Saturday, September 8, 2012

Poached Eggs with Veggies for Breakfast & Dinner

I've been really into cooking with eggs lately since I've found some great local eggs from Vital farms. One of my all time ways to enjoy an egg is poached, yet I used to be nervous about the whole process of simmering water and vinegar, swirling the water, poaching the egg.  I did own one of those pots with the poaching cups, but they just didn't turn out like the ones I ordered for brunch in restaurants.  I had some hit and misses my first few times. The water was too hot, or there was too much water, or not enough. Anyway, practice makes perfect and now I enjoy poached eggs for breakfast AND dinner. They taste great over a salad for example.

I've been trying to eat a lower carb diet after my bagel fest last week, so today I was craving eggs Benedict but without the carbs or fattening (yet divine) sauce. so I improvised and substituted the English muffin with a broiled heirloom tomato and a light sprinkle of grated gruyere cheese we had, a slice of Niman Ranch applewood smoked ham, spinach and a crack of sea salt and fresh pepper. It was superb! Easy to make too. While the water is simmering, turn on the broiler, slice the tomatoes and place them on a plate with a light sprinkle of cheese (parm, swiss, gruyere, white cheddar all good options).  Pop those in the broiler and crack your eggs into little ramekins and prepare to poach them. The tomatoes take about 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven, place ham and spinach on top and set aside, poach your eggs in the gently simmering water about 4 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, drain them on a napkin and gently place on your tomato stack.

There's a really great video from Alton Brown HERE that shows how to easily learn poach eggs and store them for later use which is great for entertaining. Here's what mine looks like...

 Crack the eggs into individual ramekins

 Then in a pan with 1.5 inches of simmering water, add 1 tbs white vinegar. The vinegar helps hold the egg together. Gently slide the egg into the water. Don't be alarmed if some of the whites spread out. You can trim the edges with scissors before serving to make them pretty.

 One minute in...

 Two minutes in...

 Three minutes in and ready to serve. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and then...

Trim the edges to make them pretty!

Each stack has roughly 158 calories, 4 grams carbs, 7 grams fat and 18 grams protein
And one evening while assessing what we had in the fridge, I found some fresh radishes, asparagus and goat cheese and decided to make a poached egg to along with the veggies and it was terrific! Just drizzled with a little olive oil, lemon for the asparagus and fresh salt and pepper and sprinke with whatever herbs you have in the herb garden. Here I used basil, chives, tarragon, thyme and parsley. Fresh herbs really brighten a dish and are fun and easy to take care of in a sunny spot by the window all year round.

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