Sometimes, you really need a great breakfast.
Most of the time, you really need a great breakfast because if you're like me, you know that you probably won't be eating for the rest of the day.
(I'm working on that, ok?)
I mean, I've given up noodles, pasta (non-Asian noodles), Reuben sandwiches and eating meat until dinner time. Also, dinner time is about/after 8pm, even though we don't live in Spain, or any other European country where that's the norm.
So when I do make breakfast, I try to make it count.
This is one of my best friends, Amy, on her wedding day.
We woke up at 7am that day, and I knew that with everything going on, we wouldn't have time to eat very much before the ceremony.
It was a bit of a hustle.
(and bustle? Ha ha.)
A few months ago, Amy and I decided it was time we learned how to master poached eggs. After all, we both have extensive restaurant knowledge, and it was plainly an embarrassment that we did not know how to perform this simple task.
Also, it happens to be both of our favorite way to eat an egg.
We went a very long time without eating poached eggs at home. Mostly eating them at brunch in restaurants, hoping that the eggs weren't overpoached and rock-solid. But then we mastered the poached egg, and it was so easy once we learned the tricks.
And I made this for her wedding day breakfast, so we wouldn't pass out before the reception.
At least, not pass out from hunger.
Poached Egg Crostini with Asparagus and Goat Cheese Mousse
Basic ingredients for one
4-5 TBSP white vinegar
Salt & Pepper (for the egg)
One thick slice of fresh French loaf
4 stalks of blanched asparagus (Asparagus that has been quickly boiled in hot salted water, then chilled and rinsed in cold ice water)
Goat cheese mousse
Optional: 2 oz. of lox-style smoked salmon
Make the goat cheese mousse:
1 1/2 oz. herbed goat cheese
3-4 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Combine cheese and cream together, mix well with a fork until mousse is light and creamy. Refrigerate while poaching the egg, so the mousse will thicken.
Blanch the asparagus and toast the crostini (french loaf)in your oven, or toaster oven.
To poach an egg:
The easiest way to poach an egg is to use a small bowl or cup to slide the raw egg into the boiling water. I am a HUGE fan of mise en place (the French style of separating all your ingredients into small bowls before cooking, so everything is neat, orderly and OCD)so I have a million small mise en place bowls. You can always use a small teacup, too.
Heat a small sauce pan with water and add the vinegar. As the water starts a rolling boil, slide the egg into the water by dipping the bowl half-way into the hot water. This will make sure that the egg doesn't break from plopping into the sauce pan. Let the egg sit for 2 minutes, longer if you want a harder-poached egg. The egg will come together in a perfect little poached ball. If it hasn't, or has made a milky mess in the bottom of the pan, it probably broke. Crack another egg and slide it in, and recook the new egg. This definitely takes a little practice, and in the beginning, it will definitely take more than one egg. But eggs are inexpensive and this is so worth knowing how to do.
Once the egg has poached, gently lift it out of the water with a slotted spoon and rest in on a small plate or bowl. Don't poke it. You will want to.
Assemble the crostini:
Take the toasted French loaf, slather on the goat cheese mousse (add the smoked salmon at this point, if you're using it), layer the asparagus.
With a small spoon, carefully place the poached egg on top.
Season with salt and pepper. Fulfill that crazy desire to pop the poached egg.
Hooray for a classy, wedding-worthy breakfast!