Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eggs in a Basket

Hello blogosphere, I am writing to you from Phoenix airport during my layover en route to B-more! I usually fly through Phoenix en route to Baltimore. One of my favorite things is the free wi-fi but unfortunately the food court is no bueno. I guess I am going to have some Wendy's Chicken Fingers and a Frostee for lunch. My plane doesn't land in B-more until 12:10 AM so this is my last chance to eat! You think since I have done this flight plenty of times, I would have packed a lunch or brought some snacks. I did however make a decent breakfast.

This morning I woke up and felt like eating eggs so I made eggs in a basket. For those of you who have never had eggs in a basket, one-eye jacks, or egg in the hole, it is simply toast with an egg in the middle. For pop culture reference, check out V for Vendetta. V makes Evie an eggy in the basket after V rescues her when she is knocked out after pepper spraying the officer.

What makes eggs in a basket so delicious is the buttery toast and the creamy yolk. It is important to use low heat and be patient!

You will need
  • a non-stick skillet
  • butter
  • large eggs work best, if you use Jumbo sized eggs you will need to take some egg white out
  • sliced sandwich bread
  • a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter (if you don't have one a juice glass or highball glass works too)
1. Preheat your non-stick skillet for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
2. With your 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter cut out circles in the center of your bread.

3. Put loads of butter in the skillet. After it stops foaming add the bread slices. After it is nice and toasty on one side (about 7 minutes) flip to the other side.

4. Crack your eggs in a separate bowl and pour them carefully into the holes. It should not sizzle like the "This is your brain on drugs commercial." That commercial single-handedly destroyed egg cookery for most Americans resulting in hard, tough over-fried eggs. Do not do this! DO NOT TURN UP THE HEAT or start with a sizzling pan. Remember you are using butter and you do not want to brown your butter or worse yet burn it.

5. Be patient! The trickiest thing about eggy in a basket is to not disturb the egg until it is solid enough to flip! Do NOT turn up the heat.

6. Depending on how you like your eggs cooked will determine the total cooking time. Remember this is something you eat with your hands so don't undercook the yolk too much, although nothing is sexier than runny yolk!

Monday, March 30, 2009

First Blog and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Welcome to my first blog. I love cooking, food, bicycling, going to the beach and dogs. I will try and post my favorite recipes along with the dinners and BBQs that we cook at 57th St.

Today I ate a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Grilled cheese may be a simple food from our childhood but it definitely can be made adult with a few tweaks. For instance a nice quality cheese can really perk up the sandwich, as well as a swipe of Dijon mustard.

This is my favorite way to make a grilled cheese. You will need a cast iron skillet and a cast iron bacon press. You can use a smaller pan that fits inside the cast iron, or omit the second pan all together. Pressing the sandwich creates a great crust though and melts the cheese from both sides.

2 slices of sandwich bread (I like Trader Joe's Cheddar and Garlic Sourdough)
your favorite cheese, shredded - today I used Comte, which is a cave aged Gruyere from France
Dijon Mustard
room temperature butter

1. Heat the pan and bacon press on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Spread butter on one side of each piece of bread. Placing the buttered side down and plain side facing you, spread the Dijon mustard on each plain side. Place the shredded cheese on top of the slice. Top with remaining bread slice.
3. Place sandwich in skillet and cook, flipping once with a metal spatula until golden brown and crusty.

I also like to add leftover meat or caramelized onions if I have them. The great thing is you can add just about anything!

What are your favorite kinds of grilled cheese?
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