Green Eggs and Ham
*I would love your vote over at Foodbuzz’ Project Food Blog. Voting is open now, but just for two days. You can check out the competition and vote for my entry here. Merci a million!
Dear Nature’s Pride,
I am a from-scratch kind of gal; consequently I rarely have store-bought bread in my kitchen. I was extremely pleasantly surprised to sample your Country Potato Bread and to find it luscious both in flavor and texture. You might be extremely (pleasantly, I hope) surprised to see what I did with it. Bet you never thought something so humbly wholesome as Country Potato Bread could become part of a molecular gastronomy canapé, now did you? And I even managed to pay homage to the greatest children’s writer on the planet, that wacky, zany, stripey lively legend Dr. Suess.
Green eggs and ham is shockingly easy to make, easy on the eyes, and easy on the ol’ pocketbook as well. I guess you could say green eggs and ham is just plain easy, but I wouldn’t want you to mix it up with my cousin Suzy, so I’ll stop just this side of Texas on that one. It comes together lickety split, and the great part is wowing your guests with your mad science skillz in the kitchen. You see, the eggs are not really eggs at all, but are made from peas, using a process called spherification. Spherifica-what? How Seussian! Do you spherify your peas, oh yes please, give me spherified peas. I will eat them on my knees, in a cloud of angry bees, Linda, you’re such a dork oh jeez! Ok, I’m done lapsing into Seuss-speak- allow me to explain, all grownup-like, spherification. It’s essentially turning liquid into spheres by using two naturally-occurring, inexpensive, easily attainable chemical compounds- sodium alginate and calcium chloride. It’s a crowd-pleaser sure to enthrall, geeky fun times had by all turning pea juice into balls (that was a momentary relapse- sorry)!
But bright green science spheres alone do not an appetizer make, so we’ve got to pair, and pair well. Peas are good with- prosciutto, gadzooks, I’m a genius. And prosciutto is ham, so there you have it, green eggs and ham. But it’s gotta be served on something, otherwise it would be a goopy, pea-stained scientific mess. That’s where you came in and saved the day, Nature’s Pride. Your sweet slices of ambrosia- aka potato bread, served as the perfect shingles for my spheres, but not before I coated them in maple syrup, egg and cream then fried them to Frenched perfection. Yes, I maple French toasted triangles of your bread, and I’d do it again and again and again. This time I won’t stop short- it was orgasmic in the way that has you panting for more even though you’re still reeling from the first and second go-rounds. Did I mention that I added some sweet and sour shallots to these bundles of brilliance? Yeah, it was a good call. This is one of the best things I’ve put in my mouth in the last month, and believe you me, I’ve put a whole grip of crazy things in there.
So what do you say, Nature’s Pride? Don’t you think we should transport the attendees of the greatest food festival ever to exist, Foodbuzz Fest 2010, back to their childhoods and feed them green eggs and ham? What say you, attendees? Are you down with a bite of nostalgia to go with the copious amounts of wine you’ll be “sipping and spitting” (yeah, right) during the tasting pavilion portion of the festival? Because I would LOVE to make these for you. And I might even spout off crazy rhymes while I’m doing it- wouldn’t that be fun to watch? Here’s the recipe- enjoy, my pretties.
Green Eggs and Ham
Takes 30 minutes
For the sweet and sour shallots:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Salt, to taste
For the spherified peas:
- 300 grams frozen peas
- 12 mint leaves
- 375 grams water
- 2.4 grams sodium alginate
- 6.5 grams calcium chloride
- 1 liter water
For the maple French toast:
- 4 slices Nature’s Pride Country Potato bread, each cut into two triangles
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- Two large slices of prosciutto, cut into eight squares
- Caramelize the shallot in a small saucepan over low heat in the butter. After five minutes, add the remaining shallot ingredients and stir occasionally until browned and very soft, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the peas and mint in a blender. Boil 375 grams of water and pour over peas. Blend until smooth. Pass through a mesh strainer, discard the solids, and measure out 500 grams of the remaining juice. Put one third of it in an immersion blender container and add the sodium alginate. Blend well, add remaining juice, and blend again. Let sit in fridge while you make the calcium chloride water bath. Add calcium chloride to liter of water in a shallow glass container. Stir with a fork until dissolved. In a separate shallow container, add an equivalent amount of cold water (for rinsing). Using measuring spoons of whatever size you want your spheres to be, spoon pea juice into calcium chloride bath in little spherical blobs. Using a slotted spoon, gently nudge the spheres around in the water. After two minutes, remove the pea spheres to the cold water. (You will have enough pea juice to make way more than eight spheres- roll with it. It’s fun.)
- Mix the syrup, egg and cream until fully incorporated. Dredge the bread triangles in the mixture and pan fry in a nonstick skillet over medium heat on both sides until browned.
- Assemble the green eggs and ham by arranging the toast triangles on a platter, placing a prosciutto square on them, a small dollop of caramelized shallot, and finally, very carefully, using a slotted spoon, top with the spherified peas. The peas are delicate, so be gentle. Et voila- green eggs and ham.