Sunday, April 13, 2008

One singular sensation

Okay, the title is is a test of your knowledge of Broadway song lyrics. If you guessed, A Chorus Line, you would be correct, the line ended, "every step that she takes."

That's what this blog has to be like: The sentiment, not the musical. I realize many of you dislike musicals, but perhaps you are analogy-lovers and so, they will be words well-used nonetheless.

This little commentary of mine, and hopefully of yours, once you work up the verve to use the "Comments" area, needs to be a place of careful moderation. Firstly, it is a web blog and even if I was able to make three updates a day, you probably maintain some other form of earthly purpose than just tuning in to The Blushing Hostess, so I could not count on you being able to read everything I had slaved over in the kitchen or on the page. Secondly, saying all of that was irrelevant, how much information can you consume in a day what with all of us chatting in your face these days? Chris Matthews, Paris Hilton, Brian Willams, Nancy Grace, and the Blushing Hostess... enough already! It would not be long before you shut me down and moved to a cabin in Idaho to write poetry in Old English. I cannot bear even partial responsibility for that (ugh, again). So, I need to say one thing each day and make it real,well done, and worthy of reading.

It is for these reasons that most of what I spent today doing is under wraps. Super secret stuff that I will tell you about in some other singular sensation.

I will tell one thing though: Sunday mornings are the greatest thing that ever happened or the worst. There is no middle ground and all of us will know both sides of the beast at one time or another in our lives. And somehow we are expected to sail, smiling, capable, and beautiful through all of it with some means of achieving Sunday morning glory in the face of children, hurricanes, and hung over house guests. How?

I have an idea and you could use it. Or, you could wing it. But a day is going to come when your kids will be running about the house at seven while you blankly listen to the news advising your house is near-about going to be eaten by a tidal wave before four, and the hung-over buddy from school does not awaken until 3:45. You have to muddle through. You have to persevere. You have to make eggs, and fast. Because life, is no dress rehearsal...

Eggs Piquant
Adapted from Cotton Country Collection, Junior League of Monroe, Louisiana, 1972

Serves 6 as a bunch appetizer, 3 as a main, doubles easily.

One of my Dad's favorite egg dishes, this is not health food, but it is good food. When you read the recipe it will sound crazy, the method. But it is too easy once you get the hang of it, and I have attached pictures to assure you that you are not misinterpreting what I have written. It is also very savory and full of flavor. And, should you be a singular sensation, it also refridgerates and microwaves back to life quick and a little worse for the wear: Mayonnaise will break down but tastes marvelous regardless).

And as a note: When mayonnaise is used in this blog, it is Hellman's or, in the South, Best, being one and the same. The only other sort ever, ever considered is homemade. Miracle Whip and the like are not mayonnaise and cannot be substituted.

If you do not care for your eggs hard-over (in diner parlance), then scramble one at a time before dropping it into the muffin tin, or break the whole egg into the tin and then poke the yolk to break it. I cook it through because I do not serve raw eggs to anyone but myself, and I suggest you cook it entirely for safety sake (you know about me already, that I live on a very dangerous edge from which this blog is a postcard). The cooking time listed will produce an egg cooked completely through. If you prefer soft or medium, you would decrease the time accordingly and at your own risk. Whatever you do, be absolutely resolute in using absolutely fresh eggs. That goes for every recipe, actually, not just this one. This is a cheat, first-class, on one of the great sauces of this world, but I won't sing like a canary if you won't.

Canola spray for greasing muffin tins
2/3 cup (light) mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
Dash of white pepper (black, if not)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I love Valentia, but any will do)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar (or whatever sharp grate-able you have on hand)
6 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 muffin tins, set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the first four ingredients and heat, stirring gently until nicely warmed and evenly combined. Add cheese and hot sauce. Cook, until cheese is melted and all smoothly combined and thick, 3-5 minutes (this is a sticky mixture once the cheese melts, don't worry).

Place 2 tablespoons or so of this mixture into the bottom of the 6 greased muffin tins. Break an egg into each of the 6 cups. Cover each egg with 2 tablespoons or so of the mixture. Sprinkle, if you care to, with paprika.

Bake, 25 minutes or until eggs are visibly cooked at both yolk and white. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to the serving plate with a large spoon as the cheese sauce underneath will not adhere, just place it neatly under or on the side of the egg cup to which it belongs.

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