Thursday, February 4, 2010

Adventures of Eggland's Best: Zucchini "Hash", a poached egg, and hollandaise

As one of Foodbuzz's Featured Publishers, I was given the opportunity to opt in to trying Eggland's Best Eggs. Normally, I purchase the Ralph's (/Kroger/KingSoopres) brand eggs, they're your basic large eggs. They're like, a dollar, they do there job. I'm not asking for much when it comes to eggs... they need to taste like eggs and they need to not spoil immediately and they need to be able to whisk into what I want them to. And also bake well. So, most eggs do the job. When I was in college, I'd buy these special omega-3 eggs that were all natural and organic and whatever from The Fresh Market (where I used to work, much like Whole Foods). That was when I wasn't fending for myself in LA, trying to make ends meet.

So yeah, I'm saying, to me, these eggs are expensive. I'm really happy I get to try them. My actress roommate uses them when she uses eggs (otherwise, eggbeaters). She swears by them, says that they taste better. I don't disagree-- If I can get away with it, I only drink organic milk, because I can taste the difference. I'm sure it happens in eggs too.

That said, there are definite health claims to these eggs. This is what they say "EBs deliver even higher levels of important nutrients like vitamin A , B2, B12, D and E, along with lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol". Now, I'm not sure how to tell that-- I only wish I could taste the nutrition in something (I imagine if I could, I'd eat cereal and go, "mm! I really like the riboflavin in this!") But I don't see why that couldn't be true, either, and I look forward to seeing the difference-- most of my dishes this week are now egg based. Let's see how I feel, eh? Probably sick of eggs, by next Friday.

They are pretty eggs. That I admit. I like the little individual stamps. And eggs photograph so prettily, I totally see why artists render them all the time. I meant to take a picture of one fresh cracked, but I definitely got too excited to cook.
Also, forewarming, while my food in this dish tasted DELICIOUS, it did not come out as pretty. My poached egg, I didn't handle it carefully, and it broke itself. My hollandaise? Hah. I knew better. I'm sick (headache, sore throat, stuffy nose) and was impatient and didn't think. It was beautiful (I swear I can make a beautiful hollandaise, check here!) and then I was like, THIS IS TOO COLD! MICROWAVE 5 SECONDS.
I knew better.
Don't throw... eggs at me.

Anyway... that said, again, this came out delicious. I was really happy and proud of myself. In the end, yeah, its important that the food looks pretty, I guess, but what's more important is the flavour. I need to work on presentation (and photography), I know, but my main concern is flavor, the way things combine, the way things taste. So, one thing at a time.
I decided to open my Eggland Adventure with a poached egg. That way, I could taste the flavour of the egg itself, without frills. Then I decided I wanted hollandaise too-- that's another egg based dish that has a lot of rich flavour. In fact, all the ideas/recipes I've set up for these eggs lay importance on said eggs. They may not be, say, all scrambled eggs and egg custards, but you can't get away without having them. I'm excited about this, actually.

So, I decided to pair of my egg with a zucchini hash. Technically, a hash is fine chopped and contains meat, etc, but I don't know what else to call this. It's a sautee of zucchini and mushrooms and spinach, finely chopped, at breakfast, and so it's a hash to me. This was to be my bed for the egg, until I decided I wanted some bread too, and thus toasted a piece of my roommate's potato bread because it seemed fancier than my loaf of generic wheat bread.
That then became the bed for my poached egg. Which I tasted before layering with hollandaise sauce. It tasted like... an egg. But a good egg. A nice, fresh egg, which is possibly because I bought these last night at Ralph's. But it was good. The yolk was bright and the egg whites were very fresh and springy. I was pleased with it. I probably could've gobbled it all up.

But I had a hollandaise sauce to eat. As you can see (below), the hollandaise sauce turned out less than pretty. Also, I broke my poached egg. The sauce was creamy and light and perfect and then I went and messed it up, I'm so ashamed. However, I want photographic proof on this blog to everyone else so I can say BEWARE! DO NOT DO THIS!! Even when you feel sick and crummy and your head is in a fog, never ever put it in the microwave, while it becomes deliciously warm and still tastes good it makes for very bad photos!! And also Chefs everywhere will probably smite thee!

But whatever, it still tasted good. Really good. I'm excited to try more of the Eggland eggs.

Zucchini Hash

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 zucchini, chopped
2 mushrooms, chopped
1/8 cup frozen spinach
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and cook for a minute. Add the mushrooms and spinach and sautee for a minute or two to heat. Add the spices, and sautee until all is tender and warm.
Set aside.

Hollandaise (for one)
Note: this is an imperfect art. You can also follow this hollandaise sauce recipe if you haven't made it before, because its more accurate and less me being like I know how to do this and how it should taste in a lesser serving size!

1 egg yolk (Eggland's Best)
about a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, maybe less
salt to taste
about 2 teaspoons of butter

In the top part of a heated double boiler, combine the egg and lemon juice. Whisk until thick and creamy, without cooking the egg. Remove the bowl from the heat and add small piece of the butter, one or two pieces at a time, and whisk to combine. Add salt and perhaps a sprinkle of cajun seasoning if you're feeling crazy. Serve immediately or keep heated in a thermos bathed in hot (not boiling) water. DO NOT MICROWAVE!! <-- I am a failure.

To assemble, also have

1 slice of toast
1 egg (Eggland's Best)
parmesan cheese

In a medium skillet, heat water to a simmer. Crack the egg into a ramekin and gently slide into the water to hold shape. You can also use a large plastic spoon. This is where I failed this time. Let simmer and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until solid but not cooked through. Remove from water.
Assemble toast (buttered), hash on side, egg on top, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cover in hollandaise. Serve with a sprinkle of better and a big smile!


Tasty Eats At Home said...

I'm a big believer in that those organic, happy eggs are tastier than the cheap-o ones. This sounds delicious!

phoenix said...

Have to agree with you - there are some products where organic is a clear difference from conventional, and aside from most produce (where the difference is obvious), eggs are another clear place where you'll know it in your food when you eat quality.