There is not much to do when the day-time high hovers in the mid-teens and your head pounds, ears throb, throat stings, and joints ache. Best to stay below, read, binge-watch, and eat well.
Brunch: Leftover Wu Wonton King suckling pig, Swiss chard quiche
- Six eggs
- One large onion
- Leftover suckling pig New Year’s Eve lunch at Wu Wonton King, East Broadway. (Bacon or pork belly would work as a substitute.)
- Five large Swiss chard leaves trimmed from stalks. (Save the stalks for soup, later in the day.)
- Two hands full of grated cheddar
- One hand full of grated parmesan Reggiano
- One splash each of milk and heavy cream
- Any handy mushrooms
- Short squirt of Sriracha
- Two small tomatoes
- Dash of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sourdough pastry crust or whatever you have
Cut the leftover pig into half an inch squares. Saute until crisp. Add the onion, chopped into half-an-inch squares. When the onions start to caramelize, deglaze the pan without removing the onions or pig. Water is fine. As is white wine.
Add chopped tomatoes. Mix and let it reduce for a few minutes.
Chop the chard into one-inch squares. Mix periodically until wilted. Squirt in Sriracha. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Wisk eggs with the milk and cream until yolks and whites are completely combined. Add both of the cheeses and mix.
Pour the eggs into the crust.
Gently spoon the pig mixture onto the eggs. Do not force it down. You want a layer of eggs at the bottom, which will be light and fluffy.
Bake at 300 to 350 until the eggs are no longer runny. Turn on the broiler on low and brown the top for ten minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Make fresh coffee. Set the table. Begin the year.
Dinner: Lemon chicken and Swiss chard soup
- One large onion
- Seven large Swiss chard leave. (Plus leftover stalks from quiche.)
- Seven medium to large whole garlic cloves
- Five smallish tomatoes.
- Two splashes of soy
- Three splashes of olive oil
- Two squirts of agave syrup
- Half a fist full of ground cardamom
- Two medium lemons
- Kosher/sea salt and ground pepper.
In a bowl, liberally coat chicken with cardamom. Add one splash of olive oil to a soup pot and sear the outside until golden brown. Return the chicken to the bowl.
In the same pot, add the rest of the oil and saute the onion, chopped into large squares. When it starts to caramelize, add the whole (peeled) garlic cloves and stir. When you start to smell the garlic, add the chard, loosely chopped. Be sure to include the stalks.
When the chard has wilted, add the soy and the juice from the lemons. Mix. Let it reduce for a few minutes. Add water until it just covers the ingredients.
Place the chicken on top. Around the chicken pieces, arrange the whole tomatoes and cover the pot. Cook on a low flame for 45 minutes.
Mix the chicken and tomatoes in with the other veggies. Add water, if needed.
After 30 minutes, taste the broth. It will be lemony and acidic. Add agave syrup and mix until the tartness has diminished. It may not take all three squirts. Salt and pepper to taste.
Continue simmering on low flame until the chicken is falling from the bone.
Open a bottle of plunk and set the table.
Allow the broth to pour over your throat. Go to bed.
The following morning I awoke and my cold was mostly gone. No coincidence, methinks.