I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, or the "triple-x trilogy," as described on the Today Show , from my best friend Stacey Pashcow, who has a knack for stumbling upon the next big thing. The book had been turning up at brunches all over the Upper East Side. Now that the hush has turned to a cultural roar, my advice is to skim the book, already too thin to be a main course, and get to the "spicy stuff" in between.
To me, nothing turns up the heat like Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke did back in the 80's in the kinky movie 9 ½ weeks. That movie rolled into suburbs everywhere and had us all running for the refrigerator. The cherries, the strawberries and honey -- all used as props in the ultimate foodie seduction scene (take that, Christian Grey!)
What is about food that's incredibly sexy? Simply put, it all boils down to chemistry. Whether it's a delicious rich, decadent chocolate cake or a hot, steamy night with your very own McDreamy, the feel-good firestorm set off in our brains is ignited by the same toe-tingling chemical cocktail.
As I stand in the kitchen with Lisa, showing her how to poach the perfect egg for our Eggs Benedict, she's still stuck simmering and waiting for her man to call. It makes me think some men are like a drug; with or without them, we seem to suffer through the same crazy highs and lows. In her case, she's officially in withdrawal.
After class this week, I've decided it's nothing a good hollandaise couldn't cure.
Lisa brings over a new poaching contraption from Williams-Sonoma and proudly places it on the burner. In the words of Chef Ray, to be a great chef, you have to learn the basics before you can start cutting corners. I bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and add two tablespoons of vinegar. I taste the water to make sure I've added enough vinegar. I break the eggs into a ramekin one at a time. It's important to keep them intact. The vinegar acts as a binding agent and helps to keep the egg from splitting apart. I release it into the water and Lisa watches in amazement as it swirls into a vortex and starts to form the perfect poached egg.
Caring for a new relationship is a lot like perfectly poaching an egg: You have to rely on chemistry and have faith that it's going to come together in the end. If you poke or prod it, it's sure to break. Like love, once it's broken, it's impossible to put the pieces back together again.
Tune in on Monday for Part 7 & for more on posts from Heidi Brod on culinary school, click here.
Excerpts inspired by the class, Serious Amateur, French Cooking, Culinary Techniques, Recipe for Hollandaise Sauce and Poached Eggs taken from International Culinary Center. Recipe for Eggs Benedict taken from Joy of Cooking.
Heidi Brod and Lisa Stolov have a daily newsletter/website DishInOutBeauty.com that focuses on health and beauty from the inside out.
PHOTOS: Behold: Erotic Novels and Eggs Benedict
4 Poached Eggs
4 halves of English Muffins
Cover each with:
4 Cooked Slices of Canadian Bacon
Top each with one with a poached eggs
Serve them hot, covered with Hollandaise Sauce.
*Please click here for recipe for Hollandaise Sauce.
Steamed Asparagus are a delicious side.
2 Tablespoons of vinegar, per Liter of water
1. Bring water to a boil in a sautoir or a russe and add 2 T of vinegar per liter of water. This will help set the white. Never salt poaching liquid; salt, unlike acid will break up the white, not set it.
2. Lower the temperature to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Break eggs into a ramekin, one at a time, to check the quality. Keep the yolks intact.
4. Carefully add the eggs to the water. Cook for about 3 minutes.
The whites should be firm, and the yolks should remain liquid and covered with a thin film.
5. When the eggs are cooked remove them to a basin of cold water to stop the cooking and remove the vinegar taste.
6. Place the eggs on paper towels and trim the ragged edges with a knife or scissors. To serve: Reheat quickly hot salted water and serve.