Pappardelle Pasta Nests with Poached Eggs

December 14, 2010 in Contests and Carnivals and Roundups, Entrees, Healthy Fare, Vegetarian Entrees

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Pappardelle Pasta with a Poached Egg

I had no idea. Really, no clue at all that a poached egg would be a cursing, ranting, raving, tear-your-hair-out kitchen experience. It’s just an egg, right? The most versatile of all foods on the planet. There are at least a dozen reasons to eat eggs, including that they are full of choline, which is fantastic for brain development, especially in young children.

I have been making poached eggs the cheater way for years now – with a little water in a ramekin and then 60 seconds in the microwave. BUT TO DO IT OLD-SCHOOL STYLE, IT IS HARD TO POACH AN EGG PERFECTLY. Oh, sure. You can make stringy egg feathery watery soup. Any kitchen fool can do that. But a perfect oval egg with cooked whites and a buttery smooth liquid yolk? This required Job-like patience to teach myself. Much like Julie in the film Julie and Julia: “They taste like cheese sauce. Yum.”

I sacrificed about a dozen eggs to learn. After about six failures and a few choice curse words, I watched the Master herself – Julia Child poaching an egg. I found that what worked best for me was to use a shallow skillet – that way the egg doesn’t have lots of water to swim around in and get stringy. The water has to be just below the boiling point, but not any cooler because the egg won’t cook but will just spread in the water. And indeed the Old Schoolers are right: vinegar is a must – you can watch the egg shrinking up the minute it hits the vinegar and water. In the end, Julia’s swirling technique came through for me, and kept the egg swirled around in a little pocket.

Have a Most Egg-cellent Holiday Season!

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Savory Baked Egg Tarts Recipe

November 30, 2010 in Entrees, Healthy Fare, Vegetarian Entrees

Savory Baked Egg Tarts

Like quiche – on a whole new level.

I love eggs. I love them boiled, scrambled, fried.  My all time favorite egg is poached. I LOVE the Egg Poaching scene in the movie Julie and Julia where Julie tries an egg for the very first time. “They taste like cheese sauce. Yum.”

I have always liked quiche, and use it as a go-to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Especially during the frantic pace of the holiday season, eggs are my friends. Simple. Easy. Yummy. Packed with protein.  They’re now widely considered to be a great source of healthy frugal protein. A Meatless Monday treat!

I came across this egg tart recipe idea in a magazine and had to try it. Tweaked a little, of course. These are as easy as quiche, but something different. You can cook the tarts to however you like your eggs yolks – hard or ooey-gooey. You can use a large sized muffin tin to cook tarts, but if you have pretty little tart pans – don’t you love fluted edges?! – then use these to impress your guests.

And, for a holiday festive look, add some red color with diced red bell pepper and some green with diced parsley. Hey! Maybe I should have called these “Happy Holidays Tarts!”

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