Egg on egg

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In addition to being bad at idioms, I’m also really bad at puns. I frequently don’t recognize when I’ve accidentally been punny myself, and I miss other people’s clever ones, too. I’m sorry, guys. I just barrel on through the sentence without stopping to think about it most often. For example, it took me drinking bottles of Honest Tea for actually several days until I caught on. I think I had to say it out loud, actually.

Side note, speaking of saying things out loud to realize what it sounds like, I suddenly remembered how fun Mad Gab is and wanted to blather on about it for a bit. It’s a game where one person says a series of words that doesn’t make any sense but sounds like a phrase, and others guess what the phrase is. My friend’s favorite example is “sand us on knee sway.” (Say it out loud.)

Okay, but back to puns. I’m more adept at punny food than punny language. I think I might have read on via BoingBoing, back when this post was alive in 2007, about a crazy restaurant that made spheres out of pea puree, basically remaking peas but with, you know, more flavor. “How fun and playful!” baby Jade thought, and then dismissed it as a weird Internet thing. Now, of course, molecular gastronomy is basically mainstream, so, lesson #1 – don’t listen to what I think is cool, and lesson #2 – we are allowed to play with our food again.

In the spirit of being playful without breaking the bank or needing to purchase strange chemicals (which I have done for Modernist Cuisine at Home cooking and recommend, if you are so inclined, but also understand if you are not), here’s a poached egg, resting on a roasted vegetable “egg.” It’s a good, simple meal even if you don’t have white plates or go to the trouble of plating, of course.

Egg on egg, or, poached egg with roasted vegetables

1 small or 1/2 medium butternut squash
1 small head of cauliflower
1/2 onion
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar (any type)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Chop into small (1/2 inch or so) cubes. Break up the cauliflower into small florets. Slice the onion.

Toss the vegetables, oil, Chinese five spice, and salt and pepper to taste, and lay out on a baking sheet. Roast until the squash is tender, usually just under 30 minutes for me.

When the vegetables are nearly ready, poach the eggs. Bring a few inches of water to boil in a small but tall saucepan that has a cover. Add the vinegar to the water (helps break surface tension). When the water is boiling, turn the heat down so it’s just barely at a boil. Break one egg into a small bowl. Using a large spoon, spin the water swiftly, being careful not to splash, to create a whirlpool. Drop the egg in the center of the whirlpool, and immediately cover the saucepan and remove from heat. Wait for 5 minutes, resisting the urge to peek (I know). While you’re waiting, you can plate the vegetables. After 5 minutes has elapsed, scoop the egg out with a slotted spoon and place on the vegetables.

Repeat the process for your other egg and the remaining vegetables. Finish with more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.