Looking north from Fire Island

Looking north from Fire Island
Continuing the cooking articles I write every summer

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eggs and Potatoes - a Hearty Brunch

Red skinned potatoes, poached eggs and Asiago cheese

Wash a few red 2” spuds, poke a few holes. Nuke them until a knife easily pierces, around four minutes at full power, turning once. Give each a sharp smack with something heavy, like the flat side of a wooden spoon. Heat up a cast iron pan to screaming hot, add a few TB of oil, lay in the spuds and break them up with a potato masher. Do not mash them too much; you want texture, pieces. Salt, pepper, chopped thyme, Adobo. Once they brown, turn them over to brown the other side. Salt makes points here.

Meanwhile, two eggs have already gone into a bowl of hot water to remove the chill. The best way I know to make perfect poached eggs that cook evenly and don’t stick to the pot: in a shallow pan, bring some water to a boil, add a few TB of plain vinegar and reduce the fire.

Arrange the hot potatoes in a nest on a warm plate. Grate some Asiago cheese on top of the potatoes. Be generous.

Carefully crack the eggs into the liquid from just above the surface. The point is to almost hold onto the egg while the bottom is in the water. let the bottom of the egg remain in the water for a few seconds before letting go of the rest of it. In half a minute, slide a spatula under the eggs to be sure they aren’t stuck to the pan. Tip the pan to keep the eggs submerged. Poach the whites, but leave the yolks on the soft side. Lift the eggs, slotted spoon, and arrange on top of the potatoes. Grate some more cheese and Spanish paprika on top.

To eat, break the yolks so they run into the potatoes. You’ll have those rich creamy yolks and those perfect potatoes, just ready to soak them up. Perfect. Ahhh.

If you like your eggs well done, go away, or bite the bullet and try these. You’ll thank me.

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