He Speaks: Poached Egg & Bacon Muffin

Good morning! I'm so excited for today's post because it's coming at you from Shaun! If you've been reading for a while, you know all about the story of how we fell in love, how we got married on a beach in Aruba, how we spend the holidays...and just daily life that I often talk about with my wonderful husband. Shaun and I cook together all the time and I'm thrilled that he's finally doing a guest post. We definitely share a love of food, of eating, and of all things culinary...so without further ado...

Hi, I'm Shaun... Rachel's husband . I have followed this blog from its inception...taste testing Rachel's latest creations, reading over her shoulder as she writes each morning and have always wanted to write a post for it. I have long been a food fanatic and was enticed to write a post because The Avid Appetite combines articles I like to read... food knowledge and food science with a smattering of pop culture and Rachel's interests.


I believe (although it may be disputed by Rachel) that I got us started on this culinary ride, and it only made sense (very little at most, since Rachel is the brain and skill behind the blog) that I contribute something every once in a while since I also love getting in the kitchen, trying out new recipes...and playing ultimate taste tester. Today I'm excited to share a recipe and how-to. I recently learned how to poach eggs and it's too good not to share. So here's my recipe for a little poached egg sandwich...I hope you enjoy my very first post!

Raise your hand, paw or claw if you have ever poached something before reading this article.  From what I can see, it looks like less than half of you have your hands up (and I think that most of you with your hands up are confusing poaching with boiling). 
Most of us have tossed broccoli or cauliflower into a pot of boiling water, walked away, poured ourselves a glass of wine, fallen asleep on the couch and realized that the stove was still on.  We lumbered over to the stove top to find the broccoli or cauliflower done...done to death.  Watery, mushy and vapid.  Well, that's not really even remotely what poaching is all about.  Poaching is all about using the warm, comforting embrace of heated water to cook delicate foods to perfection.  Delicate foods like eggs, that had in previous times been fried, broiled, or scrambled.  I assure you that there is nothing warm and comforting about being scrambled or fried. 
It took me a while to work it all out, but let me show you a delectable breakfast recipe that incorporates a toasted English muffin, one slice of cheddar cheese, two slices of bacon and one deliciously poached egg.  Kinda reminds me of a mainstream fast food breakfast sandwich but with a lot more flavor.

Poached Egg & Bacon Muffin
1 egg (I prefer chicken eggs)
2 slices of thick center cut bacon (there is absolutely no harm in using turkey bacon or fakin' bacon instead)
1 Thomas' Light Multi Grain Muffins (This recipe will work with any muffin or sandwich thin.  You can always go sans buns for a super low-carb option as well)
1 slice of Cheddar or American cheese
1 mini pinch of salt (applied to the poached egg once it has been cooked)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
water, about 2-3 C
How to get things done:
This recipe can of course be scaled up to make as many sandwiches as you need, but I strongly urge you to not overcrowd the pan.
- In a small saucepan, bring at least 3" of water to a simmer.  That's where it has those little bubbles popping up on the outside.  CAUTION: Not a rolling boil

- Once water gets to a simmer, keep it there and split your muffin in half and drop it into the toaster

- While the muffin is toasting, lay down a layer of paper towel on a microwavable plate and slap your bacon down.  Cover with another layer of paper towel and microwave on high for 2.5 minutes.  Microwaving bacon seems like it should be illegal, but there are a number of benefits. 
1.  The microwave cooks it more evenly than on the stove top. 
2.  Cooking it with the paper towel on top save not only the microwave from becoming a disaster zone but also keeps your stove top from becoming a giant pain in the ass to clean.  (If you have an electric range this does not pertain to you but then again, if you have an electric range you might have other concerns.

- Add 1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar to the simmering water

- Once your muffin is done toasting and your bacon has been crisped, take the bottom half of the muffin and place it on a plate.  Add the one slice of cheese to the muffin, snap the bacon slices in half and add that on top of the cheese...now on to cooking the egg.

- Break one egg into a bowl (I actually use a teacup because it's easier, we never use them and it has a wide mouth (that's what he said) which makes it easier to drop the egg into the pot of simmering water without breaking the yolk which is the goal.

- Set your timer of preference for 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel covered plate to rest for 30 seconds.

- Add newly poached egg to the already assembled muffin bottom, cheese and bacon setup.  Cover with remaining muffin top...and consume.
It's perfectly velvety, runny and delicious. And I've decided to never go back to fried eggs again! Hope you like this recipe, photos of your poached creations would be much appreciated.
Questions of the Day:

Have you ever eaten poached eggs? Or made them?

What's your favorite way to eat eggs?

psst...Christine is telling us about her tips for managing breakouts on The Peach & The Pit!

Brunch at Mesa Grill

Last weekend, Shaun and I headed into Manhattan for an extra special Sunday brunch at Mesa Grill. Since Shaun's 2009 birthday dinner made my personal top ten best meals list, and subsequently lead to my early demise at 10PM that night, I had high hopes for this one. The outcome? It was nothing short of Southwestern deliciousness. Let's get down to the goods...

Any good brunch begins with a good bread basket and this one ranks supreme. Filled with coffee cake, moist blueberry scones and mini cheddar-jalapeno biscuits with red pepper jam, the bread basket was the perfect way to kick off our decadent meal and within minutes, I'm semi-ashamed to say, we had polished off most of its contents.

I should point out one of our favorite pieces, a blue corn muffin, made with real kernels of corn - the only way to do corn muffins in my opinion.

Though we easily consumed the entire basket of baked goods, we still deemed it necessary to also have an appetizer before the main attraction. With lots to choose from, we just couldn't pass up the Queso Fundido, a burning hot skillet of cheese and roasted peppers served with blue corn chips. We had sampled this during our last visit, and it was just as good as I've dreamed about ever since.

For my meal, I had poached eggs (something that is oh-so-hard to get right) over sweet potato and shredded chicken hash. It was enough to feed two, yet somehow I managed to put a good dent in it all by my lonesome. Perhaps it's my penchant for dipping or my childhood memories of my parents serving up birds' nests for breakfast, but there's nothing like a good, runny egg yolk.

My faith in Bobby Flay paid off and the poached eggs were perfectly cooked; the whites completely cooked while the yolk was completely runny with no hardened yolk to speak of, causing a veritable puddle of rich egg yolk over my sweet potato hash. Yum.

And though by this point we could scarcely move, I still found it necessary to hear the dessert specials of the day. Once the words pineapple upside down cake were uttered, I was smitten and convinced Shaun that it was in fact necessary to sample the goods. You know, for research purposes.

Encased in a layer of carmelized brown sugar and topped with pineapple ice cream and a slice of fresh pineapple, this dessert was no joke. Even Shaun had to admit that it was a good call. It also was the moment I was completely convinced that I must get myself the ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer so that I too can come up with out of the ordinary ice cream concoctions.

So there you have it - a delectable roundup of our fancy Sunday brunch. Though I was on the verge of food coma for the rest of the day and it came with a heftier-than-usual price tag, Mesa was the perfect spot for a special Sunday brunch. And what I'd really love to know is, where is your favorite place for brunch?

Psst...for even more brunch fun, check out my roundups of B Bar, Elysian Cafe and Cercle Rouge!