Saturday, January 11, 2014

Poached Eggs on Toast

I am thinking I should change the update day for this blog to Saturdays. Wednesday is my only guaranteed day off during the week, and if I end up doing stuff that day, which I often do since it's my only opportunity to run most errands, Saturday is my next opportunity to update the blog as I work late both Thursday and Friday. Saturdays I never work late regardless of which job I am working. So yeah, look for new updates on Saturdays, folks! It's a more reliable day.

As I had reported in my my Holiday Rush entry, Greg's mother gave me a four egg poacher for Christmas. With my busy work schedule, it took entirely too long for me to have time to use it. Finally, Greg and I had a morning off together and I made us poached eggs on toast. Putting poached eggs on toast is a rather new thing for me. I learned it from my mother's boyfriend, and liked it so much that I've added to my breakfast rotation when I have time for that kind of thing. Really it isn't a dish that takes much time. Make poached eggs, make toast, then put eggs on toast. Voila. I just don't like getting up early if there is no reason - and no, eating breakfast is not a good enough reason - so usually set my alarm for 45 or 60 minutes before I have to leave for work. I often actually rise 30 minutes before and breakfast ends up being cereal. 

Anyway, the egg poacher. If you like eggs and you don't have one, you seriously need to remedy this pronto. If you're into cute and funky things for your kitchen, you can forgo the special pan and pick up something like the floating silicone leaf poachers that Catching Fireflies sells. Basically, they're curved little bowl-like rubbery things that you crack the egg into, then set to floating on some bowling water in a pan until the egg is cooked. I've never tried one, so I don't know how practical they are, but they are rather cute. 

You can, of course, also poach eggs directly in a pan of bowling water, which is how it is "supposed" to be done, but it's difficult. I've seen it done, and I have also seen it totally screwed up. However you do it, poached eggs take about 3 minutes to cook. 

So my egg poacher has four little detachable cups into which I crack one egg each. The cups then fit into a piece that fits over the pan of bowling water. (The pan comes with the rest of it.) The piece that the cups fit into has four holes in it so that the eggs are essentially steamed wen the lid is put on. The cups need to be greased somehow. I find butter to be the tastiest, but cooking spray works, too. This way, the eggs slide right out when you are ready to remove them. 

Traditionally, poached eggs are supposed to have runny yolks, the better to spread on toast, I suppose, or, as I like to do, mix with hash browns. It's hard to get runny yolks with an egg poacher, but soft centers are easy if you keep an eye on the pan. (As I said above, about 3 minutes to cook.) A soft poached egg is easier to mash onto toast, an English muffin, or bagel, and is quite delicious. Growing up, though, we just ate them with a fork, generally alongside turkey bacon and/or hash browns and/or toast. My mother usually puts pepper on hers. Poached eggs are also a good size to make English muffin breakfast sandwiches.

Popular dishes that use poached eggs include Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, and an array of Louisiana Creole dishes that I have never heard of and am hesitant to try because things that say they are from Louisiana are generally too spicy for me. Eggs Sardou sound safe, though, upon further inspection. Actually, they sound a lot like Eggs Benedict with the Hollandaise sauce and all. If I am ever in New Orleans again, I'll give them a try.

Now I want eggs.

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