We were both thrilled when the Food Police took eggs off the ‘do not eat’ list.
Of course, the poor egg has been on and off that list a few times so they could be back on by now.
I don’t care – I love eggs and, apparently, we eat a lot of them as I buy 1 1/2 dozen every week.
The only time I don’t eat them is for breakfast – too much work.
Let me clarify: too much work for me in the morning before coffee.
Speaking of too much work – you do know that eggs can be poached up to 5 days ahead of time, right?
This is based on a recipe from one of my French cookbooks.
Poached Eggs with Crème Fraîche and Ham
Total time: 20 minutes
- 4 eggs
- 6 tbs crème fraîche
- butter for baking dishes
- 2 slices dry-cured ham – Prosciutto, Bayonne
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbs vinegar
- Thoroughly butter 2 small baking dishes or ramekins – just big enough to hold 2 eggs.
- Fry ham in olive oil until crisp. Remove and set aside.
- Fill a medium skillet with water. The water should be at least 1 1/2 inches deep.
- Heat water over medium-high heat. Add vinegar.
- When water is softly boiling poach eggs for 2 – 4 minutes or until white is set but yolk is still very soft. (Or hard, as you like…)
- When done, put 2 eggs in each dish.
- Tear the ham into smaller pieces and add to eggs.
- Divide crème fraîche and spoon onto eggs.
- Bake at 375F (190C), 4 – 6 minutes, just until heated through.
- Remove and serve directly from baking dishes – wuth salt, pepper and some good bread.
We had this for a starter.
As I was typing this I was, once again, pondering dining customs.
When I was a child we had a ‘meat, potatoes and vegetable’ dinner Monday through Friday evenings. Sometimes, but not often, we would have dessert. Sometimes, in summer, we would have a salad but it would be as part of the dinner, not a separate course.
Saturday night was different… We might have hamburgers or hot dogs or chili or pizza. It was easy and we ate in the kitchen rather than the dining room.
Sunday we had the ‘meat, potatoes and vegetable’ meal at noon and almost always had dessert. Sunday evenings we were on our own. My mother didn’t cook so we ate cereal or toast or a sandwich.
The French typically have 3 courses – or more if it’s a special occasion. The entrèe (starter) could be as simple as a bit of cured sausage and a few olives or a salad or soup or an egg dish, etc. This would be followed by the main course and finished with a bit of cheese or yogurt or fruit. Both cheese and a fancier dessert would be part of the Sunday lunch.
We are an amalgamation of both worlds, chez nous.
Our weekday dinners are just a main course, heavy on the vegetables. I only make dessert if we are entertaining but mon mari always finishes with yogurt and fruit. I don’t.
Friday and Saturday we have an entrèe (starter) as well as the main course. I like to do a vegetable or egg starter and, in summer, salads.
Sunday is what I consider our decadent night. (I have never made a big Sunday lunch and plan to keep it that way). It’s the only night we sometimes skip the vegetables. We might have pizza or a non-healthy pasta (Spaghetti Carbonara). Mon mari still has his fruit and yogurt, of course.
We may be closer in style to the French than my Midwestern childhood, but we were eating this way when we still lived in the US. The main reason is I have always thought that the starter is the most fun part of the meal (usually).
One last thing…. we always eat at the table which is properly set, with cloth napkins and lit candles.
Are you mired in routine like we are?
Or are you more spontaneous in your cooking and eating?
One last thing…. I have never lived anywhere (except for a few months) where I could have food delivered – and that includes pizza.