Monday, March 15, 2010

First Post! Omnomnom

Hi. My name is Alice. I'm a 24 year old Master's student at the University of Maryland's iSchool. iWhat, you ask? Library Science. That's right, I'm going to be a librarian. (Puffs up chest and looks proud). I already have the cardigans, the shoes, and the bun. I just don't have the glasses. Yet.

I'm also getting rather soft See, I have a problem. I like to bake. A lot. Too much, I think, as going to the gym two times a week clearly isn't melting the sticks of butter and cups of sugar away. But I'm working on it.

So, I don't know how else to start a food blog except for describing some of my most recent escapades. Like breakfast this morning. Well, early lunch. Egg McMuffins. Real Egg McMuffins. What McMuffins would be if McDonald's had the time to make you feel good about buying four basic ingredients that, apart taste delicious, and together taste absolutely heavenly.

Alice's Egg McMuffins for 2

Ingredients and Tools:
Something I'm still learning is: Get everything ready first. That way you aren't scrambling to the Fridge-toaster-stove while something's burning and everything else is still totally raw.

For the Poached Eggs:
2 Eggs
Splash o'Vinegar (White vinegar is best..and cheap- 89 cents at Shoppers)
Non-stick pot WITH cover (1-2 quart is fine, whatever you have, really but it HAS to have a cover)
Slotted Spoon
Few cups of water
2 small ramekins or 2 measuring cups
Cereal Bowl with cold water in it (Set near the stove)
Paper Towels

For the Meaty Bits:
2 slices of Canadian Bacon (Regular Ham lunch meat also works quite nicely, as does turkey)
Small Frying pan. I use a tiny one, the size of a piece of bread, non-stick. You can use what you have, it will be fine.
Pancake Spatula/Fork/Utensil for flipping meaty

For the Toasty Get-this-amazingness-to-my-mouth:
A toaster. Or an oven. Or a fire with a toasting basket. Whatever you use to make toast.
2 English Muffins (I use Thomas's Double Fiber Honey Wheat)
Bit o'Butter
2 Slices of American Cheese (I use white American because I think it melts better and honestly, it isn't day-glo orange which kind of freaks me out)

Here's what you do:

To Poach Eggs:
Don't let the movie Julie & Julia scare you. Poaching eggs is NOT HARD. At all. You just need a little patience and "the courage of your convictions" to realize that if you mess it up, it's only an egg, not an entire cake or country that's fallen.

1. Get a non-stick pot of water boiling. You want about an inch or an inch and a half of water in there. Enough so the eggs will be covered in a nice water bath. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING to the water. No salt. No vinegar (yet). While you're waiting for the water to boil, crack the eggs into your ramekins or the measuring cups. One egg in each bowl-shaped item.

2. The water probably isn't ready yet, huh? Split your English Muffins and stick them in the toaster. I have them on setting 4 or 5. You want them to be nice and crispytoastycrunchilydelicious.

3. Water ready yet? No? Heat up the small frying pan (I put it on medium-low) and stick your meat-y bits in there. The meat is already cooked, but you want it to be warm.

4a. Water boiling yet? Yes! Score! Ok, lower the pot to medium/lowlymediumish. You want a nice gentle simmer going on. After is simmers, pour a splash o'vinegar in there. For you people who like to measure things, about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons(ish). Give it a nice stir with the slotted spoon. The vinegar helps the white of the egg to coagulate. And it really doesn't affect the taste of the eggs, so it's all good.

4b. If the water isn't boiling, the English Muffins are probably done. Butter those guys up! Put a piece of cheese on side of them (Bottom or top, doesn't matter). Do you have a toaster oven? Yes? Put the Muffins in there on the pan that it came with that you probably never use and put the toaster on Broil. Set it to medium. Don't have a toaster oven? Use the regular oven on Broil (this could get complicated) or use the microwave. Just melt the cheese the easiest way possible for you.

4c. Check on the meaty-bits. You might need to flip them over. Do it.

5. (Here comes the poaching part!) Get your ramekins/measuring cups of eggs. Take a deep breath. You're about to poach an egg, and you're not going to be scared. Hold one of the ramekins over the water and gently pour the egg into the water, and use the spoon to keep the egg white near the yolk. They need to be friends and together. Do the same thing with the second egg. Put the cover on the pot. Turn OFF the heat, but leave the pot on the burner. Set your timer for 4 minutes and leave the pot alone. Resist the temptation to look at the eggs. Do something else, like get the Cheesy Muffins and Meat going. If the Cheesy Muffins and Meat are done, keep the meat on low so it doesn't burn or get cold, and leave the muffins where they are. Be patient, it's totally worth it. Maybe you could set the table, start a pot of coffee or tea, or pour some Orange Juice.

6. It's been 4 minutes! Take the lid off the pot. Smells kinda vinegary, huh? Ignore it. No big deal. Get your slotted spoon ready and fish one of those eggs out very carefully slide it into that bowl of cold water. Do the same with the other egg. Let them sit in there for about a minute so that they cool off. Get your Muffin/Cheese/Meaty Bits assembled on their plates. I prefer Muffin with Cheese on the bottom, then the Meat. Pick one of the eggs out of the water (I use my hands so I don't inadvertently stab the other one and let all its deliciousness out.) and place it gently on a paper towel and pat it to dry it off, then put it on one of the muffins. Do the same with the other one.

7. It's time to eat! You have to bite into it very carefully because the yolk likes to squirt out everywhere. Use the rest of the muffin to sop up the yolk. It's amazing, isn't it?

Congratulations, you've poached an egg! Don't you feel powerful?


  1. I can personally testify as to the certifiable awesomeness of these cheesymeatytoastypoachedeggymuffins. :-)

  2. Alice,
    I can't wait to try your recipes! Thanks for sharing, sweetie!