Sunday, May 15, 2016

HFF #2.10: Breakfast

The Historical Food Fortnightly Icon

The Challenge: Make a breakfast food. To quote again from Mrs. Beeton:
2144. It will not be necessary to give here a long bill of fare of cold joints, &c., which may be placed on the side-board, and do duty at the breakfast-table. Suffice it to say, that any cold meat the larder may furnish, should be nicely garnished, and be placed on the buffet. Collared and potted meats or fish, cold game or poultry, veal-and-ham pies, game-and-Rump-steak pies, are all suitable dishes for the breakfast-table; as also cold ham, tongue, &c. &c.
2145. The following list of hot dishes may perhaps assist our readers in knowing what to provide for the comfortable meal called breakfast. Broiled fish, such as mackerel, whiting, herrings, dried haddocks, &c.; mutton chops and rump-steaks, broiled sheep’s kidneys, kidneys la matre d’hotel, sausages, plain rashers of bacon, bacon and poached eggs, ham and poached eggs, omelets, plain boiled eggs, oeufs-au-plat, poached eggs on toast, muffins, toast, marmalade, butter, &c. &c.

The Recipe: Fried Rashers of Bacon and Poached Eggs, from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

Fried Rashers of Bacon and Poached Eggs:Cut the bacon into thin slices, trim away the rusty parts, and cut off the rind. Put it into a cold frying-pan, that is to say, do not place the pan on the fire before the bacon is in it. Turn it 2 or 3 times, and dish it on a very hot dish. Poach the eggs and slip them on to the bacon, without breaking the yolks, and serve quickly.
To Poach Eggs:
Eggs for poaching should be perfectly fresh, but not quite new-laid; those that are about 36 hours old are the best for the purpose. If quite new-laid, the white is so milky it is almost impossible to set it; and, on the other hand, if the egg be at all stale, it is equally difficult to poach it nicely. Strain some boiling water into a deep clean frying-pan; break the egg into a cup without damaging the yolk, and, when the water boils, remove the pan to the side of the fire, and gently slip the egg into it. Place the pan over a gentle fire, and keep the water simmering until the white looks nicely set, when the egg is ready. Take it up gently with a slice, cut away the ragged edges of the white, and serve either on toasted bread or on slices of ham or bacon, or on spinach, &c. A poached egg should not be overdone, as its appearance and taste will be quite spoiled if the yolk be allowed to harden. When the egg is slipped into the water, the white should be gathered together, to keep it a little in form, or the cup should be turned over it for 1 minute. To poach an egg to perfection is rather a difficult operation; so, for inexperienced cooks, a tin egg-poacher may be purchased, which greatly facilitates this manner of dressing ecgs. Our illustration clearly shows what it is: it consists of a tin plate with a handle, with a space for three perforated cups. An egg should be broken into each cup, and the machine then placed in a stewpan of boiling water, which has been previously strained. When the whites of the eggs appear set, they are done, and should then be carefully slipped on to the toast or spinach, or with whatever they are served. In poaching eggs in a frying-pan, never do more than four at a time; and, when a little vinegar is liked mixed with the water in which the eggs are done, use the above proportion.

The Date/Year and Region: 1861, British

How Did You Make It: Fried bacon until crisp (the way I prefer it).  Boiled water on the stove, placed eggs in water, and simmered until the whites were solid. 

Time to Complete: 20 minutes

Total Cost: About $2 for a small quantity of good bacon; eggs on hand.

How Successful Was It?: One of the eggs broke, but I managed to get the other out whole, and they did cook through. I feel that this dish was successfully prepared.  That being said, I prefer eggs cooked hard, so I probably won't be making this again.  The bacon was tasty.  

How Accurate Is It?: Very, save that I used the stove instead of fire.
Poaching eggs.
Poaching eggs.  They didn't fully stay together, but it seemed to work.

Fried bacon and poached eggs, from Mrs. Beeton's, 1861.
Fried bacon, one poached egg, and one slightly-exploded egg.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!