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grits

Comfort Coddle

Comfort Coddle

What is the dish that you crave on a cold, blustery Winter morning?

Me? I like a good egg with runny yolk, creamy polenta and some spice. Give me that and I am a content woman {note to sig. other. ha!}. It is the simple things that make a world of difference to me. In that I can be rather finicky. The polenta has to be creamy but not runny. The egg soft with fully cooked whites but not crispy anywhere. And, certainly, a delicately raw yolk that separates itself in a quick stroke from the cooked white self-ramekin. 

Anyway, now that I have gone on about the perfect consistency that turns a frown into a smile, you must want to know how to. Well, the secret for both the egg and the corn is ........! 

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Poached Egg, Spicy Sausage and Grits with Porcini Mushroom and Wine Reduction - Daring Cooks

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I love weekend meals. For the simple fact that you can make even a simple meal special with a little bit of thought and not a lot of elaboration! :) This last week has been a very packed one. With the weekend looking even busier, I woke up Saturday morning with thoughts of a simple, soul-touching meal.

Then I remembered that I had yet to make my Daring Cooks entry. Fortunately, it was one that I could tackle last minute and yet work into my plans for the day. Poaching eggs is tricky but doable and I had done it before. In fact, my last post included one.

Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

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My real challenge this time was to figure out how to take it to the next level. I have to say, I love hollandaise but I really had no plans for using up all those egg whites that making the sauce would generate. Besides, it didn't quite fit my easy but hearty lunch idea.

So, I fell back to one of my favorites; Grits! I mean, how much more soul can one want??! :D, especially with generous additions of goat cheese. To balance its creaminess, I layered spicy sausages and then topped it with a poached egg. To make it more fun, I made a porcini mushroom, wine and stock reduction that lent a smooth finish to the dish.

I love breaking the delicate white of a poached egg and watching the yolk gracefully oozing out onto the grits. And, of the flavors! of the creamy yolk with the lighter grits cut by the sharp spice of the sausage. It was the perfect lunch on a Saturday afternoon that was to be followed by much hectic chaos! :)

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Their Recipes ....

Fig, Apricot, and Nut Biscotti
Fig, Apricot and Nut Biscotti - I tried to stay with the recipe but I don't like hazelnuts. So, I subed with almonds. Worked beautifully.

I was having a conversation with Al, the other day, on Twitter (yep, the 140 characters don't seem deter the long discussions :)). We were discussing how we rarely seem to actually try other bloggers' recipes or atleast blog about having tried them. Al's take was that it was the result of too much creativity and too little time...

Anyway, the discussion happened and was pushed to the back on my mind, until the photo contest at Leite's Culinaria happened. The idea of the contest was to recreate a recipe on the site and photograph it for the contest. Which, ofcourse presented the opportunity for point in para 1...

Shrimp & Grits
The classic Shrimp and Grits tuned up with pancetta, goat cheese and spinach.

Ofcourse, it would be very rare indeed to recreate another food blogger's work without any modifications at all. From the most innocent reason of not having the exact ingredients (and hence improvise, drop some etc.) to the grandiose of "I just know that this flavor combination would work so well in this recipe!!".

I have to confess that I am guilty of this as well :). Out of the three recipes, I wanted to point to here, only one, the Chocolate Torte below, is a true recreation. The others I must beg innocence on showing off, it really was a case of using what I had rather than going out and buying ingredients which I didn't think were so critical to the dish's success... :)

Almond Chocolate Torte
Chocolate Torte - True recreation.

Btw, I share these three because you must try them.. as is or your interpretation of them. But, do..make..them! :)

Fig, Apricot and Nut Biscotti - Leite's Culinaria
Shrimp and Grits - Leite's Culinarya
Chocolate Torte - Lemon Pi
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