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Home on the Ranchero March 30, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
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You know how I’ve mentioned that sometimes on Saturdays, I like to “experiment” a little on my (long-suffering) husband for lunch?

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I like to just sort of whip something up for lunch for him that he wouldn’t do for himself – usually something either directly from, or inspired by, one of the several dozens of food blogs I subscribe to.  And I seldom warn him ahead of time – he might come home to some wonderful cheeseburger rolls.  Or he might come home to a torn-apart kitchen and be forced to fend for himself.

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So this particular Saturday, Alanna’s Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs got me thinking.  You remember Alanna – she of the Veggie Venture blog.

Do you know that up until a few months ago, I had never had a proper poached egg?

The one time I had poached eggs was when I was in the hospital when I was 17.  Do you know what a hospital poached egg is like?

Cold.  And solid.  And just gross.

Then, finally, after all these years (and let me tell you, it’s been a LOT of years since I was 17!), I tried poaching my own egg.  Now I’m a convert.

PhotobucketSo I said to myself, “Self, rather than start with tomato sauce, peppers and onions, why not start with salsa, which is, um, tomatoes, peppers and onions and, as it happens, we have several pints that we made last summer and canned?”

So that’s what I did – I took a pint of salsa and a can of drained red beans, and I stick-blended ’em.  I love that stick blender.

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Now I had a smooth paste-sort of stuff that I heated in a shallow pan.

Once I heated the beans & salsa, from there, it was Poaching 101.

I nestled the eggs into little hollows, then sprinkled them with cheese.

You’ve gotta have shredded cheese with beans and salsa – am I right?  Of course I am.

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Seriously, bring the poaching medium to a simmer, add the eggs, cover the pan and shut off the flame.

Then just walk away for about 5 minutes.

I suspect that’s the secret – just let the eggs sit and poach in the hot-but-not-boiling salsa mixture.

After about 5 minutes, you’ll see melty cheese and not much else.

Trust me, those eggs are cooked under the cheese.

PhotobucketSince we obviously can’t have a meal without starch, I also put together some cornbread to bake while the bean-salsa mixture  was heating and the eggs were cooking.

I had a bunch of poblano and jalapeno peppers in the freezer that I stirred  into some buttermilk cornbread.

I’ve also decided that there’s never any reason NOT to bake cornbread in a cast iron pan.  A cast iron pan that’s greased with bacon grease is even better.  I’m just saying.

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So.

Peeps got home from work, and we enjoyed a lunch of poached eggs and salsa-y beans over cornbread with a bit of sour cream.

It was a thoroughly delightful lunch – healthy and filling and full of flavor.

You know, egg yolks can make pretty much anything taste rich and decadent.

And all in all, I don’t think I could come up with a more satisfying – and healthy – lunch.   We’ll be doing this – or something like it – again, I’m sure.

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