It seems a person can hardly go a few hours these days without talking about, thinking about or arguing about food. Or eating it. And you can’t swing cat around without hitting another cooking show on TV, that’s for sure. Three hundred channels and 250 are about making stuff to eat. And oddly enough, most of them feature competitive cooking, where making something called “entrees” becomes a blood sport. Where cupcake wars between ten year old bakers end up in tears, scarred for life on national television because their icing was “a little buttery.” Where actual trained chefs thrash around a kitchen and pantry that could feed a small country, sweat dripping into their gnocchi, only to be unceremoniously “chopped” because their “plating was a little off.”
The sole reason (fish pun) there are so many cooking shows is because, well, people actually watch them. Obsessively. I know I do. It’s like a car wreck. You can’t seem to look away. It’s patently impossible to surf on past a food show on the multi-channel universe – you just have to see how that amuse-bouche turns out. (It was lacking salt.) And – whoa – how are those people going to make a six course meal with just popcorn, fish eyes and Diet Dr. Pepper as their “basket ingredients”?
I for one like cooking programs in a highly ironic sense. I can’t cook. Or, more to the point, I don’t like cooking. I’m not even sure how to work a stove. When it comes to food prep, I’d rather watch it than do it. But I don’t want you to think I don’t contribute in kitchen. I actually know how to make something. And it is a pretty impressive gastronomic thing and I’m proud to say that I’m pretty sure it really takes the load off the Better Half when it comes to food preparation.
It’s called: “Egg With A Hat.” (Also known in culinary circles as egg in a hole.) Don’t tell my B.H. but an ex-girlfriend taught me this culinary masterpiece before she (the ex-girlfriend) dumped me. Probably because I couldn’t cook. It’s my go-to dish once every couple of months, when I remember that I know how to make something in the kitchen.
Recipe: Cut a 1.5 inch (135 centimeter) hole in the center of a piece of bread. Slather a lot of butter on the bread circle and the remaining bread on both sides (that’s the tricky part).
Melt a large chunk of butter in a warm pan (which is on the stove). Put the holey bread and the hole (or “hat”) in the pan, crack an egg and drop it into the bread hole.
Pick out all the random egg shell pieces that fell into your bread and pan (this is the tricky part). Fry the heck out of it. Oh, and you should probably flip it and the hat (bread hole) over at least once (very tricky). Oh, and I almost forgot: don’t forget to put a whole bunch of salt and pepper on there.
When it’s just right (about twenty minutes should do it) plate the Egg In a Hole by placing the tasty bread circle back on top, where it used to be – and voila! Egg With A Hat. Serve with hot coffee (decaf), ketchup and fifteen slices of crisp pre-cooked microwave bacon and you’ll be good to go until at least lunch time.
For lunch? I recommend Kraft Dinner. Email me if you’d like the recipe.
Harley Hay is a local freelance writer, award-winning author, filmaker and musician. His column appears on Saturdays in the Advocate.