
Toast the bread until your desired degree of doneness.
Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook 2 minutes. Add one tablespoon of water, cover and cook an additional 2 minutes until whites are set and remove from the heat.
Spread the toast with equal portions of the goat cheese, then the dressed spring lettuce mix, and top with a fried egg. Sprinkle the eggs with chopped fresh thyme, a pinch of sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve a little extra sea salt alongside for those who like a bit more salt and crunch.