Saturday, 22 January 2011

Cauliflower sunchokes and feta cheese pasta topped with a poached egg

I spent the latter part of last week in bed with a throat infection. This was my opportunity to self indulge on comfort food. I brought all the big guns out: cauliflower, oat porridge, rice pudding, chicken soup (sans the chicken), and cheesy pasta all worked their magic and did what they do best: Comfort with a passion. The only one left out in the cold was the sun, shining as brightly as a mild spring May day on what should have been a cold, grey and rainy January, but I guess you cant have it all.

The few days of compulsory rest came following several hectic weeks that came to a peak last Saturday, at a food & design exhibition opening I was asked to showcase some of my work. An architect working through food or a food writer that talks architecture, I walk the walk in both worlds, with one foot in each and either. Walking the line between the two disciplines is the path I chose and so I jumped at the opportunity to discuss food and architecture through my photography . After some thought I showcased a projection of food photographs, as observed from an architectural perspective, with key architectural terms interlaced between the images, as if to ‘shape’ the eyes of the beholders and, in a sense, bring them into my world; a world where food is architecture and architecture is food.

A system, in space, through time.

Edible or Habitable, well, that’s just details…

Cauliflower sunchokes and feta cheese pasta with a poached egg

The ultimate in comfort food, this has it all: a runny egg, soft cauliflower, cheese and pasta.

Serves 2

Olive oil

½ cauliflower, grated to pea size crumbs

5 medium size sunchokes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

150 gram (small shell shaped) pasta

Freshly grated turmeric

Nutmeg, to taste

Mace, to taste

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground white pepper

50 gram feta cheese, crumbled

2 fresh free range eggs

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instruction. Start by bringing a large saucepan with plenty of salted water to a boil.
  2. For poaching the eggs, bring a saucepan with plenty of water to a boil. For instructions on how to poach an egg check out this link.
  3. In the meantime, heat a large frying pan with a glug of olive oil.
  4. When the oil is hot add the sliced sunchokes and fry until golden. Add the grated cauliflower and stir well. Fry the mixture, stirring continuously, making sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Sprinkle the chopped garlic and mix well. Add ¾ cup of water and cover, steaming the vegetables until soft, around 10 minutes. Season with turmeric, nutmeg, mace and freshly ground white pepper. Squeeze a little lemon juice over, just to enhance the flavors slightly then cover to keep warm.
  5. Poach the eggs and set aside.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss in the pan with the sun chokes and cauliflower.
  7. Add the crumbled feta cheese, taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Be careful when adding the salt as the feta cheese is already salted.
  8. Serve in a serving bowl and place the poached egg on top.
  9. I finished off the dish by sprinkling a little Japanese 7 spice (Shichimi tōgarashi) on top, for a little heat. You can substitute with your preferred choice of a burn or omit altogether. Whatever brings you comfort.

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