Who’s got the keys to my Beema?
Well, after a delicious and highly educational trip to Chicago and back, I’m back in the valley. I will say I’ve learned more on I-80 and I-5 than I did throughout all of high school.
After a fun night of cooking crostini, hummus, melon and serrano ham, I mean just about everything under the sun, we woke up this morning to a veritable smorgasbord of leftovers. Lets put it to some potatoes and throw some eggs on that bitch. What I was looking forward to most was the serrano ham but I was also eager to try out my poached egg strategy. Not a recipe, a strategy. All said, cooking in a vegan kitchen can pose some difficulties, like no butter. Not even a little bit. Oh well, I adjusted and just dumped salt on it. Margarine and canola can taste a little like butter if you salt it right, with good salt, we used Baleine.
Poached Eggs Over Serrano Ham Fries (for two)
2 tablespoons vinegar (any kind really, whites best)
3 Red Waxy Potatoes
1/8th lb serrano ham (or prosciutto, any salted, cured meat)
1/3 cup green onions
2 cloves garlic
Artificial heart? Maybe skip this post.
Always start the potatoes first. After about a year of wondering why Yukon golds and fingerlings kind of sucked upon plating (mealy, too greasy) I’ve switched to waxy red potatoes for my frying purposes. Its a very dry potato, kind of like a gala apple or something and few things are more important in frying than moisture. The moisture of the potato affects the amount of steam that is created. Consider steam to be a mealy, soft insurgency, fighting the forces of crispitization around every corner of every tater. Battle the steam by not overloading your skillet, creating wide avenues and keeping tabs on any crispy development.
What’s nice about waxies is you don’t have to peel them, just wash and dice. Cut them small, about the size of a single Lego.
Get that pan hot! A little smoky if you must, and add enough canola oil to work a full coating of the bottom of the pan. Not done yet. Add butter and keep it out, we’ll be coming back to that. On this initial buttering, if it sizzles when it hits the oil, then its hot enough for taters. I put about a half inch off the stick of butter in there, no one’s ever complained.
Throw your Legos in there and salt them up immediately so it gets the moisture out. Once again, the steamy insurgency is best fought early. Don’t move them for awhile and let them crisp up. This part takes awhile, I always start my potatoes like 20 minutes before I start doing other stuff. You can prep your green onions, serrano ham, and garlic now. In fact, lets.
You know how to peel garlic, right? There’s a lot of gimmicks out there but all you need to do is crush it by hitting theside of a knife with your palm (use a wide knife) and the skin should more or less come off in one piece. Easy peasy. Chop it up into little tiny pieces and set aside, if you put it in too early it will burn and become massively bitter. I chop about an inch and a half off my green onion stalks in a pretty small chop. The more exposure of the the cut, the more flavors going to get into the food. The serrano is kind of hard to cut, prosciutto isn’t. Get it into pieces that you’d like to eat. Don’t matta how big.
Keep stirring the potatoes throughout all this, if your heat is high enough and the taters are Lego sized you won’t need much time on each side for them to start crisping. Throw the garlic in now, but once you do, make sure that the garlic gets moved around a lot so it doesn’t get gross. Once garlic smell mixes with fired tater smell, put the ham in. Anything green goes in last, and close to plating. Stir it up and get ready for poaching.
Bring two inches of water to simmer in a saucepan, just some little bubbles. Throw some vinegar in there and let it return to bubble stasis. I don’t know why, though I’m sure Bill Nye does, but the vinegar keeps the egg together perfectly and makes the egg drier when it comes out. Marvelous stuff that vinegar. Get your egg precracked and (trick alert!) spin the water around with a slotted spoon, making a little whirlpool in the center. If the chemical magic of the vinegar isn’t enough, this will keep everything close in until the egg begins to coagulate. drop the egg into the middle and keep spinning, move the slightly firm egg to the outside and push it around the outside to continue the vortex for the second egg. BOOM. Two eggs on their way to Poachella to see Radiohead.
How are the taters? Throw the green onions in there and if you want cheese, now’s the time. I didn’t when I made this becuase the ham adds a lot of salt but goats cheese or a low salt swiss would do really well here. Also, check out a soft cheese called “St. Andre,” it’s basically cream cheese butter that has a hint of sharpness, its amazing, though I’m pretty sure in something like this it would just turn to liquid. I’ll cover cheesy taters more in depth later.
Plate up your potatoes and top with one poached egg. That’ll warm you up. We had it with some authentic Irish Breakfast tea brought over from the Emerald Isle, over there they just call it Breakfast.
Don’t clean up; eat your food and go back to bed. Have sex if thats an option.