Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Breakfast wars.

Oh how I do enjoy that Téodor. We clashed over stovetop real estate this morning, and as it turns out we were both in a mood to whip up a few egg dishes. We agreed in sport to allocate two of the four burners to each man and afford a good half-hour to see who might concoct the finest plates. We would serve our creations to each other and judge on the honor system. Thrilling!

For my half I went to the earth and made a hash of black-eyed peas, mushroom, garlic, and minced ham. Over this I served a poached egg with a particularly reliable tinned Hollandaise and chopped parsley.

Téodor, however, is not to be outdone when kitchen reputation is on the line. One is well advised not to challenge him when victuals are the medium. He goes into a particular fugue state and reminds me rather eerily of Pollock.

His dish was based on a hybrid of Toad In The Hole and risotto. He cooked a pancetta risotto near to completion, and when it was just al dente he made four wells in the pan and cracked a fresh egg into each. He then sprinkled the surface with fontina and bread crumbs and stuck the whole into the oven to bake. When the eggs were set he set the pan on the counter and I, awestruck, ceded absolute victory.

We ate well the both of us, and he being the virtuoso made a suggestion or two which dramatically improved my capricious hash recipe. Apparently the whole affair would have sat better on a spicy pureed tomato concasse, which would have offset the starchiness of the beans and interplayed well with the salty pork.

It is a joy to see a fellow at the top of his game. He really ought to have a cooking show -- or at least a book of his own. Perhaps I will do him the favor of a bit of legwork and see how such a thing might come to pass.