Monday, March 19, 2012

Perail de Brebis with (Arugula) Aux Lardons

This was simultaneously the easiest dish to make and the dish I would eat for dinner 3 times a week for the rest of my life.  You know, if I kept things like quail eggs stocked in my fridge.  I did make a minor change to the recipe, and substituted argula for frisee.  Frisee tastes like dental floss.  Argula tastes like peppery lettuce, except a thousand times better.  No one complained about the substitution, and everyone finished their plate, so i'm guess that it was ok.

First, brioche!  I had intended to make my own fresh brioche.  Due to pesky work, it didn't happen... so Bread and Cie came through for me on Friday morning.

Slicing the brioche into 1" thick slices, and cutting holes out using my cutters took like 30 seconds.  For all of them.  AND I had some little 'cooks snacks' (leftover brioche rounds) that I got to nibble on as I prepped. 

The dressing took like 2 minutes.  Olive oil, sherry vinegar, mustard, along with a dash of salt and pepper.  My friend asked me for the recipe like two months later, and didn't believe it was so simple because it was so good.

The dressing was unusual, in that you didn't use the mustard as an emulsifying agent.  Instead, I whisked the mustard and vinegar together, then stirred in the olive oil with a spoon.  Easy, easy stuff.

Right before serving, I cut the cheese into wedges (another 2 minutes), and tossed the bread rounds in a pan with some melted butter.  Flip the round, then creak a quail egg in the hole.  Drizzle dressing on top of the arugula.  Total time: less than 5 minutes.
 I realized after serving that I forgot to put the lardons on the salad part, so I brought them to the table and let people do it themselves.  Unsurprisingly, no one complained, and there was no lardons left.

Seriously, if you have The French Laundry Cookbook and you are afraid to tackle something, start with THIS.  It was amazing.  Like, so good that I used leftover ingredients (well, subbing brie for the cheese) to make this for dinner twice that week.  And each time, it was like a 15 minute dinner, start to sitting down to each - even with doubling the recipe to make it dinner-sized and cutting the bread into pretty circles!!!!  AND it was easy to find all of the ingredients, except maybe the cheese (but it is easy enough to find a cheese close to perail de brebis).  This isn't just on my "keepers" list, it is literally in my monthly list of "things I make when i'm busy."  And, oh, have I been busy lately... but more to come on that.