Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poached Eggs in Salad Aren't Scary

Despite being a big fan of poached eggs in general, and especially on toast or on corned beef hash, the idea of a poached egg in my salad always squidged me out. Which is odd, now that I think about it, because I like hard-boiled eggs in my salad... so it shouldn't have been too much of a leap to try poached. Muh.

At any rate, Dave and I watched Emeril prepare one night. We don't normally watch Emeril Live, but he just so happened to have Daniel Boulud as a guest chef, and we both have a little chef-crush on Boulud (we watch his After Hours show, we went to his restaurant in Vegas), so it was an easy call. As we were watching, Dave decided that we had to have this at home. (Read: I had to make this so he could eat it.) I thought that this was an interesting request, as Dave definitely doesn't eat runny eggs... I didn't know what had gotten into him, but I was certainly going to capitalize on it!

We timed this salad for when we were having friends over for dinner. I thought, I'm making something I'm already familiar with, may as well try out something new on them. (Yay guinea pigs!)

I asked my butcher for a thick hunk of bacon, so I could cube it at home, and grabbed the other ingredients at the store. I've never worked with frisee before, and I found it to be pretty interesting... and it gave me a reason to pull out the salad spinner!!

This salad was lovely to make, and pulled together for a really nice presentation. If your love of toast is anything like mine, this will take it to a whole new level. I mean, whats not to like about toast thats made by grilling bread that was dipped in bacon fat?!?!??!

Everyone seemed to like it, and with such a small ingredient list and an easy preparation, I know we'll have this again.

Frisee Salad with Bacon Lardons and Poached Eggs
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagassee, 2006,1977,FOOD_9936_36266,00.html

2 heads frisee lettuce, about 1 1/2 pounds
12 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
4 (1-inch) thick pieces baguette
1/4 cup minced shallots
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 cups water
1 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs

Trim the green tops from the frisee, and trim the root ends. Separate the leaves and tear them into 2-inch pieces. Wash and spin dry in a salad spinner and divide the frisee into 4 shallow soup or pasta bowls.

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Set a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring often until most of the fat has rendered, and the bacon is crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes. Dip bread slices in bacon fat just to coat and remove bread from pan. Place bread on grill pan and toast on both sides until golden.

Add the shallots to the bacon and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour the vinegar into the pan and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, remove from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and drain onto a plate lined with paper towels. Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over the lettuces, and divide the bacon among the bowls as well.

In a wide-mouthed saucepan, bring the water to a gentle boil with the white vinegar. Crack an egg into a cup, and gently slide it into the water. Slide each of the other 3 eggs into the water in the same manner. When the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggs are set, about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Gently remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and pat dry with a linen cloth or paper towel. Place an egg over the top of each mound of frisee and season with the remaining salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.


Janet said...

I think this looks amazing. I am big fan of poached eggs (on anything)!

Mallow said...

I love poached eggs, but I can understand your hesitation to put them on salad - I'm glad it turned out well. The salad looked beautiful!

Julie said...

Looks great Katie, I love poached eggs. I bet they are great with a salad.

jane said...

hi, nice site!

the best salads i have ever eaten have been in france with lardons and poached eggs. i think it's a great combination and make a salad using them and chicken livers. it'll give you a heart attack, but you'll die happy!