Lemon-butter haricot verts over hominy with a poached egg.

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This dish comes together so beautifully that it looks like a dish that would be served at a cozy, upscale cafe. You know the ones you pass by while walking on the sidewalk of a popular city street. You peer through the big, open windows at the beautifully arranged tables and see plates of delicate meals being served to wide-eyed faces thinking you wouldn't ever be able to make that at home. Little surprise is that you can. It is lovely to go out and be served with inspiring creations and share laughs with friends but sometimes its just as sweet to surprise yourself at home. 

I love those delicate little french beans known as haricot verts. They have a sweeter flavor for green beans and seem less "stringy" to me. Usually they are cooked and served as a nice side to a meal but in this recipe they shine as the star. The "meat" of the dish, if you will. Hominy is corn grits, you can certainly use other types of grits or polenta but hominy, if you can find it, does great here. Hominy cooks up much creamier and smoother, without adding anything else to it. This is because the hominy (type of corn kernel) is soaked to remove the hard casting (that thing that gets stuck in your teeth while eating popcorn), it is then dried and ground. Its a nice contrast to the lemon juice and white wine vinegar flavors in the haricot verts. Then, of course, butter. Well I'm sure I don't have to convince you of how tasty butter makes this. 

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Recipe (Serves two brunch portions)

Eggs - 2

Haricot verts - About 1/2lb fresh, rinsed (you can either snap then ends or not - I don't)

Ground hominy - 1/4 cup

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Lemon - Juice of 1 lemon

Butter - 3.5Tb

White wine vinegar - 2tsp about

Apple cider vinegar - a splash or a generous capful

Salt/pepper - to taste, I used a generous amount of fresh black pepper

Heat a medium pot of water 2/3 full up to boil. Get a large bowl ready filled half way with cold water/ice and then place a colander in your sink. Add 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Once the water in the small saucepan is simmering add in your hominy and turn on low, stirring occasionally until cooked (about 15 minutes). Once the hominy is cooked add in about 1.5TB of butter and season with salt/pepper to taste. While things are heating mince up your garlic. Once the medium pot of water is boiling add in your haricot verts. Let them low boil for 3 minutes. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and place in your bowl of ice water (keep the pot of water from your beans for your poached eggs).  Let the beans sit in the ice water for a minute until cool and then drain in the colander. Keep the water at a low boil and add in a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Melt the remaining 2TB of butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add in the white wine vinegar and lemon juice, stir. Then add in the beans and sauté for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Get out two plates and divide the hominy between the two and then the beans, pressing the beans into the hominy slightly.

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Get out a wooden spoon and have it ready, its time to poach your eggs. Crack an egg into a little ramekin or small bowl and slightly tilt it into the gently boiling water. Take the spoon and gently move the water around the egg towards the center of the egg with little "paddling" motions to keep the egg together. Let the water get back up to a low boil, not any hotter. Keep and eye on the time and remove the egg with a slotted spoon after about 3-4 minutes if you want mostly runny yolk. Keep the egg in longer if not. Place the egg on top of hominy/beans and drizzle with any sauce leftover from the bean skillet and sprinkle with more pepper. Repeat with the second egg and enjoy! 

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