Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rustic is my Middle Name

I figured today was a fine day for me to figure out how to use Blogger and how to make the pictures that I take (which are certainly not fabulous) look spectacular. I don't pretend to be a photographer (that is what I have my younger sister for; she takes jaw-dropping pictures) nor am I a professional chef by any means. I just love to cook and share my findings with others. And hopefully bring about some inspiration and curiosity in the kitchen after reading my blog. So welcome to the new and improved Peach&Kiwi!

One of my favorite things to do is use up any and all leftovers in the fridge in a different way than originally intended. Odds and ends veggies go into a frittata, a ham hock is re-purposed for a big stock pot of brown beans, leftover cornbread is diced and made into a southern version of panzanella salad. Today's leftover mission was to take white bean stew and turn it into breakfast. Not impossible, and oh so delicious! 

Let's start with the white bean stew first. I am a sucker for any kind of stew or soup (though admittedly I don't like cream based soups to save my life) and when I started reading a lot about using white beans as a base for a hearty soup, I was all too eager to try my hand at it. I took basically every veggies I had in the fridge (which included carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes) and simmered them with some savory spices like rosemary and bay, bumped up the nutrition with some pearled barley, and whala! I got a soup that was comforting yet non-traditional, filling yet light. I ate it for a few nights but then needed to change it up and, since breakfast was staring me in the face, turn it into a savory breakfast.

I have been on a recent poached egg kick. I don't like big breakfasts (you know, the eggs, potatoes, biscuits, gravy, meat route) and instead tend to stick with cereal and yogurt. But poached eggs toe that line for me, that line between having to loosen your belt so early in the morning and having to go back to the cupboard because you're still hungry. The key is protein and carbs, those are your main energy suppliers. And this soup had plenty of that, so I took the heel off of a loaf of bread (yet another wonderful way to use up the heel that no one seems to want to eat anymore) toasted it up, ladled some of the white bean stew over top, topped that with a perfectly poached egg, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a few dashed of balsamic vinegar, and it was breakfast time!

It occurred to me shortly after eating this that you could do this same thing with any number of soups or stews. Vegetable, chili, corn chowder, cabbage soup, you name it and it can be made into breakfast. Not to mention ones that are impressive to entertain with at a brunch or breakfast-for-dinner party. So I encourage you to have fun and be creative... and go look at your leftovers!


  1. awesome pics, were these taken by u or ur sister?

  2. These are by me, with my little digital camera, nothing like the nice one my sister uses. You will definitely be able to tell the difference between her photographs and mine. But thank you for the compliment! It is much appreciated!

  3. haha, that is a beautifully poached egg; i can never seem to get mine to come out right. :/

  4. Poached is my new favorite way to eat eggs now, but admittedly I was no expert when I started craving them either. There was some trial and error and researching all the tricks of the trade, but finally found that if you start with cold water, let it come to a simmer (NOT a boil, that will separate the white from the yolk, not pretty) and pour in a teaspoon or so of any sort of vinegar you have on hand, it really doesn't matter what kind. Then get a spoon, the water a swirl so it creates a tiny whirlpool in the middle of the pot, then drop the egg (which you cracked into a bowl) right in the center of that whirlpool and let it swirl onto itself so it comes out as a nice, circular poached egg. Let it cook for a few minutes (until the top of the yolk is set and the white is opaque) and you're set!

    Happy poaching!