I have a confession. I’ve never made a poached egg before. In reality, I’m sure the majority of 23-year-olds haven’t attempted cradling an egg in boiling water. Who’s got the time, and fried eggs are basically the same, right? Wrong.
Poached eggs are eggs in their most heavenly form. Over easy and sunny side up are great if you like runny yokes, but you always run into the issue of under cooking the whites or over cooking the yokes. Poached, on the other hand, offers a perfect consistency and make just about any dish better.
While yes, poaching eggs is a little more work than just plopping them in a frying pan, but it’s worth it. I promise. Plus, if I made a perfectly poached egg on my first try, you can too.
Tuscan Beans on Toast with a Poached Egg
Ingredients: (serves 1)
For beans on toast:
- 1 slice of toasted, crusty bread (I used two slices of a baguette because that’s what I had)
- 1/2 can white beans
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce (I used whatever I had open in the fridge)
- 1 slice Canadian bacon or any other type of meat (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (diced)
- 1 teaspoon chives or onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ounce Parmesan (I cut slices but shaved works too)
In my family, food defines holidays. Butcher-made hot dogs reign on the Fourth of July. Red beat eggs take over Easter. And Thanksgiving’s solidified by Nana and Pop Pop’s home-made mashed potatoes. But no holiday compares to the food fest known as Christmas.
Christmas isn’t marked by a single food or even a traditional dish. Instead, it’s comprised of all of the favorites, no matter how strangely they pair together.
Christmas Eve breakfast — 9:00 a.m.
It all starts with Christmas Eve breakfast. Every Christmas Eve my family wakes up and heads down to Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. If you haven’t been there, it’s a mecca for food lovers, boasting everything from Amish shoofly pie to an oyster bar.
While the market houses to two diners and a hand-rolled doughnut shop, my family loves to start the morning right with a warm rotisserie chicken, washed down with fresh-squeezed orange juice. The combination has no right making sense, but it does.
Next, we divide and conquer, scouring the market for our yearly stands. I typically head up collecting gyros (pronounced YEE-rows for those non-Greeks) and an assortment of cheeses mostly consisting of Gouda.
My family is Greek and Italian, therefore Mediterranean flavors are in our blood. The specific ingredient that my clan can’t get enough of is the modest tomato.
My dad is a huge tomato gardener, and has spent the past 22 years (that’s only as long as I can vouch for) perfecting the heavenly fruit — remember, tomatoes are fruits not vegetables.
I vote his Cherokee purple heirlooms best in show, but all of his varieties are delicious. So delicious, in fact, that cooking them down into a sauce or smothering them over a pizza is a waste. The only way to truly understand the perfection known as my father’s tomatoes is to enjoy them in simple form.
I’m partial to housing them down with just a sprinkle of salt, but here’s a recipe that everyone can love (even if you don’t have access to my father’s tomatoes — although he does handout seedling like frozen yogurt samples).
My boyfriend and I recently celebrated our four year anniversary. We’re not a big anniversary couple, considering we both almost forget every year, but this year we wanted to do something special.
Since we’re both food obsessed, we thought it would be fun to celebrate by making a nice dinner, more specifically, a seafood dinner.
I don’t cook seafood often, so I turned to a Melissa d’Arabian recipe for some help. I chose to make pasta pescatore, which was surprisingly simple and delicious.
Melissa d’Arabian’s Pasta Pescatore
I made a few modifications. In the original recipe, the seafood consists of flounder and shrimp. This is a great seafood combination to use to keep the price down. Since it was our anniversary, we decided to use mussels, shrimp and scallops. Mussels are surprisingly cheap, but scallops can get a little pricey. If you’re cooking on a budget, feel free to use whatever is on sale.
This week, I took on the flank steak challenge. Well, it’s not so much of a challenge, more like me buying flank steak and having no idea what to do with it.
Luckily, I took some advice from my flank steak-loving roommate and turned a tough piece of meat into a juicy and delicious dinner.
Broiled Italian Flank Steak
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
- 1.5 pounds of flank steak
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- cooking spray
If you’ve never tried chicken piccata, I suggest you rectify that immediately. Piccata is a method of food prep where meat is sliced, coated, sautéed and served in a sauce.
In the world of chicken piccata, that means that beautiful chicken breasts are sliced, dredged in seasoned flour, sautéed in butter and olive oil and served with a lemon, caper sauce.
If that doesn’t interest you, you can always eat ramen.
My favorite chicken piccata recipe comes from Giada De Laurentis (I’ve tried other recipes and nothing beats hers). My recipe is halved, since I only cook for my roommate and myself. I also nixed the parsley. Here’s how I do it.
Canned clams, cayenne, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, olive oil, white wine and salt
One of my favorite pasta dishes is pasta with clam sauce. I love the dish, but I hate ordering it out because it seems too simple to spend $15 on. That’s why I’ve taken the college student approach and decided that if it’s too expensive to buy, it’s time to make.
I didn’t want to spend the extra dough on fresh clams, so I turned to the canned version instead. Canned clams cost about a dollar a jar and have a more concentrated flavor than fresh clams. By cutting back on spending on the main ingredient, the dish becomes college budget friendly.
Here’s how I made pasta with clam sauce on a college allowance.
Pasta with Clam Sauce Ingredients: (Serves 4)