When my husband, Em, and I first met I had been on a mission for some time to learn to poach eggs. I tried everything. No amount of swirling water and careful reading of Julia Child could overcome my one major cooking obstacle. I could cook eggs, of course, but I couldn't cook them the way I preferred, which haunted me. Every weekend I would try again. I even went so far as to buy the jumbo box of cheap eggs at a wholesale club. 72 eggs later not a single one was poached (but I had some excellent egg drop soup).
How? How was is possible I could make up cookie recipes with nary a recipe but the simple egg eluded me? Julia Child had let me down. I had let myself down. I confided in my husband about my failings. He assured me it was tremendously difficult, then got up, went into the kitchen, rifled around a bit and came out, 20 minutes later with 2 perfectly poached eggs...which I ate, full of disbelief (and resent), and demanded more.
Turned out I just didn't read the right instructions...or rather the ones that worked for me (us). It's actually really easy to poach an egg once you stop flailing around and read more than one recipe.
Alas, though fully capable of making our own poached eegs we still often went out to a local pub that served an inexpensive, yet fabulous poached egg atop a crabcake smothered in a red pepper sauce.
And so, for some reason, this Sunday, not a crabcake in sight, I waxed nostalgic for our old neighborhood. Though I craved a traditional hash brown all we had were sweet potatoes (or yams, whatever your linguistic choice). Though there are a million ways to make a sweet potato even more delicious than it already is, I adore them with rosemary - the savory with the sweet always makes me happy. Thus, sunday breakfast was born: Poached eggs with a Roasted Red Pepper and Chipotle Sauce with a side of Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes. And it was divine...even better than the crabcake inspiration.
At first I peeked at a few red pepper sauces...and I gave the peppers a whirl with some garlic, just like many said. Tasted like the sauce I remembered but here's the kicker, I never really loved the sauce - it was the crabcakes that did me in. So, as always, I made something up...some salt, some mustard...then an idea – chipotle pepper and sour cream! It's a delicious sauce - great for the poached egg but would be equally at home on a fish taco or swirled atop a subtle soup. Em took one bite, ran off for a piece of paper and demanded a full recount of ingredients and method, which, in my book, means its a keeper.
Roasted Red Pepper Chipotle Sauce
1 jar roasted red peppers (3-4 whole roasted red peppers) + 1 teaspoon water from the jar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sauce from can/jar or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or 1/4 chipotle pepper (adjust to taste if you prefer more heat)
1-2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust heat by adding more chipotle pepper if necessary. For a more viscous sauce add more water from the roasted peppers or a splash of plain water.
If you would like your sauce warm you can heat in a saucepan, otherwise use as is.
Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 medium/large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (not ground), if ground use 1/2 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon pepper (I prefer a blend)
3/4 teaspoon cumin
olive oil or reserved fat
You can do this recipe in a few ways: baked or pan fried, in olive oil or, if you happen to make bacon for breakfast, in the reserved fat.
First, if your rosemary is still in longer needles you'll need to pulverize it, preferably. I use a mortar and pestle and put all the spices in and grind. If you don't have a mortar and pestle you could a) put the spices in a bag and beat with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, b) put everything into a clean coffee grinder and grind, c) put spices in a plastic container or something unbreakable with a lid (like a martini shaker), add in a clean golf ball and shake like crazy.
Toss diced sweet potatoes in olive oil or reserved fat to coat, then toss in spices.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350F, tossing a few times as the sweet potatoes bake, for about 20 minutes or until done (longer for a larger dice). OR put in a pan over medium heat, stirring/tossing often, until cooked through: crispy on the outside, tender inside.
Poached Eggs1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Fill a high sided frying pan (with a lid) with water nearly to the top.
Add in vinegar and bring water to a boil.
Crack egg into a small ramekin or prep bowl. Set aside.
Once water is boiling turn off the heat then quickly but gently slide/pour the egg(s) into the water. Cover immediately and leave lid on for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes remove the lid and use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove your cooked eggs! For more runny eggs reduce time to 3 minutes, or increase time if you prefer your egg cooked through.
Hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Don't forget: If you need a conversion chart you can always download one here.