Poached Egg and Frisee Salad

When Eric and I first started dating we did a lot of eating out. We both love amazing food and getting dressed up and staring into each other’s eyes from across a small wooden table a dark corner of a bustling restaurant. After a couple months of hinting (nagging), he finally took me to The Tasting Kitchen in Venice Beach, California. It was voted the best restaurant in LA in 2009 by the href=" http://www.dailycandy.com/all-cities/">Daily Candy and I had been dying to go. The atmosphere of this place is amazing and they have literally thought of ever single detail. It was one of the best all around dining experiences I had ever had.

Two drinks and a five course meal later, Eric and I decided to get some boxes for our leftovers. Between the ten courses we sampled plus bread, there was no way we could eat it all and there was no way I was leaving any of it behind. Our waiter was happy to oblige and brought us two boxes for the remainder of our salads, fish, steak and desserts. Side note, I am drooling as I recount this meal.

As we sat upstairs at a great table overlooking the restaurant, I got a little too animated during one of my stories I was telling and accidentally knocked both of our leftover boxes off the edge of our table and right through the conveniently placed rope “wall.” I knocked them off the second floor balcony. The second floor balcony that was fifteen feet above the innocent restaurant patrons below. Fifteen feet people!!!

The whole thing was like slow motion video clip. I felt the nudge of my elbow and then nothing but air as the boxes left the comfort of my skin and went airborne. I could see them hurdling towards a four seater table below but looked away quickly. I couldn’t stand to see if I actually bonked someone on the head with my poached egg and frisee salad.

I was horrified. What if that had been a fork. Or a KNIFE???? What if I killed someone by knocking something off my table? I could never live with myself. But, I’m guessing I didn’t hit anyone judging by the fact that no angry diner patron came up to give me a verbal lashing. However, a restaurant worker did come up and bring me my fallen leftovers and a knowing smile that said “don’t worry, it happens all the time.”

What you should take from this story is that you should never go out with me in public because I will probably hurt or embarrass you or myself and this amazing recipe for a poached egg and frisee salad.

I have been dying for this salad since I first sampled it, and since I don’t have the money to go back to the tasting kitchen, I had to settle for making it myself.

Plating is everything. (haha. um... ya.)

Love and Beer Floats

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 slices sunflower, crusts removed and cut into 1/8-inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound slab bacon cut into 1/2-inch lardons
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
8 cups frisee, washed, dried and cut into bite sized pieces
4 poached eggs

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the bread cubes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Heat a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook until soft. Add the vinegar and cook for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the frisee, croutons, and bacon in a bowl add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide the salad onto 4 plates and top with a poached egg.

Poached Eggs:

3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

In a medium saute pan with straight sides, bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil over high heat. Crack an egg into a cup and slide the egg gently into the water. Crack another egg into the cup and when the water returns to a boil slide this egg into the water as well. Repeat with remaining eggs. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggs are set, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.