Brentwood Country Mart’s restaurant: The Farm Shop
“Formerly Thomas Keller’s right-hand man, Cerciello and his team are turning out some wonderful country cooking in the city. The ingredients are impeccable, the execution skilled. Service is crisp and assured, and servers know a great deal about the food. Ask any question about a dish, they know the answer” (Irene Virbilla, LA Times, November 3, 2011).
Having worked long hours training babies for the past two weeks, it was time for a special treat. As a personal chef (and baby training specialist), for me, a treat is tasting a critically acclaimed chef’s food. Jeffrey Cerciello’s restaurant has been on that list. However, due to tight purse strings as a poor college student, I had to wait for the financial constraints to be lessened, to justify a visit. Breakfast being the least expensive option, I set my treat in motion.
Scanning the menu for 10 minutes, I narrowed my options down to:
rolled herb omelette
pastrami and eggs with heirloom cauliflower and pole beans
shirred eggs with wild greens, fennel cream and Zoe’s bacon.
My decision – the shirred eggs. A disappointing choice. The mingling of ‘mushy,’ sauteed, garlicky greens with equally disturbing raw-in-the-middle eggs led me to ponder how I would have presented this dish. However, before my recipe, I hasten to add, the in-house, cured bacon, perfectly salted, was some of the best bacon I have eaten.
My ideal recipe:
Shirred Eggs with Thinly Sliced Toasted Soldiers
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons shredded Gruyere cheese
a few sprigs of thyme
2 pieces of toast, cut into thin slices
Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two 4-inch ramekins.
Crack 2 eggs into each ramekin, and pour 1/2 tablespoon of cream onto each egg. Sprinkle the cheese, and a few thyme leaves onto each egg.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (7 for a very runny yolk, 10 for a firmer yolk).
Serve immediately with toast soldiers.
I would thinly slice some Kale, massage in some olive oil and lemon. Add S&P. This would be added delicately to the top of my eggs and ladled onto toast. Delicious.