Monday, April 9, 2012

Miriam's Dominican Poached Egg and Garlic Soup

Wednesday afternoon lunch holds a special place in my heart.  My friend Miriam is the originator of this ritual and deserves full credit for inspiring me to create some fun and unique Dominican menu items. For example, it was not till several months ago that Miriam introduced me to Mangu (boiled, mashed green plantains topped with sauteed garlic).  Due to her Dominican heritage, Miriam's food has a simple and unassuming quality.  Her regional delights are brought to life by her charming personality, generous spirit and genuine hospitality.

One afternoon, after some cocktails and a very satisfying lunch, we got on the subject of eggs.  Being a self-proclaimed egg-a-holic, I began to run down a list of favorite egg dishes. My Abuela's Tortilla, a simple fried egg over a bed of rice accompanied by a sliced banana or fried plantains, Eggs Florentine, Spanish Chorizo Golden Potato Bake and the list goes on...It was at this point that Miriam looked at me very intently and said, "I have to make you my grandmother's garlic and egg soup. You would love it!" I agreed, and in typical Latin fashion we set it as a tentative goal without a specific date or time in mind.  The understanding between us was clear...it would happen.  Maybe not next Wednesday, but some time in the future.

A month ago, at around noon, I got a call from Miriam.  As usual we exchanged salutations in Spanish and Miriam went on to inform me that she had all the ingredients and would be making her grandmother's egg soup recipe this afternoon.  30 minutes later, I was standing over her stove typing some general notes on my iphone and hoping the mimosa she had just served me wasn't affecting my ability to reproduce this simple and beautiful dish.

My fears were confirmed when I read over the recipe last week in preparation for this blog post.  I had forgotten the most fundamental aspect of recipe writing...naming. Just a few weeks ago, in conversation with Miriam I confessed my mistake.  She giggled and said the reason the recipe title had not been recorded is because she had never given me a name.  "So, what's it called?", I asked. In typical Miriam fashion, she laughed again and said...name it what you want. And so I did.  It's my pleasure to share with you, Miriam's Dominican Poached Egg and Garlic Soup...Here's to your health..or as Miriam would say, Salud!


        Miriam's Dominican Poached Egg and Garlic Soup



2 tbsp olive oil 
6 cloves of minced garlic
6 cups of water
*5 angel hair nests (optional)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 whole eggs
1 egg separated
1 large bunch of cilantro 
 salt and pepper to taste

 
1.  Heat olive oil in a medium sized soup pot and add minced garlic stirring frequently so as not to burn.  Saute for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a boil.

2. Add 5 angel hair nests(or one bunch of soba noodles, 1/2 a box of brown rice pasta) and cook down for 4 minutes.  If, like me, you prefer not to indulge in complex carbs, simply skip this step.

3.  Add vinegar to your boiling water and carefully crack open each individual egg into a ramican dish and gently drop into the water. Try not to take more than a minute depositing the eggs into the water, otherwise they will vary in their level of firmness. Poach eggs for 1-2 minutes.

4. Scramble an egg yolk and add it to the soup stirring gently and taking care not to break any of the eggs.  Cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, add cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy!

*Although Miriam's original recipe calls for regular angel hair pasta nests, due to my family's sensitivity to wheat and my nutritional needs, I omit this ingredient when I make the soup.  If you would like a good substitute, you could use soba nooodles or brown rice pasta.

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