In our two-part interview with Shanghai chef/restauranteur Kelley Lee, the Cerritos native told us about the trials of introducing gastropub burgers to a McDonald's obsessed city, opening a brewery when she knew nothing about craft beer, and her latest venture, a molecular gastronomy-inspired cocktail lounge that she opened in December called The Alchemist.
Turn the page for the bar's "Egg'wich" recipe, sous-vide egg yolks with arugula-raclette pesto. Sure, it might take a little time to master, but your alternative is a 6,500 mile flight to Shanghai.
From: The Alchemist, Shanghai
Note: Lee uses eggs from a Japanese farm that raises the chickens on sunflower seeds flowers and herbs to lend a vibrant orange color to the yolk. Use the freshest you can find. She also notes: "In the restaurant we usually sous-vide the eggs. This makes the eggs yolks perfectly cooked, where the yolk is soft and creamy without being runny. It would be difficult to re-create this at home but the dish is also beautiful with a poached egg on top or a soft cooked egg."
[Editor's note: yes, this recipe is in grams, as are most non-U.S. recipes. Here's a converter, if you don't already have one.)
76 grams basil
100 g arugula
2 medium shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic
60 g pinenuts
50 g Parmesan cheese
125 g raclette cheese, shredded
250 g extra virgin olive oil
2 slices thick sandwich bread
8 farm-fresh eggs
1 box of micro onion greens or other micro greens
1. To make the pesto: Blanch the basil and arugula in hot water, then shock it in an ice bath. Squeeze out the excess moisture, then chiffonade (slice thinly).
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2. Place the greens in a food processor along with shallots, raclette and Parmesan, and olive oil. Pulse for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until all ingredients are medium grain size. Add the diced garlic and pinenuts and pulse another 30 seconds to 1 minute, being careful not to over process. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
3. To make the toasts: Cut the bread into small squares large enough to hold an egg yolk (or if you are poaching the eggs, the whole egg). Butter the bread on all sides. Heat a non-stick pan or medium high heat and toast on both sides until lightly golden brown.
4. To sous-vide the eggs: Separate the eggs and cook the yolks for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 60 degrees celsius in a sous-vide machine.Alternatively, for a soft boiled egg: Set the eggs in cold water in a small pot. Once the water begins to boil, set at timer for three minutes. Take the pot off the heat, let cool for five minutes before serving.
5. To assemble, spread enough pesto on a toast square to generous cover, and carefully top with an egg yolk or whole egg. Sprinkle a few microgreens on top and serve immediately.