Archive for Breakfast

Poached eggs are perfectly approachable

Poached eggs are one of those items we often see on menus and appreciate when eating out, yet wouldn’t attempt at home because we think they are too challenging to make with the humble tools found in our own kitchens.

Truth is, making poached eggs yourself is totally easy and involves only a single pot and a slotted spoon when it comes to the required hardware. As for skills, well if you can boil water, you can make poached eggs.

Poaching is a process in which foods are gently cooked in a liquid solution that is simmering, which means it’s just under a boil. You know you’ve reached a simmer when small bubbles are just coming up to the surface of the liquid.

While water is the obvious choice as a poaching liquid, wine, broth and even heavy cream can work, too.

Poaching is one of my favorite ways to cook because it’s nearly fool-proof and can be incorporated into many recipes. It’s a great way to keep fish tender and does wonders with chicken. When using the application for eggs, it yields soft clouds of white and a yolk that is still gooey and delicious in the middle.

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Think you can’t bake? Make a johnnycake

Seldom do you find a recipe with so few ingredients and such awesome results as the humble johnnycake. What’s a johnnycake, you ask?

Think of it as a pancake made with cornmeal instead of wheat flour. That’s the simplest way of putting it, but like any old recipe, the johnnycake has as many interpretations as it does spellings. (You might also see it as “Johnny cake,” “jonnycakes” or even “journey cake,” an apparent variation for when these were eaten by travelers long before their cross-country trips were in vehicles running on gasoline.)

In their purest form, johnnycakes are made with just four things: cornmeal, salt, sugar and water. That’s it.

Unlike muffins or even the good ol’ pancake, johnnycakes require no leavening agent — that’s a fancy way of saying stuff like baking powder or yeast, which makes baked goods puff and rise.

No, johnnycakes come alive with just a few ingredients mixed together and then cooked in a skillet — you don’t even need an oven, for crying out loud! What you’ll end up with is a delicious, hearty oval similar to cornbread that’s crunchy on the outside and moist within.

Now that I’ve hopefully sold you on the merits of johnnycakes, you might be wondering when to eat them. I think the more appropriate question is, When can’t you eat them? Johnnycakes have the unique characteristic of being great eaten as either a savory food or as a sweet one.

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