The yolks on me and you

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I have to credit my dad for my love of eggs.

Growing up, my mom did almost all of the cooking, but on weekends, dad would sometimes make breakfast. Oatmeal, biscuits, pancakes, and, for some crazy reason, he could rock an omelet.

They were cooked in margarine and filled with American cheese that came individually wrapped in plastic — but they were yellow, not browned — fluffy and delicious. I have no idea here he learned the skill; I should probably ask.

He’s always loved eggs. When he ran late for work and didn’t have time for his customary bowl of Raisin Bran, he’d crack two or three eggs into a glass, and down the whole thing.

But there is a dark side to our friend the tasty egg. An egg once tried to kill me.

I was 6 or 7, and we were in a mall and stopped to have lunch at a Piccadilly Cafeteria. To a little kid whose only eating out experience had been at McDonald’s and Burger Chef, this was the fanciest, most sophisticated restaurant in the world.

When we went through the line, I asked for a hard-boiled egg.

I decided that my table manners had to match the atmosphere of the elegant eatery. I then decided that I couldn’t eat the egg with my hands, I had to use a fork. But instead of cutting it, I stuck it in my gob whole.

It slid right into the back of my mouth and stopped. I couldn’t breathe or swallow.

A normal human would have gotten the attention of my parents, siblings, or a passing waiter.

Not me. I’d be darned if I was going to make a fuss and embarrass myself in this swanky joint. I decided I was either going to unchoke myself, or die, but quietly and with all the 7-year-old dignity I could muster.

It was a Herculean struggle, but as you may have guessed, Gentle Reader, I made it out of Military Circle Mall alive.

And, I was never a big fan of hard-boiled eggs after that.

But just about any other egg prep makes me very happy.

The other day when I was making hash browns, I got to thinking about shakshouka, an North African Middle Eastern dish where eggs are cooked on top of a spicy tomato broth. And I thought about how much I love eggs, and the runny yolks of poached and over easy preparations.

So, I went for it and cracked some eggs onto the top. It was a revelation — I loved it.

And, last week I promised you a recipe for the easiest poached eggs ever.

So go forth and get eggy with it.

Thanks for your time

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

Hash Browns with Steamed Eggs

4 medium waxy potatoes, like Yukons or red potatoes

yellow onion

3 tablespoons butter

4 eggs

salt

pepper

splash of vinegar

Place unpeeled spuds in a large heavy pot with a couple tablespoons of salt and a splash of vinegar. Cook on medium heat until they are barely fork tender. Drain and let cool. Then refrigerate until they are cold; overnight is best. Cooling the potato will tighten up the starches and make the shreds hold up better and not turn to mashed potatoes while cooking.

Prepare dish:

Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a heavy skillet. Heat on medium. As the pan heats, grate the potatoes directly into the pan. When half of the spuds are shredded, grate onion to taste onto the potatoes. Finish grating the potatoes, then season and toss in the now-melted butter.

Gently smooth the mixture flat and press slightly to get everything together.

Take the last tablespoon of butter and dot onto the top.

Cover and cook just below medium for 8-10 minutes. Check and when potatoes are browned on the underside, flip.

To easily flip the potato cake, put a plate over the pan, put on very good oven mitts (I use my Ove Gloves), and flip the pan over so that the hash browns are now upside down and on the plate. Carefully slide back into skillet and pat smooth.

Cook uncovered until the bottom starts to brown.

Then turn down to medium-low.

Make four small dents onto the potatoes, to give the egg somewhere to nest.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl (in case of shell, blood, or anything weird) then pour onto the spuds into one of the indentations. Repeat until four eggs are evenly spaced on top.

Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the eggs are to your taste.

When the eggs are cooked, slide onto a serving plate and serve; they can be served with a variety of toppings like bacon, ham, chives, even ketchup or Hollandaise.

Serves 2-4.

Microwave Poached Eggs

From Spruce Eats

1/2 cup water, cold

2 large eggs

Kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fill a microwave-safe coffee cup, glass, or microwave-safe liquid measuring cup with 1/2 cup of cold tap water.

Crack 1 egg into the cup.

Place a saucer on top of the cup so that it covers the opening completely.

Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then see if the egg white is cooked through. If not, continue to microwave in 10-second increments. Wait several seconds before removing the lid as steam can escape quickly and powerfully, even after a very short amount of cooking time.

Repeat with the other egg in a fresh cup. Serve with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

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