Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Comfort Food

I should probably preface this by saying that all food, to me, is comforting.  I am, admittedly, an emotional eater.  Not in the sense that I eat all the time, no, but I like to eat because of the feeling it gives me.  After working hard to prepare a fresh meal for my family, I enjoy the satisfaction of sitting down and eating it together.  The most comforting foods are often the simplest.
Whenever I feel under the weather [such as today] I just want to eat eggs.  Weird, huh?  I'm notorious for always screwing up the eggs so my husband is the designated egg cooker in our house.  However, it never fails that when I feel sick he isn't home.  I've learned to manage scrambling the eggs, but tonight I wanted something different.  I decided to try poaching.  What follows is a photo journey of my attempt at poaching eggs freestyle [read: I don't have a poaching pan].  It is by no means a tutorial because I'm pretty sure no one else would want to eat them. 
So, from what I read from Alton Brown and remember from the movie Julie and Julia, I filled a [cast iron] skillet with 1 1/2 inches of water.  I added in 1 tablespoon of vinegar as well.  When it started to steam, I began swirling the water, which I think I saw on tv but I'm not sure if it's necessary.

I put each egg in a custard cup.  Holding the cup as close to the water as possible, I slowly dropped the eggs into the swirling water.
Yikes.  I'm glad Alton wasn't here.  [Have I mentioned that I used to go to church with him, and that he once almost ran over me in his Volvo?]  This looks kind of gross.  Even grosser now, actually, looking at the picture than I had realized.  If you want to stop reading, I understand.  But I want to encourage you to be brave when it comes to cooking.  And if you'll stick with me, you'll see that even though it looks kind of hairy right now, it turned out ok.  There are more appetizing photos to come.

This is not one of them.  You'll notice, first of all, that the egg yolks are cooked.  I think with traditional poaching the yolks are left completely runny.  Yuck, I say, yuck!  I decided to be brave and undercook them slightly, though.  I wanted to show you this picture because Alton Brown says that after you remove the eggs [with a slotted spoon] you should place them on a tea towell to absorb excess water.  Anything you say, Mr. B!
So what to do with these eggs?  A variation on bacon and toast.  Ciabatta with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and 2 slices of smoked ham.  Please ignore the foil on the baking sheet.  I'm a lazy cook; have I mentioned that?  I just baked them in the oven until it got kind of crispy.

Looks good, right?  Well, I know the eggs look kind of wonky but you could trim up the edges if you care about that stuff.  When it's just me, my plate, my pjs, and my couch, I don't care about aesthetics. 

About the runny yolks...I kinda liked it.  That's all for now, folks.  I'm going to finish watching the past couple episodes of Sarah Palin's Alaska.  Politics, schmolitics.  I think she's fascinating. 

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