Poached Eggs and Polenta Breakfast

This one is a delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner...one of our new favorite things.  Mark recently set out to poach the perfect egg, and I set out to find accompaniments.  Anyone following this blog knows we try our best to eat healthy and are always happy to try new things.  Lately, I have been trying to limit gluten.  Not because I think I have Celiac Disease, but I match some of the intolerance symptoms.  I figured it couldn't hurt to even try it and I have to say, a lot of discomfort and other symptoms have lessened.  Mama won't give up the occasional craft beer, and baking test kitchen-ing, but like all dietary choices, it helps to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.  Therefore, a new label has been added to my blogging: "gluten free."  I will have to go back and add it to posts like Mark's rice bowl (an all time favorite, it has the highest amount of visits! go Cookin' Daddy!). This is also in deference to my friends with Celiac who have no choice but to eat this way.  I'm lucky I get to "try" it out vs. forced to in order to live.  I'm more of a Julia Child kind of gal: "Everything in moderation...including moderation." 

Now, on to the poached egg.  Evie reports that they are "delicious."  Mark did a bit of research, and chose to go the old school vinegar in the water approach.  He does not use any floating egg cups, or microwave tools, but we hear they work well too...but if you want poached eggs, then go with boiling water.  A lot of the microwave and other tools are actually steaming, not poaching.  To be honest, I'm not sure I know the difference, but Mark's poached eggs are, as Evie said, delicious, rich, creamy, and just plain yum.

The polenta we use is Bob's Red Mill, and I haven't had one bad batch yet...except for the first one.  I was used to making pasta, and salting the water to an extreme amount.  With polenta, you do not rinse or lose the water, so my first go at polenta was SUPER salty.  Like, ridiculously salty.  Do NOT over salt the water (have I made my point?!).  For savory dishes like this, or when we put it over Mark's chili, we add cheese.  For breakfast I have not yet tried the honey and milk, but it sounds good.

Usually we saute cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, and crushed red peppers to top the meal.  Sometimes I have leftover tomato sauce from pasta that we're trying to use up.  Once, not having any tomatoes, we sauteed baby bella mushrooms instead and that was not a bad dish either!  Pretty much any vegetable would be great.  Peppers are on the "need to try" list.

For the Poached Eggs:

Plan on 2 eggs per person
Crack each egg and place in separate small prep dishes (one per egg).

Fill a pan with water to a depth of one inch.  Bring to a boil.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar (we had none, so we use apple cider vinegar).  Turn heat off.  Add each egg gently from their cups.  Cover pan, wait five minutes.  Remove each egg with a slotted spoon, allow liquid to drain off.  You can also dip the cooked egg in a water bath to remove all vinegar taste. 

For the Polenta:

I follow the directions on the back of the package (for the most part):

Bring three cups of water and a teaspoon of salt to a boil.  Add one cup of polenta and stir.  I usually use a wooden spoon because the handle is longer and polenta tends to spit.  Once the water is absorbed, add pieces of cheddar, stir to melt. 

Serve immediately.  Alternatively, place in non-reactive dish, cool and refrigerate.  Turn out, slice, and saute in a pan with olive oil or butter. 

For the Tomatoes:

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
pinch of kosher salt
olive oil
1 clove worth chopped garlic
healthy dash of crushed red pepper

Heat oil over medium heat, add garlic and red pepper.  After about a minute or two, add tomatoes, and cook down with a pinch of salt thrown over.

Plate, and dig in!!!


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