February 26, 2010

A Dream

I called on Jacques. He answered as if he were on his way out the door.

"Heat the oil in a saucepan over !HIGH HEAT! and add the onion and scallions. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the vegetables, then add the remaining ingredients, !EXCEPT! the parsley."

"But, !WAIT!..."I said.


Jacques Pépin Fast Food My Way. Chickpea ragout, pg 95.

A recipe for those in need of comfort and nourishment. Something that will sustain and drift you along merrily for the remainder of the day. But you don't need a recipe, just the basics. What was used. Give or take. Judgement is yours regarding time.

So I began, as will you if you're so inclined.

We do not spare olive oil, the extra virgin hemorrhaged from the bottle into the cold pan.

I added two cloves of chopped garlic, three scallions sliced on the bias, half a yellow onion diced. As the heat rose gently...as I stirred, the onions wept and the garlic huddled in cool corners.

I added one half cup chicken stock. It came to a gentle boil.

I added the chickpeas, about 16 ounces.

I added one can of San Marzano, milled using the largest setting so that the tomato ran chunky, not smooth.

At this point it was just a matter of reducing and seasoning with just the right amounts of salt and pepper.

It didn't take long.

As the ragout settled at the back of the stove, I sliced some baguette to be toasted.

While the baguette was toasting I fried an egg in a shallow pool of extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper...merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...

This is where it got lovely...I plated the ragout which was then seen mingling with the nicest dollop of mascarpone. I then tipped the fried egg onto the plate were it snuggled against the chickpeas. The toasted baguette huddled along the fringes. A pinch of flat-leaf parsley flecked its way across the plate.

Of course I took pictures, but then I gobbled. I really did. I wished all the while that Roberto was enjoying a plate as well, but when I looked at the time I knew he was stuck in a meeting and then a sense of dread came over me. What if he doesn't get lunch today?

So, I had a brownie and that made me feel a little bit better.


  1. The food looks amazing (as always) but made me laugh was the brownie :-)

  2. A beautiful description - again- and a big chuckle at the end!

  3. Haha! Roberto can take care of himself!! Ahh brownies always make you feel better don't they :) that food looks amazing ( I second Beth) and the fried egg brings it to a whole new level! (and I hate fried eggs!) I love the way you described the adding of ingredients tracy :)

  4. What a lovely breakfast....... Brownie to the rescue!!

  5. I love you so much! :-) Your words are magic, and I can't stop grinning from beginning to end. :-)

  6. God, that looks so good. This dish is proof that simple is best. Thanks for sharing this fabulous dish.

  7. The photos and description, as usual, make me want to dive right into a plate. Poor Roberto for missing this one.

  8. This looks and sounds so good! I love food that doesn't really involve a "recipe" and ending a meal with a brownie, always tops it off.

  9. Looks really delicious! Will definitely be making this soon!

  10. This looks very nice. I think I'll make something just like it this week. I really like your last sentence : )

  11. Loved reading this post! I used to watch Jacques Pepin years ago and loved his accent. I hated the show that he had with his daughter though - I was like "are you serious you don't know how to old a knife when your Dad is a chef??!!"

    I'd leave the onions out and puree the tomatoes, but this looks delicious!

  12. Ha! That Jacques is always on the go!

    Great looking ragout--we'd have to substitute veggie stock in my house (no chicken stock for my vegetarian man!---if he were here for lunch!)

  13. We had pasta and chickpeas today but it wasn't as lovely looking as this. The blob of mascarpone and the egg is inspired.
    Did he get lunch ?

  14. Gorgeous. I want to dream about Jacques too. And when will you share your pancake secrets?!


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