Twenty-seven hens roam around our backyard and these lovely ladies provide an abundance of colorful eggs. Poaching a dozen eggs at a time ensures at least two meals. The first is this any-time-of-the-year salad. Who doesn't love bacon, eggs and parmesan? With PROVENCAL FRENCH ONION SOUP as an accompaniment, it is the perfect light lunch or supper. The second is a two minute breakfast--simply reheat the eggs in a skillet filled with simmering water. When warmed through, drain and serve with buttered toast.
- Cook the bacon lardons in a small skillet on medium heat until just barely crispy and the fat renders. Turn off the heat and place the lardons on a paper towel to drain excess fat.
- To prepare 4 poached eggs, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the distilled vinegar and lower the heat to a simmer. Crack each egg into a small ramekin. As slowly as possible, gently lower the ramekin to the water (the edge should touch the water's surface) and slide the egg into the pot. Repeat. Cook the eggs for exactly 3 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon (the eggs may be stores at this point in cold water for up to one day and gently reheated for 1 minute in simmering water just before serving.
- Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet. Whisk in the mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- On each salad plate, place two whole pieces of butter lettuce. Tear the rest of the butter lettuce and the frisee and put in a salad bowl. Toss with the reserved dressing and half the lardons.
- Top the whole greens on each salad plate with the dressed greens.
- Sprinkle the remaining lardons and six tomato halves around the plate. Slide the poached egg to the center of the plate, top with one tablespoon of the Parmesan. Finish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
Cooked poached eggs may be stored in a cold water bath in an airtight container for 24 hours.