Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bacon and Eggs. The Diner Way, the Healthier Way..... Could it be?

This may see like a ridicules recipe to post. But believe it or not, many people do not know how to get that diner quality bacon and egg breakfast at home. When you cook eggs at home, do you sometimes wonder why they never seem to taste as good as they do at the local diner? After all they are just eggs, so what could they be doing differently than what you do at home? The answer is, plenty. However you can re-create that awesome fried egg experience you get at the diner right at home.

At home, a lot of people will use some sort of Teflon frying pan to cook eggs. The reason is of the non stick surface. Like lot of products we Americans like for convenience, are not necessarily the best quality for cooking. Some are, some are not. In the case of Teflon, I am not sure I can think of one reason to use it. If you have one, do yourself a favor and go sell it at a yard sale!

For proper eggs, and for a lot of other things, you need a WELL seasoned Cast Iron Skillet. Something you can be proud off and pass on to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Just like a fine strand of pearls that absorb the oil and essence of the beautiful lady who wears them, a cast iron skillet absorbs the oils and essence of the chef that masters the pan.

The cast iron skillet does an excellent job at re-creating the type of platform used a diners and that is a flat seasoned cooking surface that maintains even heat very well. Usually stainless steel, these commercial diner grills get a well seasoned coating on them that is similar in a way that cast iron does. The more you use it, the better it is.
 Typical Diner Grill
What a lot of people don’t know is that at the diner, in the morning they cook slabs of bacon on the grill to season it for the day, and use the bacon for other dishes and the oil will be used in cooking all day on the grill. The bacon grease is usually kept near the back of the girl in a stainless steel bowl. You can do the same thing at home.

So the first trick before cooking your egg is to get out some bacon, just like they do at the diner (but you don’t usually see it) and cook the bacon in the cast iron skillet on medium to medium low. Cook until nice and crispy and remove then drain.

Reduce the heat to the skillet to low medium. Dump out all the grease except for maybe three Tablespoons. Immediately slide in the eggs. A good tip to keep the yolks in tack is to pre-crack them into a bowl then pour the bowl of eggs at one time into the skillet.

Now, cook to desired preference and serve. When done, simply wipe the skillet clean.

You will never have a better egg in your life, or it will taste at least as good as your local breakfast diner.

Most folks think that cooking with bacon fat is unhealthy, well all good in moderation. I only cook bacon and eggs maybe once or twice a month if that. For me it is usually yogurt and fruit. But on occasion it is a nice change to have bacon and eggs done proper.

The fact is that using real bacon fat or lard is better for you than processed fats that are hydrogenated. Actually unprocessed lard (pig fat) can be fewer calories and better for you than the trans fats and hydrogenated products you get on the shelves at the grocery store.

Either way, you are probably health wise better off using a little bacon fat rather than hydrogenated butter solids or something from a spray can. The bacon we use is uncured bacon with minimal processing, and apple wood smoked. Very delicious holds up well and excellent bacon fat when you need it.

Now I would like to continue with how to properly poach an egg, but I think someone would start throwing eggs at me.

GOOD HEALTH INFORMATION and why to dispose of Teflon and use Lard. Excerpts from research and story by Colleen Story.

In 2003, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study on non-stick cookware (Teflon). Results showed that the cookware reached temperatures that produced toxic particles and fumes potentially dangerous to human health long before manufacturer DuPont had previously admitted.

According to the study results, in two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, Teflon cookware was found to exceed temperatures at which coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to pet bird deaths and potential human illnesses.

In 2007, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives they noted the following about PFOA: (Teflon)

  • It hangs around in the body, eliminated after 3.8 years.
  • Animal studies have shown that high doses can cause cancer, physical development delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality.
  • In older animals, the compound can cause liver and pancreatic tumors.
  • Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found PFOA in 100% of 297 serum samples collected in 2004 and 2005 from the umbilical cords of children born in Baltimore. The study also revealed a correlation between the babies’ PFOA levels and decreased birth weight and head circumference.
  • Other research has suggested that levels of these chemicals may be impacting the immune systems of bottlenose dolphins, which are believed to have the highest levels reported in any wildlife species

Some other great benefits about using Cast Iron. NO TOXIC FUMES! Cast Iron also…

  • Evenly distributes heat: Cast iron creates an even, intense heat that makes it really flexible and effective for all sorts of cooking. That means it helps seal in juices and keeps food moist and delicious.
  • Versatile: You can deep fry in it, sauté in it, and bake in it, as it easily goes from stove top to oven. You can sear a steak and bake a pie in the same skillet.
  • Inexpensive: Compared to other high-quality pots and pans, cast iron is a great deal, averaging about $25 a piece. One pan can take the place of a large bread pan, soup and stock pot, searing pan, and cornbread pan and griddle.
  • Long lasting: Cast iron lasts a really long time, often passed down from one generation to the next. Old and worn pieces can be refurbished with a little scrubbing, making this a great eco-friendly option.
  • Naturally non-stick: Once it’s seasoned, cast iron, used correctly, won’t cause foods to stick, and it does not emit the toxic fumes that non-stick pans do.
  • Easy to clean: Simply use a stiff brush and hot water. No soap necessary, so you’re using fewer resources. (Soap is not recommended since it erodes the seasoning.)
  • Healthy: Emits small amounts of iron into your food, adding needed nutrients that boost energy and help strengthen the immune system. Totally chemical free.
  • You can use less oil: A well-seasoned pan is virtually non-stick, which means you can use less oil in your recipes, cutting down on the fat where desired.
  • Sturdy: You can use your silverware without fear, since cast iron does not scratch. You can drop it and it won’t be damaged. Cast iron takes abuse and still lasts.
  • Emergency-ready: You can use cast iron over any heating source, so even in a natural disaster, you’ve got a way to cook your food even over a fire.
  • AND WILL NEVER WARP! ITWIL ALWAYS MAINTAIN ITS SHAPE. Very important in aid in in even heat distribution

Lard versus all those wonderful trans fat products, Cisco, liquid vegetable oils, etc.

Jennifer McLagan points out in her celebrated book, “Fat a misunderstood ingredient”

Lard’s fat is mostly monounsaturated, which is healthier than saturated fat. And even the saturated fat in lard has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. Not to mention that lard has a higher smoking point than other fats, allowing foods like chicken to absorb less grease when fried in it. And, of course, fat in general has its upsides. The body converts it to fuel, and it helps absorb nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamins.

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