“He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Breaking Royal Wedding News: Reception Food!

Uh oh. Did your invitation get lost in the mail? 

Too late now. But not too late to at least pretend you're at the reception, maybe. Here, have a quail egg. There's celery salt to go with that. 

I have it on good authority quail eggs with celery salt will be among the "best of British" canapes that will be served.

If you still can't find your invitation in time, don't fret. Follow this recipe from Jill Dupleix of The Sunday Times and you won't miss the highlight of the affair! :)

Quail eggs with celery salt
Makes 12. Takes 10 mins.

Hard-boil a dozen or more quail eggs, ready to dip into a paper twist of celery salt. Let everyone peel their own as they go — that way, you don’t have to do it all yourself.

12 quail eggs
1tsp celery seeds
1tbsp sea salt
½tsp black pepper

Boil the quail eggs in simmering water for two minutes (three if large), drain, and cool. Crush or grind the celery seeds, salt and pepper together, and wrap in a twist of greaseproof paper. Pack the eggs and the twist of celery salt into a picnic-friendly container. To eat, peel each egg and dip the end into the celery salt.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Drinks with Eggs - Cheers!

I'm still giggling over the Egg Cream with no eggs. Let me make it up to you now. I have drinks here that really do contain eggs. 

First up is the eggnog, and its many variations, depending on the country of origin. Eggnog literally means egg inside a small cup. It's traditionally made with milk, sugar, egg, some liquor, and spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. Recipes for homemade eggnog abound but the drink can also be bought ready-made - as can its Venezuelan variant, the ponche crema; the Dutch advocaat; the Mexican rompope; and the German eierpunsch. 

You might be inspired to try your hand at making eggnog, with this video from Good Housekeeping: 

As you've seen, the alcohol content is totally optional today. Thus, even kids have been able to share in this Christmas tradition. (Make sure to use pasteurized eggs.)

Another drink kids can enjoy is the egg soda. 

It's a drink that originated in Vietnam, but is now served in Vietnamese restaurants all over the planet. It has three ingredients: egg yolk, condensed milk, and club soda. Becca of Meat Loves Salt describes it perfectly. And don't worry about the raw egg. The carbonation in the club soda is supposed to "cook" the egg. 

But if you're a big kid and in the mood for a stiffer drink, I highly recommend a personal fave, the "Coffee Cocktail."

Coffee Cocktail

Check out recipe here

Bottoms up!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Post Easter Egg Hunt!

Happy Easter! Did you go Easter Egg Hunting? (Or did you at least take the kiddos egg hunting?) 
Well I've got some sort of hunt planned for us too. Take a look at these pictures and tell me if you see any eggs in them. 
sauteed bitter melon

Chinese fried rice
egg cream
ice cream

Let me tell you now that of those five dishes, only four contain eggs. I'm betting many of you made the same mistake - because among the five, only Egg Cream HAS NO EGGS. 

Sauteed bitter melon is called Ginisang Ampalaya in the Philippines. I thought I'd have to give you the step by step on how I made that dish, but then I found this video.

Fried rice? I'm sure you don't need a recipe for that. But if you've never tried topping your fried rice with scrambled eggs, it's time you should.

Torrone is a white fluffy Italian candy. Among its many ingredients are egg whites - yes, just the whites. The other ingredients, plus the procedure for making this at home, are listed here

If you decide to try your hand at making torrone, and end up with a whole lot of egg yolks, not to worry. You can always make ice cream! 

And now for that misleadingly named Egg Cream. An egg cream is a beverage consisting of chocolate syrupmilk, and soda water, probably dating from the late 19th century, and is especially associated with Brooklyn, home of its alleged inventor, candy store owner Louis Auster. It contains neither eggscream, nor ice cream. (Don't look at me like that. I only recently discovered the drink myself, during one of my frequent forays into Wikipedia.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Go Natural this Easter: Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

If you haven't painted your Easter eggs yet, glad I caught you. Sure, there are those colored pellets that you dissolve in water or vinegar. But wouldn't it be more fun to make your own dyes from stuff you have in your kitchen? Boiling your Easter eggs in coffee or tea leaves or even the outer layers of an onion will give you varying shades of brown. No rocket science needed there. It's the same with practically all the colors: blueberries will dye your eggs blue of course, spinach will make them green, beet roots can either make your eggs blush or turn royally purple (if you throw in some red onion skins) while cranberries will stain them red. Oh, I almost forgot yellow. That you can get from turmeric and saffron. 


You can watch this video for instructions
Now if you want to challenge yourselves and impress everyone with Easter eggs that look like these - 

...then take the time to visit this site

Good luck!
(I'm taking a break on Friday, but will be back Monday. Hope you have a happy Easter! :D )

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'll Scotch Your Egg, If You'll Scotch Mine

Oh wow, a letter from a reader! Nani Lani made some Scotch eggs, using quail eggs. Remember, I mentioned that dish here?

I was about to remark on what a tedious process it must have been, peeling all those tiny eggs, until I got to the part of her email where she said she used canned quail eggs. Much like these, I suppose. 

She also said there was hardly any recipe to speak of, since she used store-bought Italian sausage - no additional seasoning required, except for some chopped parsley. She likes using quail eggs because they're creamier than chicken eggs. Well creamier certainly translates to yummier, but unfortunately creamy yolks in Scotch eggs aren't too pretty, says Nani. I don't know about that. You be the judge. Here's the photo she sent me:

Whatever they looked like, they must still have tasted pretty good, because there were no leftovers to speak of.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Arroz Caldo and Egg: The Perfect Comfort Food

Last Wednesday, I featured several ways to accompany hardboiled eggs. So, did anybody try making any/all of them? Show of hands. Please, put the spoon down first, I'm getting sambal-berbere-krauterquark confetti on my screen.

We all might need to take a breather from the saucy, spicy and exotic - hmm, three words that don't always necessarily refer to food - so today I'd like to introduce you to some comfort food. Well, at least it's my idea of comfort food on days when cookie dough just doesn't cut it.

Ever heard of congee? Wikipedia describes it as "a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten or served with a side dish. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation. Despite its many variations it can be recognised by its thick texture. It can be considered as a porridge or thick soup." In the Philippines, congee goes by the name arroz caldo. It's a Spanish term literally meaning "hot rice." The congee was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronized Chinese restaurants in the Philippines.

Oh, enough history. In the here and now, I make arroz caldo (with a nice egg plunked in the middle of it, of course. It woudn't be much comfort without it, would it?) when my tummy needs a little pat on the back. *Ooh, you've been such a good girl, staying away from carbs, losing another pound, here, have some arroz caldo.* 

In my version, I sprinkle garlic chips on top. Others prefer sliced green onions.

And who's to say you can't have both?


Just click on the photo credits for the recipes.

I'm sure you'll award arroz caldo five sunny side ups. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waiter! There's an Egg in my Soup!

I asked you a question that required some lateral thinking, last time you dropped by. I received some email replies, but unfortunately no one guessed correctly. Anyway, I promised you the answer today. And here it is: the reason there is still one egg in the basket after six people have each taken one egg, is because the last person took the basket with her, and left the egg inside! Now that's what I call thinking outside the box - or in this case, outside the basket. ;-) 

Okay, enough of that. Let's go back to our raison d'etre. Uh oh. Did I just hear you say it can get boring, reading about eggs three times a week? And that you've realized that even if it has been said often enough that there are a hundred ways to cook eggs, it's still the same ol' same ol' fried-baked-poached-boiled egg with just a tweak here or a tweak there? Ahhh, but don't you see, it's those little tweaks that make this interesting? A change in spices, and oeufs broilles (pardon my French) becomes the perfect filling for a Mexican burrito. 

Now take hardboiled eggs, for instance. (Yes please, take those hardboiled eggs. They're good for you.)  Sure, sprinkle some salt and pepper and they're good to go. But supposing, just supposing, we take those hardboiled eggs and serve them with sambal? Then you'd have eggs lifted right out of a Malaysian cookbook!
Eggs with Sambal

If you want something really exotic, how about some Doro Wat?

Doro Wat

What's Doro Wat, you say? Well, it's an Ethiopian stew with chicken and hardboiled eggs. What makes it different from the run-of-the-mill chicken stew is the berbere. You'll find the recipe at whats4eats.com.

In India, hardboiled eggs are served in a curry sauce.

Eggs in Curry

ifood.tv has a simple recipe that promises 10 minutes prep time, and 15 minutes cooking time. I'd probably be able to shave off a few more minutes if I used a ready-to-cook curry mix. And I might use the time I saved, for deep frying the hardboiled eggs first - as they do in most kitchens in Delhi - before simmering them in the curry. 

Germans like their hardboiled eggs with a herbed quark cream. Quark is a kind of yogurt cheese. Mix it with some creme fraiche, a bit of milk, and selected herbs, and you have Krauterquark, which you can spread on bread, use as topping on baked potatoes, and yes of course, eat with eggs. You can find the recipe here.

Photo credit: Pfifferdaj's photostream on Flicker

A soup that originated in Poland and other Easter European countries is commonly served with a hardboiled egg. Sorrel soup is made with...sorrel. (Surprise, surprise.) It's a sourish-tasting garden herb, sometimes called spinach dock. If sorrel is hard to come by in your part of the world, you might want to try this version, using just plain ol' spinach.

Sorrel Soup

 The recipe is at kitchencrush.com.

Now if all those spices have gotten your tastebuds in a tizzy, there's always Bechamel Sauce. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Having Fun with Eggs WITHOUT Eating them *Gasp!*

Let it not be said that all we do around here is talk about eggs... how to cook them, how to serve them, how to eat them.

I can think of other things to do with eggs. Fun things, in fact. For instance, I can juggle them. Whoa! 

Ooops. Sorry about that. 

Good thing I learned how to clean up a broken egg mess from lifehacker.com  

(Why didn't I just juggle hardboiled eggs? I like to live dangerously, that's why. ;-) )

Alrighty, moving  on.....  I can paint them.

Easter's coming up. My painted eggs will surely find their way into the Easter Bunny's basket. 

what I HOPE my painted eggs will look like

And speaking of baskets, here's another fun thing I can do with eggs. I can put some of them in a basket, and check your power of lateral thinking. So here's the basket: 

There are six eggs in the basket. After six people come and take one egg each, we find that there is still one egg left in the basket! How can that be? 

I'll give you the answer to that question in my next post. Meanwhile, if you think you know the answer, drop me a line in the Comments section, or email me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to Serve Scrambled Eggs? Let Me Count the Ways...

Eggs. Cheese. Sour cream. Bacon. Bell peppers. Herbs. Mushrooms. Potatoes. And the list goes on. But you know what? Sometimes, it's not what you've put in your scrambled egg that counts. It's how you serve it. Just how many different ways could you serve scrambled eggs? Today, let me count the ways - with invaluable help from the American Egg Board.  

First on the list is of course a good ol' bun. But this one has been hallowed out a bit to form a little basket. 


Now then, if you think using bread is just too predictable, well you could always stuff the eggs into a potato.

Stuffed breakfast potato

Does a bagel count as bread? Technically, yes. But how often have you served scrambled eggs in a bagel?

Bagel Bites

Ever heard of egg cones? You could shape cones out of pizza dough, stuff them with scrambled eggs, then bake as you would a regular pizza. 

Egg Cone

How about a kangaroo sandwich? Did you just come to a screeching halt? Calm down. I'm not suggesting you scramble a kangaroo with your eggs.
But when you think of a kangaroo, don't you also think: pockets! Yup, stuff your scrambled eggs into half a pita, and call it a kangaroo sandwich, why not. 

Kangaroo Sandwich

You can also wrap your eggs in tortillas. 

Confetti Egg Wrap

And if you fry the rolled up eggs in tortillas, you have chimichangas.

Huevos Chimichanga

Or you could have some tacos. 

Egg Taco

Have you thought of a panini? 

Panini Perfecto

Ooops, we're back to bread. That's my cue to exit. Ciao.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Egg First Aid

I'm straying off the track a bit today. But I can assure you it's for a good reason. Yesterday, I got an email asking me if I'd heard that egg whites make an excellent burn treatment. Frankly, that was news to me. If it's not the first time you've heard of it, then good for you. But for those of you who want to know more, let's set the recipes aside for awhile, and check out this email I've pasted below:

Treating burns with Egg white
"One hopes never to be needing it, but just in case...
A simple but effective  way to treat burns with the help of egg white.
This method is used in the training of firemen.
When sustaining a burn, regardless of the degree, the first aid is always placing the injured part under cold running water till the heat subsides.
Next, spread egg white over the injury.
Someone burned a large part of her hand with boiling water. Despite the pain she held her hand under running water, then took two eggs, parted the yolk from the egg white and slightly beat the egg white and put her hand in it. Her hand was so badly burned that the egg white dried and formed a white film.  
During the next hour she administered layer upon layer of egg whites on her hand.  That afternoon she didn't feel any more pain and the next day there hardly was a red mark to see. She thought she would have an awful scar but to her astonishment after ten days there was no sign of the burn. The skin had its normal colour again! 
The burned area had been totally regenerated thanks to the collagen in the egg white -  in reality, a placenta full of vitamins.
This advice can be useful for everyone. Circulate it!"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Goodbye Leftovers, Hello Skillet Eggs!

This is most definitely not a scrambled egg recipe. It is, however, my idea of a perfect recipe: it leaves a lot of room for innovation. It won me over with these lines

"A classic example of country cooking, using what we have on hand.... Choose ingredients according to your taste, or what needs to be cleaned out of the refrigerator." Take note the recipe also starts out by saying: "Call it an Egg Omelet Country Style, Frittata, or just call it yummy eggs with lots of stuff in them - but don't call it scrambled eggs because you don't stir these eggs once you put them in the skillet." You can read more about it here.

 So today, I cleaned out my fridge, and I made this: 

Tomorrow I'll  go out and buy bacon, ham, hash browns, mushrooms and green bell peppers to replace the ones I cleaned out of the fridge today. Then I can make another batch of skillet eggs. Hmmm. This could end up being a vicious cycle. No, not vicious. Delicious! 

Five sunny side ups, of course. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Snow (Eggs) in Spring

It's still snowing where I am. (No, Mr. and Mrs. Claus are not my neighbors.) I'm just here in front of my computer, looking at pictures of Oeufs a la Neige. That literally translates to Eggs in Snow. It is a French dessert that consists of a meringue (whipped egg whites) floating in a little pool of vanilla custard - hence its other name, "Floating Island." Between you and me, unless you add a little palm tree when you plate it, I think it actually looks more like a floating iceberg than a tropical paradise. Here, have a look:

And if you're the type who likes doing things in a BIG way, there's this:

How to make the dish? I can tell you, but only through vicarious experience (read: I've never tried making it, but I've read a whole lotta recipes, that's for sure.) None of these recipes, however, are alike.  They don't even agree on what to do with the egg whites - which is what the snow (or the island) is made of. 

There are step-by-step instructions here (in French, I might add; but no problem. Google translates. Besides, every step is documented in pictures.) This recipe says I should microwave the egg whites.

Another recipe I read says I should bake the egg whites in a bain marie.

Then there are the poached versions where the egg white is poached in water or in milk.

The simplest of all the recipes calls for uncooked whites. The "raw" meringue is dropped by the spoonful onto the custard where it will float, but then there is also a disclaimer in this recipe which says "This recipe contains raw eggs. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and the infirm do not consume raw eggs." 

Oh well. At least there are options! 

Now the other part of the dish is called by various names: cream, custard, sauce, custard sauce. You want to call it a custard cream sauce? That works too. It's really just a light cream made of milk and egg yolks. Go back to any of those recipes I mentioned earlier, and you'll find something you can work with. Or, you can try the no-cook method in which you simply combine cream, cardamom and honey in a screw top lidded jar and shake. Unlike James Bond's martini, you can stir this too, rather than shake it. 

It's up to you what you want as a finishing touch for those Islands in the Stream, er, Cream. Fruits are always a good idea. Or nuts. Some caramel, maybe. It's your island, lord over it!