Poached Eggs Shouldn’t Be That Hard

Ever try to poach an egg?  I have.  I can get by with the results but not without problems.  Two big problems:

  1. The egg spreads out all over the pot.
  2. The clean up is problem.  Lots of scrubbing – no fun.

There must be a better way!

There is, and I got it from the Food Network and Alton Brown.  Create a whirlpool in the middle of the pot.  It works wonders.  Since the egg stays in the middle and there is a decent amount of water in the pot, there is very little contact between the surface of the pan and the egg.

One thing I will say is that I prefer to let my eggs cook a bit longer then is recommended in the recipe.  Try 6 or 7 minutes instead of 5.

 

photo credit: Raw Eggs 100_0854.JPG via photopin (license)

Turkey Soup – Acorn Squash Soup Dec 2015

Thanksgiving is over but the turkey lives on.

I always freeze the carcass because it makes for some great soup later on.  However, the turkey is not the only thing still kicking around.  I had a couple of acorn squash that never made their way into the meal.  They’ve been sitting there on the counter mocking me for the last two weeks.  I bought them to go with the turkey.   I’ve never used them in a soup before and I didn’t quite know how to make it work.

I make soup a lot and I have to admit that most of the time I lack imagination, but that what the internet is for.  A Google search turned up this recipe from Guy Fieri.  Savory and sage are not spices that I would ordinarily use, even though I have a sage plant growing in my garden in the backyard.

Bottom line is that this soup is fantastic.  Roasting the garlic in the squash is amazing.  The recipe is presented as an appetizer but mine was an entree.  I added rice to mine and serviced it as our Sunday dinner for the family.  The only thing I should have done differently was I should have done a better job with the immersion blender.  My squash was a bit on the “rustic” side as Emeril used to say.  Still, I was awesome and I would not hesitate to make it again, so thank you Guy.

 

Split Pea Soup

When my son was two years he loved Emeril.  We would watch Emeril Live on the Food Network and he would really get into it.

“Bam”.

In the process, I learned something about cooking.  I learned that there is room for error and room to take liberties with the ingredients.  I also learned about one pot meals.  One of my favorites is split pea soup.

Ingredients:

  • A ham bone.  The next time you have ham for dinner save the bone.  Put it in the freezer and it will last a few months.
  • Dried split peas.  I use two pounds.  Remember that you have to prepare them.  I always screw that part up.  Just follow the directions on the package.
  • 1/2 lb bacon.
  • Chicken stock – I used 3 1/2 quarts for this meal.
  • 1 diced onion.
  • A clove or two of garlic.
  • Some carrots.
  • Some celery.
  • Some heavy cream.
  • Salt and pepper if you like.  I don’t use the pepper due to some allergies in my family

Start with the bacon.  Render it until its crispy.  Then remove the bacon and leave the fat.  I think this part is the key to the whole thing.

Add the garlic, carrots celery and the onions  Cook them for a few minutes, at least until the onions get translucent.

Add the stock, the peas and the hambone.  Let it simmer for a while.  I like to leave it for two hours.  One hour is pushing it but might be enough.

After that, take the hambone out.  Take an immersion blender and mix up the ingredients that are still in the pot.  Take the ham off the bone.  Throw the bone away.  Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the soup.

At the very end gradually add small amounts of the heavy cream.  You don’t need much – maybe a half cup.  Keep stirring as you add it.

Egg Drop Soup

This one is quick, easy and a good way to get miscellaneous vegetables out of the fridge.

The basic components are:

  • 1 quart of chicken stock plus one cup of water
  • As much ginger as you like, sliced into thin sticks
  • 1 bunch of scallions (about seven) sliced thin, discarding the top halves

Those amounts will serve two people.

Add whatever other vegetables you want. I added asparagus, bok choi and cauliflower because I had those in the refrigerator. Bring the soup to a boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

During the last few minutes of cooking break two eggs into a small cup or bowl.  Scramble them and slowly pour them into the soup.  This will create ribbons and give it that egg drop soup look.  The eggs cook instantly so at that point you are ready to serve