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Poached Egg, “Dizzy’s” Style

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Every neighborhood has its token diner. I’ve only been in Park Slope for several weeks, but I think the best menu of all of the diner’s I’ve looked up online belongs to Dizzy’s.  Now, to be honest, I can’t say that I have been there–well, I’ve been in the restaurant, but I have never eaten there. Last weekend, I bought some cage-free eggs from field-grazing chickens at the farmer’s market just so I could make my version of Teo’s Eggs. Having never seen the dish before, I could only imagine what it looked like; I can’t tell you that what I have made tastes or looks anything like what Dizzy’s might actually serve, but I can say that for someone who loves eggs, basil, cheese, and bread, this dish was every bit as exciting, flavorful, and comforting as it sounds.

I happen to love eggs in nearly any form and in or on just about everything (I say “nearly” because I’m sure someone has come up with something I haven’t tried yet): scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, steamed into a custard, baked, stewed, or poached–I love them all. I even like the much feared Chinese “thousand-year-old” egg with a nice, warm bowl of congee and scallions. This recipe happens to be a poached egg concoction. The last time I actually had poached eggs was probably when I was 10 and my mom saw them for the first time on TV. I liked them then, but I never developed a craving or yearning for them. That is, until I saw the Teo’s eggs menu option at Dizzy’s.

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My version features tomatoes, because I wanted something to brighten up the meal; I’d had a long night that was really more like a 36-hour day, and needed something to spruce up my consequential day. I’m sure you can manipulate this recipe any way you wish. I also didn’t have foccacia (read: didn’t have the money for focaccia at the farmer’s market), but bought an organic demi-baguette instead for $1.25. I hope you don’t feel like I’m lording you over with this organic/cage-free stuff. I’m on a kind of experiment to see how much it costs to eat organically/locally, and how much those costs affect the average person. I also feel guilty if I do happen to have a few bucks on hand, since I’m only feeding myself, if I don’t buy agriculturally sound products, especially after reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma.

This was also the first time I’ve ever poached an egg! I looked up some tips–the easiest one seems to be to add a bit of vinegar to the water before it comes to a boil. This dish is perfect for brunch, or really, whenever you want some cheese, eggs, and bread to be on the same plate.

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Recipe (serves 2)

4 eggs

2 tsp. pesto

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling on bread

1/2 demi baguette (or more, if you like bread)

1 medium tomato, diced

2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated (or more! go for some sliced gruyere/American if you so wish)

Sea salt to taste

1. Cube the baguette or foccacia  and place it on  plates or the bottoms of the bowls. Drizzle half of the olive oil over each, and make sure each cube gets a little bit of it.

2. Mix the diced tomatoes in with the bread, and season it all lightly with some salt.

4. Fill a medium-sized pot half-full of water. Add some vinegar and salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the eggs a couple at a time, or one at a time if you’ve never done this before. I cracked the eggs into small bowls before-hand. But if you’re good at egg-crackin’, save yourself some dishes and get right to it. Poach them for approximately 2 minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook the egg! The yolk should still be runny.

5. Remove the eggs, once done, with a slotted spoon. Place the eggs on top of the bread. Salt them lightly–I like a little extra salt on the yolk.

6. Divide the pesto equally amongst the eggs, and sprinkle on the cheese. Or cover it all entirely with cheese…

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