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West Wing

Michael Paley's California-inspired curry egg-and-bulgur dish
Garlic- and Curry Leaf-Poached Egg Over Bulgur Pilaf

Although his restaurant Metropole is in the middle of the country--Cincinnati, Ohio, to be exact--executive chef Michael Paley may have left his heart out West.

Before opening Metropole last November, where all of the food is prepared in an open fireplace, Paley staged for a few weeks at Oakland's Camino, also renowned for its wood-fired cuisine. While he was there, he was inspired by a recipe in which eggs are poached in a "tea" of sorts, as well as California restaurants' use of whole and alternative grains.

As such, Paley created a recipe at Metropole for poached eggs over bulgur pilaf (see the recipe). He cooks the eggs in a water-and-white-vinegar mixture spiked with curry leaves, garlic and parsley stems, which impart their flavor into the eggs. The bulgur pilaf, studded with scallions, roast cashews and minced shallot, is a savory underpinning for the runny-yolked eggs.

Who's California dreaming now?

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