Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Great minds think alike...
... and fools never differ!
Apparently, my egg-centric (sic) Madeleine, has spurned interest hitherto unfathomed. Venerable egg-sperts (re-sic) have last week decided that... TA-DAAAA: THE EGG CAME FIRST
However, sorting out philosophical and biological questions is very well, but do they even know how to poach an egg? I rest my case. And I'm glad to say that I am using fewer egg-related puns than CNN journalists.
PS: thanks to Dad who always reads EVERYTHING in the news, for making me aware of this life-altering 'discovery'
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Madeleine Challenge - Time for Gunfight @ Egg Corral
Now to amy part of the Challenge...
As I (briefly) mentioned in my previous post, I am terrified at the thought of poaching an egg. Those of you who know me might be surprised that I willingly volunteer information that I might be scared of anything at all, but there you are. And no, I don't fear fear itself. I have just never succeeded in poaching an egg. Ever. So the time has come. It's me or the egg! And I've got more hair, 2 arms and 2 legs, so I should stand a fair chance, don't you think?
I have tried the "leave the eggs out of the fridge 24 hours before" rule, the "create a whirlpool in the water before you crack the egg in" policy and even the "buy this stupid gadget and your eggs will be perfectly poached" scam. To no avail. So there is only one thing left to do this time: buy the freshest eggs around, but unfortunately, that means waiting for my weekly foodie fix at Borough Market. On Saturday. Which means 4 'sleeps' before attempting this daunting Madeleine. Did I hear someone say procrastination?
Meanwhile, I will be busy translating the recipe received and you could all maybe be so kind as to leave somme comments with fool-proof egg-poaching suggestion. 'Egg poaching for Dummies. " Or Dummy, in this case.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Madeleine Challenge: "Baronne, I need help!"
This weekend I am going away, to visit my parents. And when I come back on Tuesday, I hope that Baronne will have convinced her mum to part with this delectable and mouth-watering traditional French recipe. Are you up to the challenge? If so, please send me an email with the recipe, so I can translate it and tell another Madeleine.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Madeleine # 4: Mechoui al Harissa
This Madeleine has so many memories encoded in its DNA, that I really don't know where to start. It has been a staple of our family celebrations for almost as long as I can remember. So not knowing where to start, I did what every self-respecting independent woman of 30-something does. I called my mum.
It turns out that the 1st time she prepared this, was at the suggestion of my dad's boss in Burundi (who was from Madagascar). My dad's boss had a knack for inviting people to big bashes, and at the last moment something would "go wrong", so everyone would end up going to my parents' house and my mum would prepare a fantastic feast. Again.
For this 1st bash of the sort, my parents made one major mistake: they ordered the meat a bit too fresh. "Fresh", as in alive. With soft fur and a liking for eating out of your hand. Needless to say, the lamb - because that's what it was - did not end up on the roasting spit. It was our pet for the next 2 years, and even moved house with us.
So my mum ordered one of the lamb's less fortunate and especially less alive colleagues, and thus started our Mechoui tradition. For those of you who have been to French village fetes, or have travelled in North Africa, you will know this dish, and that's also why we call it a mechoui and use harissa. What the Malagasy term for it is, I have no clue, but I'm sure it tastes the same whatever you call it. A rose by any other name and all that.
Of course, I tend to avoid preparing a whole roast lamb in our 2 bedroom flat in central London (landlords are not as accomodating as they used to be...). But a smaller piece of the beast does the trick nicely as well.