Maybe I should have had a nice green salad for lunch. But some days, leafy greens are just too hard to wash... So for a day when comfort is my top priority, it is hardly surprising that I reached for a farm fresh egg from my friend Marc.
I stopped in at Marc's house yesterday. Marc lives in the middle of a busy town with his wife, my friend Marguerite, and his beautiful brown chicken, Joanne. Joanne has lived in Marc's backyard for about a year now and she is a VERY happy hen. She has an elaborate home, two compost piles to root around in, and enough space for her to be extremely "free-run" - all in the small area of a townhouse backyard. With a lot of ingenuity, Marc has created a little oasis that come the summer, will also be full of tomato plants, blackberries, and a prolific pear tree.
While we were out admiring Joanne, Marc checked her roost and gave me the honours of picking up a slightly warm egg. I somehow got the egg home without incident and the results were my lunch today. Another fun note about Joanne - she doesn't mind traveling. Joanne drove (in her crate, in the back seat) 3+ hours for Thanksgiving last year. Although I imagine Marc being quite content to cart Joanne around for family get-togethers, the whole business of egg laying in the backseat quite possibly put his wife over the edge!
Along with my poached egg, I fried some leftover polenta in a little olive oil. The edges of the polenta get nice and crispy and the soft yolk soaks into each piece. A sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper topped it off. And a good cup of tea. Happiness.
Serves a crowd.
The cheeses in this recipe are just a suggestion. I would use whatever combination you have handy. Polenta can act like bread or it can replace potatoes. It is a jack-of-many-trades.
6 cups water
1 tsp. fine sea salt
2 cups stone ground polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill corn grits)
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup grated aged cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside until needed.
Heat the water and salt to a boil in a large stock pot. Stir in the polenta and continue stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in the butter and cheeses. Spread evenly in the prepared pan and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Once the polenta is cool, it can be sliced and fried in olive oil till crispy. The insides will be nice and creamy. Will keep for up to 5 days.
Here is my ritual for making poached eggs (taken from "The Good Egg Blog").
Bring a small saucepan of water to a gentle boil. Add a splash of white vinegar. Crack one very fresh egg into a ramekin and slowly let the egg slip into the boiling water. If you are cooking more than one, repeat this step. I don't like to poach more than two at a time in a small pan. Don't let the water boil too vigorously once you have added the egg. A gentle boil is good. If the egg seems to be stuck on the bottom of the pan, carefully nudge it off the bottom of the pan with a spoon. For a medium egg, it usually takes around 3 minutes or so to cook. When the egg is cooked to your liking, remove from the water and drain on a piece of paper towel. Dry well. Place on the toast of your choice and mash with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!