Saturday, September 12, 2009

- If at First you don’t Succeed: Egg Salad

You may (or may not) recall during "The Great Egg Debate" there was a bit about some potato and onion cakes. The first batch had to be pitched due to over-seasoning, and even though the second batch was better in that regard, the end result was still disappointing. The cakes were chewy rather than crispy and therefore unworthy of further mention.

Fortunately, we had been to brunch at Z'Tejas with Meg and Paul, so I had an idea of what I could try to remedy the situation. Recalling the fine shred of the Z'Tejas hash browns, I used the smallest opening on my OXO box grater ... which just got the nod from America’s Test Kitchen (in their free online newsletter). It was tough grating raw potatoes, but when I tried my microplane box grater, it didn’t give the shred I was looking for.  So I soldiered on and watched my knuckles. After shredding in a hint of onion (much easier), I wrung out the excess moisture. Five paper towels later, I had a nice dry mass of shredded potato and onion, which I proceeded to season lightly and fry to a crisp in olive oil.

My other objective was further self-education in the joys of eating free-range eggs. A bed of greens and prosciutto made the perfect nest for an end-product that turned out to be picture-worthy. Fortunately, Don’s recently acquired Nikon SLR was up to the task of documenting this new take on egg salad.

Egg Salad

2 red bliss potatoes, raw and unpeeled
1 small sweet onion (yellow or red)
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Mixed greens (I used arugula and baby romaine)
Shredded prosciutto
1-2 eggs per person

Shred potato and onion using a fine grater. Squeeze out excess moisture. Spread into two loose cakes and season lightly with kosher salt. Sauté in olive oil at medium high until dark golden brown, turning several times. Keep warm while cooking eggs.

Dot the serving plates with balsamic vinegar. Top with a nest of greens and shredded prosciutto.

Heat butter in frying pan. Crack eggs into custard dishes and slide into hot pan (to avoid breaking the yolks). Turn gently and be careful not to overcook (the yolks should be runny).

Place potato cakes and eggs on the salad. Before eating, break the yolk, the better to distribute the flavor to the rest of the salad.