December 8, 2006

what to eat, #4

Those who know me (and if you don't know me, why are you reading my tiny-ass blog?) know that about three quarters of my cooking is slapped together by remembering what someone once said was the right way to do something. The other quarter involves obsessively reading every recipe on the subject and calling my mom at least twice. This is the first kind of recipe.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Basted Eggs1
What to buy
a buncha root vegetables. potatoes - yellow, purple, white, mixed fingerlings, who cares? but let me know how it goes if you try new potatoes or the big Idaho bakers; sweet potatoes; parsnips; beets; celeriac; salsify; carrots if you want, but I don't think they're much of an enhancement.

eggs. spring for happy local ones if you can, and goggle at the deep gold of the yolk.

a box of chicken broth. completely optional - you can also use veggie bouillon or water, but I really like the organic free range chicken broth at Trader Joe's, and think it makes the eggs better. you only use maybe a tablespoon for this recipe, so make sure you'll use it for something else.

What you should already have on hand
some olive oil
a little butter
maybe some rosemary or chives or something, but don't stress

What you do
1. Roast the veggies. Turn the oven up to 450, then wash 'em, peel the skins if you don't want to eat them, and chop them up into half to one inch chunks. Put them in an ovensafe pan, toss in enough olive oil to coat them very lightly, and sprinkle the salt on (also lightly). Peel a few cloves of garlic and put them in the pan whole. They're gonna turn into practically spreadable, unbelievably delicious little nubbins of roast garlic. Stick the pan in the oven. Start checking on them after 20 minutes, and pull them out when they're all cooked through (soft, but not custardy).

2. When the veggies are done, make the basted eggs. (Side note: I have no idea if this is how you're supposed to make basted eggs, but it's working for me right now. This was my big revolution in egg frying - before, I was really bad at it, and always broke at least one of the yolks. This way? It works.) Melt a little butter in a small pan on low. Keep the heat really low! Otherwise the eggs will be too tough! Crack your two eggs in there when the butter's all foamy. Once the bottom of the clear white has turned actual white all the way around the egg (while most of the depth of the white is still totally clear) slide your spatula under the eggs so they don't stick. Salt and pepper the eggs, and put a little rosemary on them if you want. I love eggs with rosemary. Now add a slug of chicken broth (or water, or veggie broth, or whatever) to the pan, and cover it. What's a slug? Who knows.2 Let it cook for a few minutes, or til almost all of the white is cooked. Flip the eggs over carefully, cook another few seconds, and slide them out onto a plate. Serve yourself some veggies, too. Yum.

3. Got buttered toast? You just made yourself an upscale diner breakfast for dinner.

I ate this 3 times this week - once fresh, twice with the left-over veggies reheated in a pan. I'm still not sick of it.

1. Hat tip to the Gardener, who made the first batch of roasted root vegetables this is based on.
2. I feel like people laugh about 19th century (and earlier) recipes that tell you to put in a handful of this or a pinch of that, but seriously? That's what my recipes, and my mom's recipes, and most of my friends' recipes tell you too.

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