Obsessing over Lunch

So last night I saw Julie & Julia... Ordinarily, I don't easily hop on the bandwagon of blockbuster Hollywood movies (that aren't in the Marvel or DC Comics world, anyway...but that's another post). I certainly didn't rush off to see No Reservations, I can tell you that. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting to love this movie. I can also tell you I wasn't anticipating inspiration, and definitely not Obsession, but that IS what happened.

The movie ended around 10, and my boys were both asleep when I got home. Had I been even the slightest bit hungry, I would have joyfully cooked up something to eat - but I just wasn't. I had to settle for knitting my new mitered mitten pattern from the Loop class on Wednesday, and was content to drift off to a slumber that included dreams of drinking many martinis thanks to all the imbibing going on in the movie.

This morning, however, I knew that for lunch I had no leftovers, and was going to have to make something. I haven't poached an egg in a while, and moviegoing did pique my appetite for them. Yes, yes, I know hardly a day is going by when I don't mention Marisa at foodinjars, and today is no exception since when I printed out her dilly bean recipe, she prefaced by saying that "lightly steamed green beans dressed with salt, pepper and butter, scrambled eggs and a sliced tomato" was one of her favorite suppers. I picked a nice big handful of fresh beans from my own garden behind the garage yesterday, and also had a nice ripe tomato from my father-in-law. So, poaching an egg it was instead of scrambling.

Thanks to Julia inspiration, I used maybe a whole 1/2 T. of butter on the green beans, but then couldn't quite make myself 2 eggs, so I did one egg, and one egg white. But don't you know poached egg yolks are The King of the egg world? WHY did I talk myself out of the cholesterol? After I stabbed that baby with a couple of green beans, I would have taken a bath in the yolk if it were at all possible. I guess that's what is nice about not making something for awhile: you get to appreciate it all over again.

True to my Latin love, I had to add avocado and much hot sauce - Cholula is my preferred hot sauce.

I'd dare you not to lick your plate - especially when omitting bread from this meal...


Poaching eggs really is insanely easy. I follow the Cook's Illustrated approach which is this: Fill an 8 or 10 inch nonstick skillet almost to the top with water and bring to a boil. Then add 1 t. salt and 2 T. white vinegar. Crack your eggs into little cups, one egg per cup, and ease them into the water. Immediately cover and remove from heat. Poach for exactly 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry with a paper towel or regular lint free towels. And then eat those babies straight away.

Beautiful, cavernous egg center: Where have you been all my life? This actually is a different shot than the one above, the egg so nice I shot it twice...

Prior to this recipe, I did have trouble poaching eggs. The closest to perfection I came was following a Saveur recipe for Eggs Hussar, in which you used a tremendous amount of vinegar, causing your eggs to be unbelievably beautiful and cloud like - if not a tad on the vinegary side. While I love vinegar, this didn't bother me, but may have bothered some recipes not friends with such a strong flavor as vinegar. The link for the related recipe at Saveur is here. I promise you unbelievable amazement when you pluck these puffs of egg out of their bath, but stick with the tried and true less vinegar approach above if you have an aversion to vinegared eggs...

I must admit, that I have not read Julia Child's cookbooks. I'm not sure how she poached her eggs. I will thank Julie Powell and Nora Ephron or doing a wonderful job convincing me to click over to Amazon to find out what I've been missing out on. And many happy winter months, I predict, will be spent getting to know her recipes. For now, I'll be content to have a listen to the soundtrack I just downloaded...and planning a Julia's birthday meal on the 15th, like Bon Appetit suggested in their magazine this month.