Poached Eggs with Smoked Provolone and Pistou

As I've mentioned before, my mother will be moving back to Shanghai this year -- September 14th to be exact.  I'm picking her up from Houston this weekend where she will come to stay with me and Collin in Dallas before she goes home.

A bittersweet feeling for sure, the child in me screams "DON'T LEAVE! WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT YOU?" but I know it's for the best.  For years my mother has sacrificed her own personal happiness for mine, I could tell she always missed China.  Her food always evoked her longing -- I remember as a child I'd always complain "AW MAN MA, CHINESE AGAIN??" But now I realize it was one of the few connections she had to home.

Week after week it was always something different -- braised pork belly, sauteed peat shoots, tea smoked duck, herbal chicken soup -- I lived like a king when it came to food, I knew I had it good.  Now that she's leaving, I wanted to keep my mother behind with me, through her recipes.

I really look forward to learning traditional Chinese cuisine and at the same time exposing my mother to the different types of cuisines I make at home.  A month's worth of cooking adventures with my mother in my new kitchen, can life be any better?  I can't wait for everyone to meet her, she is truly the sweetest, cutest and the most talented lady I know.  You'll see :)

I made this healthy breakfast over the weekend -- I love poaching eggs because it's a great alternative to frying and you still get the same delicate texture and of course the best part, the runny yolk.  I got my recipe from Epicurious and made a few minor changes -- I used less oil and used Smoked Provolone.  I really enjoyed the addition of the Pistou, very bold in flavors but light in textures -- a great breakfast for the summer.

Ingredients for Poached Eggs with Pistou: (serves 2)

  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 small garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2-inch-thick slices french bread, toasted
  • Smoked Provolone cheese shavings

Puree basil, garlic, and oil in mini processor until very smooth. Season pistou to taste with salt and pepper.

Add enough water to medium skillet to measure 1 1/4 inches. Sprinkle salt generously into water. Bring water to simmer over medium heat. Crack eggs 1 at a time and gently slip into water. Cook until egg whites are just set and egg yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Place hot toasts on plates. Top each with Parmesan. Using slotted spoon, transfer 2 eggs, well drained, to each piece of brioche. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper. Drizzle with some of pistou and serve.