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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Incredible, Edible...

When I started my day job four years ago, I was so excited about the on-site cafeteria, especially for breakfast.  We had welcome breakfasts and I thought it was simply fabulous to see platters of fruit, mini-bagels and pitchers of juice.  Soon I was addicted and going through the menu of options:  omelette's with sausage/mushroom, mixed veggies or just tomatoes, over easy eggs, hard boiled egg sandwiches, baked goods, bacon and egg sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly on a toasted english muffin, raisin bread toast, and the classic bacon with scrambled eggs.  Breakfast love.

No, I can't eat like this, nor do I want to, every day, but every once in awhile I will proclaim, "I need a bad girl breakfast," and when I do, this is what I want.  Most days I enjoy a single hard boiled egg on multi-grain or whole wheat toast, sometimes with a slice of tomato.  I went through a severe oatmeal period with fresh blueberries and a mid-morning banana is almost expected.  

Childhood through early adult-hood, breakfast was either skipped, late or cold cereal.  Now, I simply love breakfast at least 5 days per week.  It has also evolved as a great meal for socializing - not only lingering on the weekends in my kitchen with family, but meeting friends out either for the local fire department pancake breakfast or a local diner's fare.  A greatly underrated meal - breakfast - but when thought of, eggs are always top of mind.

An egg cooking challenge for me has been to mimic the perfect Egg's Benedict.  The problem?  The first time I had this dish it was at a lovely sidewalk cafe not far from New York's Central Park and really, who can replicate the meal without the entire experience?  Why try?  It was a perfectly toasted muffin, Canadian bacon, a slice of tomato, the poached egg and a heavenly Hollandaise sauce.  The soft, pillowy eggs high above the crispy muffin, the salty ham and fresh tomato all brought together under a silky blanket of sauce - oh the memory alone is making me salivate.  

So, instead I continue the culinary journey to instead add to the Egg's Benedict memory list and rather than compare and contrast, simply log on more versions, memories and stories.  A rainy Sunday seems the perfect time to take out the saucepan, the vinegar and give the poaching a whirl.  Literally.  A splash of vinegar in the simmering water, the wooden spoon stirred in a clockwise motion to create the desired whirlpool effect, the egg cracked first into a bowl then slowly lowered into the water for 3 minutes exactly.  

A single slice of double protein toast topped with a few thin slices of tomato and the plate is ready for the set eggs to be plated.  No sauce is fine, a bit of salt and pepper were added after the photo.

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