Lesson 54 How to Properly Dress Your Bread

I know, odd title.  But it’s an accurate question.  How do you dress your bread?  Do you smear some good peanut butter on top?  Maybe you like it just with butter, or maybe butter, then  sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar.  I love a good slice of toast with butter and raspberry jelly.  You can even drip the bread in an egg and milk mixture and make French Toast.  There are thousands of ways to dress your bread.

In this lesson, I’m going to give you thee recipes, using the humble egg, and that wonderful bread from two lessons back, to create dishes worthy of royalty, but simple enough to serve to your best buddy after fishing a trout stream.  You could even serve then to your boss.

What’s that Hank, your boss is your wife?  That’s perfect.  Serve her any of these for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner and maybe she’ll give you a raise!

And just sos ya knows what your getting into, I’m posting pictures, unretouched of course, with each recipe.  Follow the recipes, and your results will look just like mine.

Are you ready Steve, Alice, Bartholemew, then let’s crack some eggs.

Basted Eggs:

Class, this particular fried egg technique is tasty indeed, with bacon, and hot-buttered toast.  Now there are some restaurants that will offer you basted eggs.  You get them and they’re rubbery, with half hard egg yolks.  What they do is to put a little oil on the flat-top grill, break the eggs on top, let sizzle for a minutes or so, then squirt some water next to the eggs, and cover with a lid.  Let me tell you, that’s not a basted egg.  It’s an overcooked, steamed egg,  not how I roll, if you know what I mean.

This is a picture of my basted eggs: Basted Egg4

What you’re going to need:

Tools: 1 heavy frying pan, 1 egg turner (spatula), toaster. Salt shaker, pepper shaker, pastry brush, or butter knife.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                   3 strips good bacon per person (streaky bacon for my Canadian Freinds)                           2 eggs per person                                                                                                                     1 slice potato bread, toasted and buttered                                                                               Salt & Pepper

Get the pan hot over medium high setting.  When it’s hot, carefully place the bacon stips into the pan.  This is easier, and more safe if you use tongs to handle the bacon.  Fry the bacon until it begins to shrink.  Flip it over and fry until it browns to your liking.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

There should be a significant pool of bacon fat in the pan.  Break two eggs into a small bowl and carefull pour the eggs from the cup into the hot fat.  It would be a good idea to wear long sleeves to avoid splashing yourself with hot oil.  I can tell you from experience, it might make you shout – oopey-dupey if the hot oil hits your skin.

Use the flat end of your egg turner to gently splash oil over top of the eggs two times.  Season with salt and pepper.  Continue to baste the eggs with the hot bacon fat until the membrane covering the yolk turns pink and the egg white is set.  Serve with the bacon, and hot, buttered toast.  That toast is just made for dunking, or dipping into that yummy yolk.  Now that’s a basted egg.

P.S. you can do the same thing, only with the melted fat from cooked sausage.  And about that whole cholesterol thing, pork fat (from bacon or breakfast sausage) has less cholesterol than does butter.

Recipe number two, Poached Eggs

I know what you’re thinking.  I can see it in your faces.  “I had poached eggs as a kid, at the hospital after they pulled my tonsils.  Those things were absolutely gross.

I have to agree with you.  I got them when they pulled my adenoids.  The eggs were bland, rubbery, and not good at all.  If I recall, the whites weren’t a hundred percent cooked either.  So why am I giving you a recipe for poached eggs?  Jerry, I’m glad you asked that question.  Cooked properly, poached eggs are sublime.  Wait, here’s a picture:

Water Poched Egg 5

Now tell my you wouldn’t dig into that.

Let me tell you a secret, but you have to keep it to yourself.  Those eggs are easy to make.  Now don’t tell anyone else.  Everyone things that poached eggs are impossible.  they break into a hundred pieces while the water is boiling, and you end up with this mess of soggy egg bits in cloudy water.  Now I heard of various techniques for making the perfect poached egg.  So I looked them up on-line, the funnel egg, the egg cooked in boiling water to which vinegar was added, etc.  I tried them all, and got that cloudy water egg with each.  Then I thought about how and egg reacts to heat.  I realized that boiling was just plain wrong.  You see, water boils at 212 degrees F. or so.  The egg white starts setting at 180′ F.  Why put the eggs in boiling water, which is just violent enough to tear them apart.

Then I thought about how bland poached eggs that I’d had were.  I realized that they were bland because they were unseasoned.  So I added salt to the water.

Now you know something of why so many people fail at making good poached eggs.  Here’s how to do them right.

Tools: 1 quart saucepan, slotted spoon.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                   2 large eggs per person                                                                                                           1 tbs. salt                                                                                                                                   1/2 tsp. butter                                                                                                                           2 cups cold water

Spread butter all over the bottom of your saucepan.  Add the water and salt (you can add pepper if you want too).  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  When the water just starts bubbling, turn the heat back to simmer and let the water become still.  Break the eggs into a small bowl.  Then, gently pour the eggs from the bowl into the water.  Let them just sink.  Leave them alone for about three minutes.  Then, gently move them with the slotted spoon, sliding the spoon edge underneath the eggs to make sure they’re not sticking to the pan bottom.  Look at them as you gently move them.  You can see if the white has firmed up enough, as it won’t look like the lava in a lava lamp anymore.  It will hold its shape.  If they aren’t done yet, continue to check them about once a minute until they are done.  Remove them with the slotted spoon and place onto hot, toasted, buttered potato bread.  Serve something good on the side.

If you put a slice of gently fried ham onto one half of a toasted, buttered English Muffin, put a poached egg on top of the ham, and cover it all with Hollandaise sauce, then you have Eggs Benedict.  Either way, it’s elegant, tastes amazing, and is so easy to make.

Egg & Toast Recipe #3 – Poached Eggs.

Now wait, didn’t we just make poached eggs?  Yes we did.  But we will use a very specialized pan for these poached eggs.  You can get an egg poaching pan, either on line, or from most stores that sell good pots and pans.  And the pan isn’t expensive.

I know, you don’t like to have tools that aren’t multi-tasking in your kitchen.  Neither do I.  But I have soft spot in my heart for these eggs.  My Grandpa used to make them for me, along with a plate of pancakes, every time I stayed at his home, on weekends.  The eggs are also so very tasty, it’s almost ridiculous how good they are.

Here’a a picture of these beauties.Poached Egg 4

Look at how perfectly round they are.  These eggs are lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked gently in butter and steam.  Oh yeh, they are amazing.

Tools: Egg poaching pan (comes with four or six non-stick egg cup inserts).

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                  2 large eggs per person                                                                                                            1 tsp. butter per egg cup                                                                                                          2 cups water

Add the two cups of water to the pan, and place over medium heat.  Bring the water to a boil.  Butter each egg cup to be used.  Fill unused egg cups with water.  Place the tray with the egg cups into the pan.  Crack an egg into each egg cup.  Cover.  After the eggs have been coking for three minutes, remove the lid and gently giggle the egg cups.  You will be able to see of the egg white is completely set.  If they are done, remove and place on top of the buttered potato bread.  If not, cook another thierty seconds with the lid on, then check them again.

For whatever reason, I like these eggs with breakfast sausage links.  I dip the links into the yolk.  A 2nd slice of toasted potato bread with butter and your favorite fruit jam, or preserves really completes this dish.  Oh, and please pass the ice-cold milk.

I have recipes for perfectly, fluffy, moist and delicious scrambled eggs, They aren’t quite elegant enough for this lesson.  And remember those first poached eggs, try putting them on top of lightly seasoned pasta, or a good beef steak.  It takes that humble egg to a whole different level.  But I still like them best on that yeasty goodness that is potato bread especially toasted.

May your hot things be hot, you cold things be cold, and your cheddar be served at room temperature.

“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”