Chef Tom Douglas cooks up holiday appetizers

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 24 at 8:21 AM

Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas joined KING 5 Morning News to whip up a few holiday appetizers and offered few tips for the chef in the kitchen.

Burrata

Cut brussell sprouts in half and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees  for 30 minutes or until caramelized and tender

Place half a ball of burrata on plate and garnish with brussell sprouts

For the tomato anchovy paste combine 1 tbs tomato paste, 1 tsp anchovy, 1 tsp garlic and 3 tbs olive oil. Slow cook in a sauté pan for 10 minutes until the fat and oil separates. Drizzle over the top of the burrata and finish with salt and pepper to taste.


Oeufs en Meurette on Rustic Bread
Makes 8 servings

Our Christmas Eve dinners often take on a theme. It could be Northern Italian, like the last one, which featured osso buco and risotto Milanese, or it could be Spanish with salt grilled prawns and a crusty seafood paella.

One year we explored Burgundy, and Peter Dow, our host, chose to make for the starter course, Oeufs en Meurette, a classic Burgundian dish consisting of poached eggs on garlic toast with bacon, mushroom, and red wine gravy. Now this French standard starts all of our Christmas Eve meals, no matter what country we’re cooking our way through. Yes, the eggs do turn pale purple when they are poached in the wine, and the sauce is purple as well. But the flavor is truly delicious and it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve for me without “the oeufs.”

Peter doesn’t use special equipment or fancy tricks when poaching eggs. He just cracks each egg against the side of the saucepan and drops it right into the wine, which should be simmering, not boiling. The simmering wine needs to be at a depth of about 1½ inches for poaching the eggs, so find a pan of the appropriate size to hold the contents of a bottle of wine at that depth. A 9 inch sauté pan works well for poaching 4 eggs at a time.

Because this is a dish from Burgundy, I use a Burgundy wine or an Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s perfectly OK to use ordinary button mushrooms for this recipe, or you could use a wild mushroom available in your area.

1 bottle of dry red wine, such as a Burgundy or Pinot Noir
2 bay leaves
8 large eggs
¼ pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch thick pieces
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ pound button mushrooms, wiped cleaned, tough ends of stems removed, cut into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 garlic toasts, cut ¾-inch thick (see “Garlic Toast” broiler method, page 000)
8 small sprigs thyme

Pour the red wine into a saucepan, add the bay leaves, and heat to a simmer.  The wine should fill the pan to a depth of at least 1½ inches. Break each egg into a small dish and slip it gently into the simmering wine, using as many of the eggs as will fit comfortably in your pan at one time.  Allow the eggs to poach in the wine until the whites are firm, about 4 minutes, spooning the hot wine over the tops of the eggs occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, remove the poached eggs from the saucepan and place them in a bowl of hot water to keep them warm while you finish the dish.  Continue until all the eggs are poached. Pour the poaching-wine through a sieve into a clean container and reserve.

In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is starting to brown, then add the butter. When the butter melts, add the onion and mushrooms and sauté until the vegetables soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the bacon and vegetables, stir, and cook for a few minutes more. Add the reserved wine and the thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

On the Plate

Set out 8 shallow soup bowls and place one slice of garlic toast in each bowl. Remove the poached eggs from the bowl of hot water with a slotted spoon, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Place an egg on top of each toast.  Pour some of the sauce over each serving, dividing the mushrooms, onion, and bacon evenly. Garnish each serving with a thyme sprig.

A Step Ahead

You can poach the eggs and make the sauce up to a day ahead. Instead of dropping the poached eggs into a bowl of hot water, place them in a container of cold water. Cover the container with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Then strain the wine and make the sauce. Pour the sauce into a container, cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, reheat the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, stirring in a tablespoon or two of water if the sauce seems too thick.  Reheat the poached eggs by lowering them into a pan of gently simmering water until they are warmed through, about 2 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean kitchen towel.

Note: If you are making the whole menu, the oven may already be occupied with duck or stuffing when you are ready to use the broiler for making garlic toasts for the oeufs.  In that case, you can broil your garlic toasts a few hours ahead and set them at room temperature. Before serving, reheat them in the oven at 350 to 400 degrees for a few minutes.

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