Watercress Pudding with Quail Eggs and Asparagus

P3318737Niether of us celebrate Easter, so tomorrow will be a quiet Sunday afternoon.  No egg hunt or peeps for us, but we have always been a HUGE fan of cadbury mini eggs and therefore this holiday brings a lot of joy.  True and funny story; several years back when cadbury mini eggs were only sold in April, we were desperate so we went online and ordered several bags from London.  Then we found out it was a scam.  There is just something about eating mini eggs…like quail eggs.  Have you ever tried it?  They are really useful to cook with especially in soup when you want the yolk contained.  In celebration of Easter, we made a little sophisticated appetizer that might please your guests, though it may not be something that would be normally served at Easter or even allowed?  We’re thinking on Passover terms here.  Really simple flavor but the pudding texture will please everyone at the table.  Plus, the quail eggs will add a fun accent to the dish.  Happy Easter!
P3318699 P3318701P3318695 P3318721Adapted from Aran Goyoaga
Yields:  4

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup (40grams) watercress
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
3 quail eggs
1.5 ounces (45 g) asparagus, cut up

1.  Preheat oven to 325° F.  In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic.  Cook for 1 minute or until it turns golden and then add watercress, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook for 1 minute or until the watercress is wilted.  Remove from heat.
2.  In a blender, place watercress, coconut milk, and heavy cream.  Puree.  Then, add the regular eggs and blend.
3.  Divide custard among 4 ramekins.  Place ramekins in a deep baking dish.  Pour hot water into the baking dish, enough to go halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Put the dish into the oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.
4.  In the meantime boil the quail eggs.
5.  Blanch the asparagus tips in salted boiling water for 1 minute and then shock them in ice water. Toss the asparagus with salt and olive oil.
6.  When everything is ready, garnish the custard with the asparagus and quail eggs.

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Creamy Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

P2048549We got a sniff of spring today in Boston and normally this day is full of joy and hope for these frigid days to be over, but I panicked.  I felt an urge to blog all of our winter-appropriate recipes before the flowers start blooming and readers dismiss our one-season-behind ideas.  I guess that’s one down-fall to having seasonal cooking — no one wants chicken soup in the middle of the scorching summer.  So today we share with you Creamy Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, which you might recognize as Sunchoke soup.  We made this soup with Yvette Van Boven back in October and results were delicious.  The best part is that you don’t need heavy cream involved, so it stays relatively healthy; the key is to use the blender for a period of time.  We also like the idea of cooking with an undercover ingredient because  it adds another element of surprise.  Good taste and secret ingredient equals happy and curious eater who wants the recipe and feels motivated to cook from scratch and eliminate processed food.  I wish I could write that out as an expression using variables and exponents for you.  Hope you get to do some last-minute winter cooking — or not, and embrace the new change.
P20485532 Tbs olive oil
2 shallots chopped
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp rosemary
1 lb Jerusalem artichoke, peeled and diced
2 celery branches diced
1 medium size potato diced
1 Tbs tomato paste
3 cups vegetable broth
Garnish: Paprika, parsley, and olive oil

1.  Heat the oil in large heavy bottom pan and add shallots, coriander, and rosemary.  Cook until shallots gets slightly brown.
2.  Add vegetables and tomato paste and stir.
3.  Add broth and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.
4.  Use a blender.  The longer you blend the creamier the soup will become.
5.  Garnish with the options given above, or any others such as scallops, blue potato chips, oyster crackers, etc.

 

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