Here is another quick and easy meal. This one is great to impress the overnight guest, treat yourself when there is none, help a hangover, or teach your kids the proper way to start the day.
The ‘Green’ – 1 Avocado sliced (or spinach)
The ‘Eggs” – 4 large eggs
The ‘Ham’ – 4 slabs of thick Applewood Smoked Bacon
4 slices of sourdough bread (long slices)
4 slices of Gruyere cheese
4 slices of American cheese
4 Russet potatoes peeled
Grate the peeled clean potatoes with a cheese grater and set aside (but not too long or they brown.)
Cook the Applewood Smoked Bacon slabs in a frying pan until crispy. Set aside on paper towel to drain. Fry the grated potatoes in the bacon grease at a high enough temperature to brown them. Sprinkle with truffle salt. Then flip them over and brown the other side. Trufflize the other side. Keep pressing with spatula to make a giant pan-sized hash brown patty. When both sides are brown, lower heat and finish cooking in covered pan or move to oven and bake at 350.
Start cooking 4 eggs to taste. (Basted or fried works best.) For the sandwiches, place the four slices of bread on a flat surface to make 2 sandwiches. For each sandwich, place the 2 slices of Gruyere on one piece (taking up the entire piece of bread, ok to overlap) and do the same with the American cheese slices on the other piece of the bread. Place two eggs on top of one side of the bread and top with 2 bacon strips. Add the sliced Avocado (or steamed spinach if not in season.) Top with the other piece of bread (with cheese intact.)
Grill on the Panini maker until bread is browned with grill marks and cheese is melted. If you don’t have one, buy one. Krups and Williams Sonoma (Breville) make the best ones.
Slice the sandwich in half (between the two eggs) and plate with a portion of hash browns.
Serve with a mimosa of course.
Have you met my boyfriend? He is no one in particular, but a symbol of many of the men that I (and most of my friends) have dated since divorce. His name is Luke. Luke Warm. Luke doesn’t do ‘woo’. Luke doesn’t call very often. Luke does not send flowers. Luke introduces his dates as, “my friend” and rarely accepts or extends invitations as a “Plus 1” to weddings, school parties, family functions, holiday dinners, work events, and other intimate settings that imply coupling. His date requests are usually last minute, and cancellations can be expected.
Don’t get me wrong, Luke is a great guy! Luke is really fun to go out (or go home) with. Luke is charming and buys dinner and sends sexy texts after a few glasses of wine. He is kind and he is a great kisser. But Luke avoids the “L” word and the term Girlfriend.
Why? Because Luke isn’t Smitten. He is Luke Warm.
My friends (mostly the single ones) say it is because I don’t play hard to get. I need to let Luke chase me. Please, please tell me I don’t have to play games to fall in love again. Perhaps Luke is “Just not that into me” as one of my favorite books suggests. Maybe Luke really is too busy for a girlfriend. Or it is possible that Luke is just an idiot and doesn’t realize what he is missing out on. Yes, I will go with that one.
So, why doesn’t anyone Woo anymore? I suppose The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence; or the Arts of Wooing and Complementing might have fallen out of fashion since it was published in London in 1658. Miriam says Woo is: to try to make (someone) love you. I think Ms. Webster has it wrong. You shouldn’t have to ‘make’ someone love you.
During my research I stumbled (aka Googled) upon a modern book aptly named, The Art of Wooing. It was published in 2007 but last year a new version was released in the form of mixed media art and poetry with a story told through email exchange. The author, Kaz Brecher, defines it the following way:
“As I have come to understand it, the real “art of wooing” in this day and age is not about manipulation or trickery. Instead it involves the art of communication, the art of taking chances, the art of being real with other people..”
FINALLY! Someone understands. I hope it isn’t a dying art. I want some woo too!
Luke, I will truly miss you. Thank you for the laughs and the liquor, but I’m holding out for love.
This soup is great for days you feel like comfort food without the comfort fat. It is dairy free (if you leave off the sour cream) and makes excellent leftovers. The Boonville spice adds a little something extra, and you can easily make this in under an hour.
4 Cans black beans (3 strained, 1 with liquid)
1 can chopped tomatoes (with liquid)
1 large box chicken broth (or 2 cans)
3 slices of Applewood smoked bacon
Mirapoix (1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 stalk celery-all diced)
1 chopped red pepper
Spices: Cumin, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
Special spice: Boonville piment d’ville (Boonville Basque spice) or Adobo (traditional)
Lowfat sour cream or plain yogurt
Shredded cheddar or crumbled Cojita cheese
Cilantro or Basil
Hot sauce (Louisiana or Tabasco)
Chop bacon into tiny pieces and Sauté in large soup pan. Once the bacon starts to brown, and garlic, mirapoix and a little olive oil. Add red pepper. Sauté until all slightly translucent. Add spices. Add beans, tomatoes, and broth. Drop in two chicken breasts, submerge, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25-45 minutes. Turn off heat and remove chicken breasts and set aside until cool enough to touch. Ladle half of the soup into a blender and puree being careful to keep removing lid in-between blends or you will have a very messy black bean explosion in your kitchen. Pull the chicken breasts apart into shreds, placing the shreds into the remaining soup on the stove. Add the puree back into the soup and return to a simmer. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with cheese, drizzle or dollop with sour cream or yogurt, add some Cilantro or Basil and hotsauce if it’s your thing. Sprinkle a little special spice on top and serve!