Sunday, January 3, 2010

Comfort food: Warm Salad with Poached Egg

All the rich food of the holidays (and the amount of meat my family eats relative to what I eat when I cook for myself) makes me crave something simple and comforting.  One of these things that I crave is black beans in just about any form.  But I also find eggs very comforting.  Eggs are one thing I have trouble working with, which is weird given the amount I cook.  I really can only scramble them, but I've been working on learning to poach them because I like the vinegary flavor.  And I'm getting better.  But then once you have a poached egg, there are tons of things you can do with it.  And thanks to the "400 Best Ever Budget Recipes" book, I found a very simple, delicious, and healthy recipe that I love.  And that's what this blog is supposed to be about, right?  And another bonus: easily makes food for one, so no muss, no leftovers, plain and simple.

Warm Salad with Poached Egg
Mixed Greens
Shredded/sliced Cheese (I can't remember what the book recommends, but I use whatever white cheese I have on hand, I really liked it with Asiago)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic minced or pressed (pressing means you can do the entire recipe without a knife or cutting board, making less clean up, especially if your sink is just a little too small to comfortably wash a cutting board)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste (I like to throw a little Italian seasoning in)
(the recipe also calls for croutons, preferably homemade/dried bread, but I don't really like croutons enough to keep them around and the beauty of the recipe is it's made of stuff I normally have in my refrigerator so it doesn't require any planning)
1. Poach egg.  First thing is crucial to bring the egg to room temperature.  Plus the fresher, the better.  Beyond that, I am by no means an expert in this department, but what I've found that works is in a shallow pan (but not a frying pan, deeper than that) bring a few inches of water with a splash of white vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat to bring water down to a simmer.  Break the egg into a small heatproof bowl or slotted spoon and ease into the water by letting a little into the bowl or dipping the spoon in before dumping the egg in.   Simmer for 5-7 minutes?  I simmer until poking the egg with a spoon doesn't leave any egg goop on the spoon.  This usually means the egg ends up overcooked, so you might want to follow someone else's directions here.
2. Rinse greens and tear into bite sized pieces.  Top with cheese (if sliced, tear into small pieces)
3. Once egg is cooked, remove from pan with slotted spoon and put it on top of the salad.
4. In the same pan (yes, I know there are eggy remains in it, but that makes it fun) saute the garlic in the olive oil.  Add balsamic vinaigrette, salt, and pepper (and Italian seasoning, if desired) and heat until warm.  Pour over salad.  This doesn't make much dressing so you might want to add a little bit more oil/vinegar.  But it's warm and comforting and heating the dressing makes the cheese just a little bit soft, which is tasty.

1 comment:

  1. mmm, I love croutons, but I make my own. That salad sounds like it would be perfect with a few croutons. I've never made poached eggs, but I am a big fan of hardboiled eggs (and have finally perfected the method of making them).

    For croutons: chop a few slices of any bread you have on hand into crouton size pieces and spread on a cookie sheet. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the microwave and stir in 1/2 tsp garlic paste (or press a clove of garlic into it), then pour over the bread. Sprinkle heavily with desired seasonings (I use dried tarragon and basil with fresh ground black pepper). Stir the bread pieces with your hands until the butter coats them relatively uniformly. Broil for 3-4 minutes, then stir/flip them and broil for a few more minutes. Final product is browned, crispy on the outside and still a little soft on the inside...mmmm