I am so happy to have a friend who is raising beautiful chickens. Her name is Mylene, and her urban “farm” in a North San Antonio neighborhood produces all manner of vegetables and flowers, and as of November, the little jewels that star in this dish. Upon arrival, I found her chickens happily pecking around Mackey Farms, softly clucking their pleasure. Cherub had a fantastic time following them around and tempting them with deep green leaves of kale, like chicken catnip. I had fun holding them and watching them. It’s like an avian version of an aquarium. But make no mistake, these birds aren’t a quirky diversion. Just like the vegetables in her beds, they’re there to put food on her family’s table.
I will never, ever turn down a few fresh eggs. I will honor every ounce of the effort that chicken gave to produce that egg and eat it with all the reverence of a holy meal. So when she offered me five, including one that was laid while I visited, I knew exactly how I would use them – mushrooms on toast. It’s a true bistro classic, elevated here by earthy Texas mushrooms and, of course, those transcendent eggs. It’s a simple, humble dish – you can have it for lunch, you can have it with your tea. Please, I urge you, try it.
Mushrooms on Toast with Poached Backyard Egg, Serves 2
4 cups of fresh, local mushrooms, diced. I used 2 cups of crimini and 2 cups of shiitake.
1 shallot, finely diced
2 thick slices of the crusty bread of your choosing. I used a buttermilk sourdough.
Vermouth, a splash
1 leaf of Texas sorrel, cut into ribbons, for garnish
1/2 t butter
olive oil, salt, pepper
2 beautiful Mackey Farms eggs
Coat the bottom of a large frying pan very generously with olive oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, allowing them to sear, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with the vermouth. Then add the chopped shallots and turn the heat to medium-low. Season well with salt and pepper, and stir regularly for another 3-4 minutes. This is a good time to make your toast.
Now poach the eggs for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes in simmering water – long enough from the white to be firm, but without cooking the yolk through.
Add the butter to your mushrooms and give it a stir to incorporate
Spoon the mushrooms onto your toast, and top it with the egg and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt. Garnish with the sorrel ribbons. There is no doubt you will enjoy this.
Playlist included Maybe Sparrow, by Neko Case.