It’s hard to say that I’m back insofar as I am still traveling, still carrying a duffel everywhere I go.
My situation requires me to expand my definition of a starting point to include any kitchen where I can cook and feel at home. Under that new definition, being in Ithaca is being back.
You may remember Ithaca as the provider of the apples featured in what Richard called “The Insulin Shock Breakfast Cake.” Since then, Ithaca has taken a turn for the downright chilly, and now the name of the game is turning back to dairy. Now is the season of warm, hearty breakfasts that provide fuel for the immense amount of woodchopping that a rural New England existence necessitates. This morning I finally got to try my hand at a lunch to breakfast crossover that I have been literally dreaming about since trying the Tremont at Hot Tomatoes in the North End.
The Tremont is just a gussied up BLT with arugula (!!!) and romas with a spicy mayo. In my opinion, pretty much every good sandwich (save the reuben) is simply a variation on the BLT’s theme and I wanted to find a way to extend that dominance to the breakfast table. Hence, today’s recipe:
No, I’m not here to come down on you for fur (though fur is really tacky), PETA stands for pancetta, eggs, tomato and arugula.
Why pancetta, you ask. Why arugula? Wouldn’t a BELT have been a rewarding acronym and a delicious scramble? The fact is, it doesn’t really matter what you put in as log as it has all the pieces from BLT. Prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, spinach (though you’re getting awfully close to Annie’s Eggs at that point) all work extremely well. I became fond of pancetta in the Zupan’s deli and thought that it would be a pretty good bacon to put in this lil’ guy. Though, on the subject of pancetta, it is a RAW product. Don’t let it’s location NEXT TO ALL THE CURED MEATS fool you, this baby is raw. Now, I for one knew that all along and was just pulling Mike and Meg’s leg when I
admitted to told them that I thought it was ready to eat. No way, no how- no raw. Bottom line is cook your pancetta. Raw bacon does not a meal make as anyone fortunate enough to have a man named Levy as a friend knows.
Let’s get to the recipe.
Makes enough for 3. I only cook for prime numbers. It’s a rule.
1 clove garlic
1/8th lb pancetta
1 cup of arugula
handful of grated asiago cheese (Most cheeses will shine in this role, we just had asiago.)
~7 chopped strawberry tomatoes, this is a preference thing, but it will affect water content of the final scramble. Seed as best you can; getting the pulp out will help keep the final product drier, less soupier.
a little cream
Cook your pancetta (who knew?!), take it out but retain the fat. Toss your tomatoes with the garlic and some salt into the pan and sautee. Not for too long, you want to get some of the moisture out of the tomato and take the bitterness out of the garlic.
Beat your eggs with the touch of cream. I also add pepper to the eggs before I mix just so that pepper is evenly distributed. I’m kind of picky.
Once, the tomatoes are softer to the touch and the garlic is becoming translucent, toss your eggs in. They’ll cook pretty fast so keep stirring. Add the cheese, turn it down and chop up your arugula and pancetta. You don’t want the pancetta to get soggy from the still-wet eggs and the arugula will basically cook in the heat of the eggs, so add those once the eggs are fully cooked but still slightly runny. They won’t mix with scrambled hard. When the eggs are clumping as your stir, they’re ready after that it’s just a matter of preference. Some people like runny eggs, some like them a little bit firmer.
Either way, serve over toast. If you’re lucky enough to have my brother, we had a fresh baked loaf waiting to be buttered. I could get used to that…
Currently, Mike is honing his biscuit recipe that will be ready to share by hopefully the end of the week. In true Mike fashion he doesn’t just throw them in the oven; here is how he bakes them.
On the music front, there’s a ton of great stuff out right now like Q-Tip’s The Renaissance that just came out. It’s not Tribe, but it’s got D’Angelo and has a Dilla track. It also features Raphael Saadiq, who is a throwback badass with his own album out right now. Saadiq takes the revival out of soul revival. It’s just soulful.
Finally, here’s a picture of Ross Township, Ohio, just to prove that for the last three weeks I wasn’t just playing some elaborate game to get out of posting. I feel great about where I’ve been, but I’m just as excited about where I’m headed.