Monday, December 19, 2011

Bacon and Eggs

Here ya go, Ginger. :)
Recently I got a SousVide Supreme water oven to play with. Unlike the large, two-piece "immersion circulators" seen on Iron Chef and Top Chef, the SousVide Supreme is a completely self-contained unit that carefully controls the temperature of water placed within it. I gotta admit - I'm a little intimidated by it. It just seems too easy, you know?

So I tried something easy-peasy. A poached egg.

Serious Eats' Kenji Lopez-Alt recommends poaching eggs at 142ºF, while the manufacturers of my machine recommend 147º. I decided to compromise and use 144º. Turns out 147º was what I wanted, as my egg whites were a bit...snotty. Not a problem - I poured them out of the shells into ramekins and nuked them for 15 seconds to set the whites.

As an accompaniment to my poached eggs - or vice versa - I made some risotto with bacon. Crush has offered a completely-irresistible bacon-and-eggs risotto in the past, which I attempted to recreate, using brown Carnaroli rice instead of the usual white Arborio.

I had played with this brown rice in the past and ended up with unpleasantly chewy risotto. (I don't like brown rice, so I'm not sure why I bought it in the first place.) This time, I parcooked the rice for a bit, which helped the texture quite nicely. The result was still a bit on the bouncy-side, but was extremely creamy, as a proper risotto should be.

Bacon Risotto with Poached Egg and Asparagus

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown carnaroli rice and 3 cups water
OR 1 1/2 cups regular arborio or carnaroli rice
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons bacon fat
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled into large pieces
1/4 lb asparagus spears, peeled, cooked, and cut into 2" lengths
salt and pepper
Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Preheat water oven to 147°F. Place eggs in water bath and cook at least 45 minutes, and up to 4 hours. Or, soft boil or poach conventionally.

Put the rice and 3 cups of water into a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rice starts to get tender. Drain rice well. (If using conventional short-grained rice, skip this step.)

Wipe the starch out of the rice pot and put the chicken broth in it; keep at a low simmer on the stove.

Heat bacon fat in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook over medium heat until soft and just beginning to brown. Add rice to pan and stir well for a minute or two to coat with bacon fat. Add wine, stirring until absorbed. Add warm broth to pan about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed. Repeat until rice is tender but still a little firm to the bite and sauce is creamy. This will take about 25-30 minutes. (With the brown rice, you will probably  use all 5 cups of stock). Add butter, Parmesan, all but one tablespoon of bacon, and asparagus. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper.

Remove eggs from water bath. Gently peel eggs. If for some reason they are too soft, pour them into a ramekin, cover with a bit of plastic wrap, and microwave for 6-10 seconds.

To serve: Place risotto in a bowl; top with additional Parmesan. Place a poached egg on top and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Garnish with reserved bacon.

Posted by theminx on

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