We had to wait months for our second Indian breakfast at home, but it was every bit as good as we remembered it from the first time.
Our schedule was finally again to work with one of the infrequent appearances at the Saturday Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market of Nirmala Gupta’s Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, which meant that while I was off to the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday Barry could head up the next block to pick up some of her South Asian treasures.
- two delicious defrosted cauliflower and potato-filled roti from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, heated over medium heat inside a large enameled cast iron pan, turning them several times
- served with 2 chutneys, a ‘Royal Coconut Chutney’ and a ‘Royal Pomegranate Chutney, from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company as well (the pomegranate had not made its appearance when the image above was captured)
- the vegetable side was a matter of topping the shared contents of one package of Tasty Bite Organic Basmati Rice from While Foods Market that had been heated in our tiny microwave [I’ve just revealed one of the secrets of our lunch habits: I almost never cook in the middle of the day], a slowly-cooked improvised mix of vegetables, herbs, and spices (Sicilian fennel seed and yellow mustard toasted in the bottom of an antique medium copper pot until they had become fragrant, a little Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil added and some chopped celery from Neversink Organic Farm, 2 chopped Japanese scallions from Norwich Meadows Farm, a small chopped rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm, half a dozen small okra from Lani’s Farm, a bit of a finely chopped medium spicy ahi rico pepper from Alewife Farm, one small sliced Italian frying peppers from Stokes Farm that had accidentally fallen into my bag on Saturday, and a pinch or so of a dry seasoning called L’ekama from Ron & Leetal Arazi’s New York Shuk, all finished, once the vegetables had been lightly cooked, with a large pinch of fenugreek from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company) and some more olive oil, then, once on the plates, topped with some scissored flowering dill from Stokes Farm
- the music was Handel’s 1749-1750 oratorial, ‘Theodora’, William Christie conducting Les Arts Florissants
It was breakfast without bacon and without tomatoes.
Also new this time: No broken yolks, and somehow the whites came off with something of a geometric perfection as well.
Considering the time it was served, it should have been styled a very late lunch, but since it was our first meal of the day it was our breakfast. We skipped lunch.
Whatever it should be called, it was delicious, also very rich, but it was an early-in-the-day rich, and it showed a number of big smiles while still in the terra cotta cazuela.
- four sections of thick bacon from pastured pigs raised by Millport Dairy Farm, fried inside a classic steel restaurant pan, each of them then cut into four sections and arranged, not touching, inside a large glazed ceramic baking pan, followed by a layer of sliced heirloom tomatoes (one large orange tomato from Eckerton Hill Farm, and one red, one small yellow, and one small maroon version from Alewife Farm), 6 free-range eggs, also from Millport Dairy Farm, broken into pan on to of the tomatoes, scatter with sliced Japanese scallion from Norwich Meadows Farm, and 10 or so medium size fresh sage leaves from Echo Creek Farm in the 23rd Street farmers market, baked inside a 375º oven until the whites had solidified, or a little over 25 minutes [as the picture shows, the yokes had also solidified, or come close to solidifying, which suggests that the next time I prepare something like this I try covering the pan loosely with aluminum foil], sprinkled with Maldon salt and freshly-ground black pepper, a pinch of dried fenugreek from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company (purchased at the Saturday Chelsea Farmers Market as well), and garnished with red micro amaranth
- toasted slices of three different day-old or several days-old breads, a She Wolf Bakery ‘miche’ (in the picture), a 12 grain bread from Bread Alone, and a Paris-style baguette from Orwashers
- the music was the beautiful intellectual exercise of the album, ‘Bach: Morimur’, by the Hilliard Ensemble & Christoph Poppen
We like vegetables so much, that I’ll even load them up on dishes where they wouldn’t normally be much featured; many appear there as miniatures, or in dried form. This time, while it was only a late breakfast, on the plate were fresh tomatoes, a little bitter green, one small scallion, a tiny sweet pepper, a micro mustard, and 2 ‘budding herbs’.
Worth noting: All 6 yolks made it to the plates with their integrity uncompromised (the yolks remained whole), and I wish I knew what I did to get the feathered edges of the whites to caramelize, and be so delightfully crispy (I did add a little butter to the pan before breaking the eggs into it, since there was very little bacon fat left after the bacon was removed, but that’s pretty much what I usually do).
- the meal was an assemblage which included 4 thick strips of bacon and 6 eggs (3 Americauna* and 3 standard), all from Millport Dairy Farm, 2 heirloom tomatoes from Alewife Farm, a bit of puntarelle from Tamarack Hollow Farm, sliced red scallion from Berried Treasures Farm, budding marjoram from Stokes Farm, budding basil from Windfall Farms, one small sliced aji dulce pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, micro red mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and toast from a terrific She Wolf Bakery Miche
- the music was Bach’s Mass in B minor, performed by Philippe Herreweghe conducting the Collegium Vocale Gent
* in the picture, the egg to the lower left is an Americauna
It was all good. It also wasn’t really breakfast time any more, by the time we enjoyed it, even in the terms of our own late-eating habits.
- from Millport Dairy Farm there was thick bacon and Americauna chicken eggs (with thinly-sliced new shallot stems from Tamarack Hollow Farm, fresh oregano buds from Norwich Meadows Farm, and bronze micro fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge, home-dried habanada pepper and fresh oregano buds from Norwich Meadows Farm; there was also a mix of small tomatoes from Alewife Farm with sliced red scallions from Berried Treasures Farm and Gotham Greens Rooftop basil from Whole Foods, and, finally, lightly-toasted slices of 2 different breads (polenta boule and twelve Grain & Seed bread, both from Bread Alone
- our Sunday music was the album, ‘In Paradisum, The Music of Victoria and Palestrina‘, performed by the Hilliard Ensemble