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This past Saturday as I was walking home from Pilates class, I brainstormed about what to bring to a Hanukkah potluck the next day. Foods cooked in oil are traditional at Hanukkah, so at first I contemplated doughnuts, fritters and some other fried goodies. But I quickly got sidetracked. I was ravenous because I'd skipped breakfast, and I was really in the mood for eggs. Without warning, my foods-cooked-in-oil musings began to blend with my what-to-have-for-lunch ruminations, and I suddenly found myself craving two of my favorite dishes from the New York Times: Melissa Clark's olive oil fried eggs with polenta (I'm temporarily obsessed with polenta after last week's contest theme), and Denise Landis' escarole with pan-roasted garlic and lemon. What if I were to combine the two? Pondering this, I hurried home to make lunch, all thoughts of the potluck swept from my hungry brain.
The resulting dish was pretty darn tasty. I left out the parmesan and butter in Melissa Clark's polenta, cooking it with a little milk to make it creamier, and kept my eggs sunny side up, spooning the hot oil over the tops to finish cooking the whites. I cut way back on the lemon in Denise Landis' escarole, adding a pinch of red pepper flakes, and then I layered everything together on one plate, serving it with some hot sauce on the side. The garlic in this dish definitely makes its presence known, but it's mellow enough not to overpower. The textures of the smooth polenta, the still vaguely crunchy escarole and the crispy egg work well together, and you get variety up until the last bite.
- 1/2 cup polenta (not instant)
- 1/2 cup milk
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 fat cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 small head of escarole, cleaned and roughly chopped
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 large eggs
- Hot sauce (optional)
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