Saturday, February 25, 2012

Roses Bakery & Cafe, Frying an Egg and an Egg Sandwich with Tomato, Bacon and Arugula

Roses Bakery & Cafe is a place that could easily do well in any culinary focused city, but for imagery, if you plopped it down in the middle of Napa Valley it would fit right in. It has a deli attached to the cafe that sells a variety of cheeses and deli meats as well as a small handful of bulk items like salads which are sold by the pound. They have a small selection of mustards, oils, vinegars, pickled items and kitchen utensils. They sell baked goods and my children consumed an astonishing number of their chocolate croissants during our short visit to Orcas. In the freezer case are pies, meats and frozen mains. Everytime we visit Orcas on holiday, which is tending towards once a year, we spend some time at Roses. They serve good coffee and great food. The portions are not huge but I am never hungry when I leave.

They have a well thought out menu with things like baked eggs with gruyere, homemade granola with fruit and a breakfast bread pudding. They offer lunch too but we always seem to end up there during the morning meal.

Our waitress offered to do a plate of scrambled eggs and toast for our kids when she arrived to take our order. My son agreed to the eggs, while my daughter opted for a bowl of their homemade granola served with milk and fruit.  I had an egg, cheese, tomato and arugula sandwich that was delicious. It was served with thinly sliced french bed, toasted and smeared with butter and a perfect fried egg sitting prettily on top with a very cheery yolk. The arugula was a smart addition and the bacon was flavorful and tasted like the bacon we get from the best butcher in Seattle. I love a good breakfast sandwich but sometimes I forget to think outside the box. The arugula was a good reminder that an egg sandwich can be so many different things.

I have read in numerous cookbooks, cooking memoirs and online that to test a cook's real ability, hand them a dozen eggs and watch them scramble, fry and hard (or soft) boil them. I guess I think there is some truth to that.

The consistent message for fried eggs seems to be to warm the pan and butter (or oil) first, add the egg and then turn down the heat.

Outside of that, the advice is all over the place. For example, I have read not to put salt on the egg while it is cooking, as it reduces moisture and can cause the egg to be rubbery. Or for sunny-side up, Delia says to start the pan on high and turn it down to medium. She also says to tilt the pan and let the hot fat run over the top of the egg - I assume to ensure the yolk is properly cooked and to enhance the flavor. For sunny-side up, Saveur says to cover the egg while it is cooking, which is what the Joy of Cooking recommends too. The Kitchn offers both as an alternative, depending on how the egg is behaving. I find covering a sunny-side up egg to be easiest for even cooking. For over-easy, most people advise not covering the egg, which I have also found to be what works for me.

Egg Sandwich with Tomato, Bacon and Arugula
Derived from a delicious egg sandwich at Roses Bakery & Cafe
Serves 1

2 thin slices of french bread, cut from a loaf wide enough to hold an egg
2 slices of cooked bacon (optional)
1 egg
a small handful of arugula, washed and dried
2 thin slices of tomato
1 tsp butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

Put a frying pan and some olive oil or butter over medium heat. Let it warm up. Crack your egg in the pan and turn the temperature down a little, leaving it alone until the white firms up. Flip it over if you prefer it that way or for sunny-side up, consider covering it to let the yoke set while it cooks over medium low heat.

While the egg sizzles away, pop your bread in the toaster.

When the bread has turned into toast, spread butter on each side. Place the cooked egg on one slice and follow with the arugula, tomato and bacon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy.

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