The Chicken or the Egg?

ChickOrEgg

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Sure, we”ve all pondered the question but at the end of the day—who gives a damn? Regardless, they are both delicious. Of course, they are even better when fried and breaded. There are few people I know (meaning I know few vegetarians) that do not enjoy a fried egg or chicken. So, my girlfriend realized she could please anybody (that matters) by combining a fried egg and chicken in a dish. Bonus: she added some greens and can call it salad and healthy.

The girlfriend always cringed when I ordered my fried eggs at the diner, but that”s all changed thanks to this new concoction. The dish has a balance of texture—tender, juicy chicken, crispy arugula and asparagus, and a savory runny egg that acts as the perfect dressing. Onward to the flavor: the breaded chicken offers a solid foundation for the pseudo-salad with Italian seasonings. Next, the “salad” portion of the dish includes the peppery arugula, refreshing asparagus, and lemon juice finishes it off with a surprisingly perfect balance. Finally, the dish is crowned with a fried egg (or runny egg, dippy egg, whatever you choose to call it). Break the egg and enjoy the savory flavor of the fried egg in every bite.

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The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats: 7. Pork, It’s What’s for Breakfast

Part of me really has a hard time looking at someone straight in the eye after they tell me they don’t eat bacon and not laugh….”

This is what my friend told me he added to his online dating profile after meeting too many women who didn’t eat meat. I don’t know what’s worse; the fact that these women exist or that he kept meeting them. Regardless, I found a place he should probably take women on dates.

I walked into Imig’s Kitchen and Bar in the Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club expecting run-of-the-mill breakfast that you so often get in a hotel restaurant, even if it was in San Diego. I was pretty tired and haphazardly ordered the braised pork and applewood smoked bacon hash (above), which the menu told me contained the hash, plus poached eggs, chile de arbol, and hollandaise on a crispy corn tortilla. My lovely dining companion, BS, went with the breakfast sammy: grilled country bread, eggs over easy, arugula, avocado, prosciutto, oven roasted tomatoes, fontina and chive pesto:

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Sandwiches in the City

New Yorkers are obnoxiously proud of our lunchtime options. We don’t do chains because we don’t have to. Not when you can find everything from banh mi hot dogs to Brussels sprouts sandwiches for under $10. That’s exactly why I’ve been so bothered by the rapid proliferation of Cosi, Pret a Manger and the like across Manhattan in recent years. Are New Yorkers really lunching at these places now? Sure, these semi-upscale sandwich chains are better than Subway or Quiznos, but I’d still take a Boar’s Head bodega roll any day of the week.

Recently entering the midtown sandwich contest and blowing the chains out of the water is City Sandwich, a Portuguese-style sandwich shop from chef Michael Guerrieri. Now, you foodies may be noting that there’s not really any such thing as a Portuguese-style sandwich. This is true. Like most refined Europeans, the Portuguese prefer to sit down and eat their meals with knives and forks. So Guerrieri, who was born in Naples, raised in New York and spent 13 years cooking in Lisbon, has taken traditional Portuguese meals and turned them into an array of newly-invented sandwiches.

The crispy bread is brought in twice daily from a Portuguese bakery in New Jersey; the insides scooped out to make room for fillings and to ensure the sandwiches aren’t too heavy. Each one is spread with high-quality olive oil and built using unique ingredients you’d be hard-pressed to find in any other sandwich shop in the world. For example, the Bench Girl, pictured above, contains alheira, a smoky, spicy sausage that was pioneered by Portuguese Jews during the Inquisition. In an effort not to stand out among their pork-eating compatriots, the Jews invented this chorizo-like link that is actually made from chicken, but looks enough like the real deal that no one could guess they weren’t dining on swine. Apparently, back in the day on the Iberian peninsula, not eating pork was enough to get you burned at the stake. Today, a little bit of pork has managed to sneak into most versions of alheira currently produced in Portugal, but it’s still a superbly rich and flavorful sausage that’s not quite like any other. It’s paired here with an omelet, grilled onions, spinach, and melted mozzarella, for a savory breakfast-y sandwich that is appropriate any time of day.

For a look at City Sandwich’s other inventive, Portuguese-influenced sandwich creations, keep reading after the jump.

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Thursday Three: Arugula Recipes

Spring is officially here! Which doesn’t explain why I see snow on the ground and there still isn’t a goddamn thing worth buying at the farmers’ market. Seriously, screw you apples and potatoes. I’m done with you. Because arugula was basically the only thing providing a shade of green at the far mar this weekend, here are three vintage ES arugula recipes to get you through until we start seeing some serious spring veggies.

1. Feta and arugula spring rolls

2. Arugula pesto

3. Zucchini boats with arugula, black beans and mini tomatoes

Remember, you can find all kinds of vegetarian recipes in the ES recipe index.

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Boiling Away Hate

boiled-brussels

I totally get why little kids would think spinach is gross. Most probably share my first vision of spinach: Popeye drinking dark green goo, out of a can, and then beating the shit out of people. It was totally weird and random. Did spinach bring out rage in sailors?

Eating vegetables, let alone drinking them, was just not on my things to do list (which included making my oma judge my many productions of a My Little Pony beauty pageant. Moondancer always won.)

But I still don’t get what gives veggies a bad rap in general. And some more than others. Carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, there’s really not that much angst against them. But brussels sprouts? It’s like they’re so hateful that they’d rather stop helping the homeless than let two consenting adults build a life together.

Why are brussels sprouts so hated?

They’re pretty cute, actually. Adorable little bulbs with pretty, pale green petals. They’re not scary, weapon-like spears like asparagus. They’re not slimy with a clinical and unappetizing sounding name—fungus—like mushrooms. They don’t splooge juice like a tomato. Brussels sprouts are small and neatly compact.

Why all the hate?

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Restaurants are Catching Up

sweet-potato-and-bulgar-wheat-1-500-x-332

Now that I’m sufficiently through with summer vegetables, I’ve been getting really excited for a new season of vegetables. But what really excites me is restaurants that are also embracing the idea. I went to bird watch at a neighborhood pizza place. What caught my attention was the blackboard sign: “$5 slice and draft beer.”

That shit just doesn’t exist in the District. Shit, sometimes you can buy a Miller Lite for as much as $4. Anyway, so a bunch of us went to Radius and all of a sudden my mouth hung open and I oggled the menu.  There was pumpkin ravioli and butternut squash soup and a pizza with kabocha pumpkin puree, ricotta, feta, caramelized mushrooms and red onions. Unfortunately I was too hungover to experiment and just grabbed a large slice of cheese. I just love that everyone from high-end restaurants to the local pizza place endorses the mantra of eating seasonally.

Back to my kitchen.

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