Having some asparagus that wants eating (in fact, some stalks are sprouting from the tips – but I promise the picture below was taken two days later) and my having discovered in the freezer some Pain de Mie we froze after the last excursion into this recipe, D and I decided to make truffled egg toasts, from ‘ino in New York, a now-disappeared little restaurant that was one of our major favorites in NYC. Not that we’ve been there that much, but wow, it had great food. Little hole in the wall. This recipe is in the book Simple Italian Sandwiches by Jennifer and Jason Denton.
The first discusses the recipe as we first made it, using the same type of bread we did today.
The second was an attempt to use larger (wider) bread that could hold the requisite 2 egg yolks, but the bread was too holey to do a great job. Also, the second wine was still not optimal, it says.
Anyway, We tried it again, leaving three sides of crust on the pain de mie from the freezer, so as not to make it any smaller. I used 400 degrees in the toaster oven to toast it lightly, and then 400 degrees again after adding the cheese (Fontina Valle d’Aosta from The Cheese Board) and bread. I planed the cheese and it was about 3 plane-things thick, but I think cutting it thicker would have been better. Idea: buy a pain de mie and cut horizontally, to get a larger bread to start with, use two egg yolks, and cut the cheese with knife so it’s thicker. D didn’t want to fire up the panini press to cook the asparagus, and instead cooked them dry in a pan on the stove, and I thought they didn’t work very well – dried out significantly. The dish was good, just not perfect.
D made the salad, which used up the rest of the romaine head we began to finish at lunch. He cut up the persimmon we bought at Woodleaf Farm at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and added walnut pieces (kept in the freezer) and a dressing of raspberry wine vinegar and olive oil.
We also had a small bowl of freshly cooked fresh cranberry beans. I boiled about 1 2/3 cups of beans for a bit over 30 minutes in water – about 2 cups but I had to add more so start with 3 or 3 1/2 for this many beans – with about 5 cloves peeled garlic (one of the “cloves” was several teensy leftover ones from the bottom of the garlic container) and two sprigs of rosemary. I covered these and left in the pan till dinnertime, which would be about another 2 hours, and D just served them out at their then-temperature, slightly warmer than room. Someone would make a small fortune breeding cranberry beans that can maintain their beautiful coloration during cooking!
D decided we should try this with a red wine, and since we missed our newly-restocked “Friday wine” last night – Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – we went with that. Sure nice to have it again. It costs $15 at the Bowl, or $13.50 as part of a case. It went pretty well with this meal, and given that the previous two entries were thumbs down and sideways on the chardonnays, this is probably as good a match as we’ve gotten.
Went to The Cheese Board to get the Fontina Valle d’Aosta for the truffled egg toasts, and also some sandwich cheese. I chose two cheeses I’ve never had before – one called “Grottone” that is a soft-flavored, complex Swissish cheese (actually from Italy) that apparently hangs during its making (as pointed out by the Cheese Board member) b/c it has a mesh indented on its surface (see photo), and the other called Hoch Ybrig, a really delicious medium-hard raw cows’ milk cheese from a single location and single producer in Switzerland. It’s inspired by Gruyere, which is probably why I like it so much 🙂
We bought a red Bartlett pear from Woodleaf Farm along with the persimmon for the dinner salad, and the pear was perfectly ripe. D used it in a salad, with an underbed of romaine, a dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a few grindings of black pepper. We both thought nuts would have been a good addition – walnuts or pecans, either one – but it was perfectly delicious this way, too.
We decided to try a white zinfandel that arrived as part of a case of wine from P, who actually knows nothing about wine b/c he does not drink – ever. Luckily, the case turned out to be from Cosentino, so we realized the wines were probably pretty decent. We don’t buy white zins, but there it was, so D put it in the fridge, and we had half a bottle today. It’s a perfectly good, refreshing wine, though (as white zins tend to be) a shade on the sweet side. Still have the other 1/2 bottle in the fridge.