Monday, August 2, 2010
100th Post: Julie and Julie and Julia
I feel that a blogging milestone calls for a post about getting back to basics. In that spirit, I give you the following:
I finally got up the courage to try a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Don’t get too excited.
I bought it about five months ago and it doesn’t have pictures which I find makes a recipe terribly scary. It also makes a lot of references to itself, so there’s a lot of page turning and paying attention required. Anyway, I’ve shied away from it up until now.
On the weekend, I was watching Julie and Julia. Julie was trying to poach an egg, and I felt a sudden rush of bravery.
A little background: I don’t actually even know how to boil an egg. I know. Scary. You've been following a food blogger down the garden path who can't even boil an egg. I hope you don't feel too betrayed. The reason I can't boil an egg is because my mom gave me this gadget that's like an egg mood ring. You just throw in the boiling water with the egg and it tells you when the egg is cooked through. If I didn’t have the gadget, I would probably just fry my egg. So if I’m scared of boiled eggs, you can imagine how terrifying poached eggs seem.
Anyway, today I felt ready to tackle poached eggs.
A little more background: I hate runny eggs. Poached eggs are supposed to be runny. I decided not to try and cook them until the yolks were solid, but I did decide to cook them just a little longer than the recipe suggested—6 minutes instead of 4.
I followed the instructions exactly and got it right on the first try. The yolk was thickened but still a little runny (at least by my standards). I sprinkled it with a little pepper and some fresh thyme. As I ate it, I kept trying to eat around the runny part. Suddenly, I had eaten the whole thing and was scraping the last bits off the plate. I guess my aversion to runny eggs is not as strong as I thought. It tasted different than a hard-cooked egg. It tasted great—rich and creamy.
Once upon a time I liked my steak well done and over time I’ve come to like it medium-rare. Maybe my egg preference is about to evolve too. And maybe I’ll try a more complicated recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking soon. Or not.
Here’s how to poach an egg:
From Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1. Bring a couple of inches of water to a simmer in a pot. Add 1 tbsp vinegar for every quart of water.
2. Crack the egg into a saucer or little bowl. With the bowl as close to the water as possible, slip the egg into the pot.
3. Gently pull the egg white over the yolk for a few seconds. Add additional eggs in same manner if desired.
4. After four minutes, lift the egg out of the pot with a slotted spoon (a skimmer if you’re Julia Child) and press with your finger. The yolk should still be soft.
5. Rinse cooked egg in a bowl of cold water to get rid of the vinegar.
6. Roll egg around in a slotted spoon to drain the liquid off. Serve.
Pairs nicely with milestones and a little bravery.