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Poached Omelet

I’m going to let you in on the secret to making the fluffiest eggs you’ve ever had in your life. Michael Ruhlman shared it with us when the CompostMaster and I (and many others) had lunch with him at Fearrington House during the promotional tour for his new book Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient.

Lionel Vatinet and Michael Ruhlman

Lionel Vatinet and Michael Ruhlman appreciate each other's books

When Ruhlman said the words “poached” and “omelet” in the same breath, folks around the table like Sandra Gutierrez (author of The New Southern-Latino Table and Latin American Street Food) and Lionel Vatinet (Master Baker and author of A Passion for Bread) gasped. Gutierrez even said “I’m going home and trying that TONIGHT.” Ruhlman said he learned the brilliant technique from San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson.

So, of course, there was no question that the Poached Omelet recipe would be the first one I’d try from Egg.

Ruhlman said he learned how to properly poach an egg from Harold McGee’s classic On Food and Cooking. What usually goes wrong with a poached egg? You have those stringy bits that fly away around the edges, right? The next time you crack an egg, look carefully at the white. There’s a thick part and a thin part. The key to a perfectly poached egg is to strain off the thinner part prior to cooking. Ruhlman also uses this technique to make a perfectly poached omelet. Just keep in mind that whatever you use to strain the egg needs to be deep enough to contain the egg.

I hope you enjoy this omelet as much as we did. Serve it with some blanched asparagus on the side.


I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient by Michael Ruhlman. To enter, leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing to do with eggs. The contest will run through Sunday, April 20, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday, April 21, 2014. You must be at least 18 years of age with a U.S. mailing address to win. No purchase is necessary; void where prohibited. The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner may be selected.

Disclaimer: I received two copies of Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient by Michael Ruhlman when I attended a luncheon in his honor sponsored by McIntyre’s Books. I paid to attend the luncheon. All opinions are my own.
Poached Omelet

Poached Omelet

Adapted from Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient by Michael Ruhlman

2 eggs
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Strain off the thin, flyaway part of the egg whites: Find a deep spoon with holes such as Michael Ruhlman’s Badass Egg Spoon or deep skimmer. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Place the spoon/skimmer over a second small bowl. Pour the egg into the spoon/skimmer and allow the thinnest part of the egg white to drip into the bowl. Remove yolk and remaining white to a medium bowl. Repeat with second egg. Discard the thin egg whites that drained off or save them for another use.

Cook the omelet: Fill a 2-quart saucepan with water. Bring to a low boil. Beat the eggs with a whisk or fork until thoroughly combined. Stir the water in a circular motion using the handle end of a wooden spoon and pour the eggs into the middle of the pan. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds until the egg floats to the top. Remove to a fine mesh strainer and let all of the water completely drain off.

Serve the omelet: Place cooked eggs in a small serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and chives, if using. Eat immediately.

Makes 1 serving
Per serving: 194 calories, 15g fat (4g sat), 424mg cholesterol, 168mg sodium, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 1g sugar, 14g protein

Nutritional Analysis: If you are keeping close tabs on Fat and Cholesterol, you may want to use only 1 egg and halve the remaining ingredients or skip this recipe altogether.

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Vegetarian Chipotle Chili (Slow Cooker)

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili (Slow Cooker)

The weather is finally warming up, but a rainy day calls for a good bowl of chili no matter the season. I wasn’t in the mood for Quinoa and Lentil Chili and I didn’t want to use meat or poultry.

I remembered that my friend Marnely over at Cooking with Books had posted a recipe for a vegetarian stew that used trout beans. I didn’t have any trout beans on hand (they look like speckled kidney beans), but I did have a giant batch of kidney beans I had made in the slow cooker the day before. (Our slow cooker gets a lot of use around here.) I modified Marnely’s recipe quite a bit, but must credit her for the inspiration.

Normally, if a slow cooker recipe calls for canned beans, I add them about an hour before the cooking time is up so they don’t get mushy. Since my beans had been cooked from dried beans and still had quite a bit of bite to them, I decided to let the beans cook the whole time. I’m glad I did. They were the perfect texture and made the chili very hearty.

I’m sure this chili, or stew, was great when Marnely made it with white potatoes, but the combination of sweet potatoes and kidney beans really worked for me. The CompostMaster said it was the best vegetarian chili he’s ever eaten. And, for once after a vegetarian meal, he wasn’t in the kitchen an hour later looking for “a little somethin’ somethin’” to eat.

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili (Slow Cooker)

Adapted from Cooking with Books

3 medium carrots, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups kidney beans, cooked from dried beans (or use rinsed canned beans)
10 ounces frozen corn
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 avocados, diced just before serving

Combine all ingredients except avocado in a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours, then on LOW for 3 hours. (You could also cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.) Serve with avocado.

NOTE: I used a 3-quart slow cooker and the ingredients just barely fit. Don’t go smaller than 3-quart.

Makes 8 servings
Per serving: 283 calories, 8g fat (1g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 759mg sodium, 45g carb, 13g fiber, 7g sugar, 11g protein

Nutritional Analysis: This chili is packed with fiber and contains no cholesterol. If you are watching your Sodium intake, you might want to reduce or eliminate the kosher salt. Almost all of the fat is coming from the avocado. If you are watching your Fat intake, skip the avocado.

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Long-Term Metformin Use

By Leslie Vandever

When it comes to treating type 2 diabetes, metformin is the most widely used and effective drug in the world. It was first approved for use in the U.S. in 1995. Metformin helps keep blood glucose (sugar) levels under control. It makes the liver, muscle, fat and cells more sensitive to the insulin made by your body. It also decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from your food and the amount made by your liver.

Metformin can cause vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in older patients, patients taking higher doses and patients that have been taking it for a long time.

Metformin and Vitamin B12 deficiency
A vitamin B12 deficiency can be serious. Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient that’s needed for DNA synthesis, nerve and brain function and cellular repair. And, without it, your body can’t make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. If you’re B12 deficient, you may become anemic.

Metformin can also—very rarely—cause lactic acidosis, which can be fatal.

The average adult needs 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day and it can’t be made in the body. Instead, it comes from the animal foods you eat, like meat, dairy products, eggs and seafood. Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to become vitamin B12 deficient if they don’t eat grains that have been fortified with B12 or take supplements. People who take proton pump inhibiting medications, like Nexium or Prevacid, or an H2 blocker, like Pepcid or Zantac, may also become vitamin B12 deficient.

As we grow older (over 50) we’re more prone to a vitamin B12 deficiency because of age-related problems with absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are generally slow to develop, but they intensify over time. They may include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble thinking (cognitive difficulties)
  • Memory loss
  • Anemia
  • Tingling, numbness or strange sensations in the hands, legs or feet (neuropathy)
  • Swollen tongue
  • Paranoia or hallucinations

Some damage, particularly to the nerves, can’t be reversed.

A blood test is the surest way to find out if you’re vitamin B12 deficient. A serious deficiency can be treated with weekly B12 injections and/or supplements. But the best way to be sure you won’t become vitamin B12 deficient is to take a daily multivitamin.

For more information about diabetes, vitamins and other health issues, visit HealthLine.

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. Under the pen-name “Wren,” she also writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog. In her spare time, Vandever enjoys cooking, reading and working on the Great American Novel.

Anemia—B12 Deficiency. (2012, Feb. 8) MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on February 20, 2014 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000574.htm

Kiberige, D. and Mwebaze, R. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus: Is Routine Screening and Supplementation Justified? (2013, May 7) Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders. Retrieved on February 20, 2014 from http://www.jdmdonline.com/content/12/1/17

Stehouwer, C.D.A. et al. (2010, Feb. 25) Long Term Treatment With Metformin In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial. BMJ. Retrieved on February 20, 2014 from http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c2181

Kin Wah Liu, Lok Kwan Dai, and Woo Jean. Metformin-related Vitamin B12 Deficiency. (2005, Dec. 6) Age and Aging. Oxford Journals. Retrieved on February 20, 2014 from http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/2/200.full

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