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Archive for the ‘eggs’ Category

This was one of my favorite dishes growing up. I should have just asked my mother for the recipe, but instead tried to figure it out myself. Really, the invention is the source of my joy in cooking. So I looked at some recipes online. My daughter walked in and said “you’re using a recipe?!!” and walked out in disgust. Custards are tricky, however, and a recurring source of failure for me in the kitchen.

I think I got the proportion right, but I did not put any flour into the custard, which was my downfall. It just didn’t seem right, and many of the recipes I found did not add flour. ADD FLOUR. I’m going to give you the recipe I used, with the addition of the flour, then the recipe I got from my mother. So, one that was almost a success with a fix, and another that I didn’t test but was the recipe mom used when I was a kid– the source of my love for this dish. You can choose which to use. My recipe is much smaller, as I just cook for my daughter and myself. My mom’s recipe will feed at least 6 people.

 

 

Anaheim chiles are in season now. So don’t use whole chiles in a can [ok, maybe in a pinch], fire roast your own. They are readily available even at Safeway.

My mother gave me this wonderful grill that goes right over my gas burner, just for roasting peppers. I have also roasted them under a broiler, on a gas grill, and in a pinch in the old days, on the coils of an electric stovetop [they stick a little]. I love the smell of roasting chiles. If your neighbors smell it, they may think you’re smoking pot, but it will only add mystery and intrigue to your reputation in the neighborhood.

Char the chiles on all sides until they are black [I used 6 for this recipe]. Don’t do it too quickly, you don’t want to simply burn the skin, you want to partially cook the chiles. Turn them around and rearrange them on the fire until they are all roasted evenly. Transfer them to a plastic bag and tie it closed. You can also use a paper bag, and there are possibly harmful effects of heating plastic against your food, but it makes peeling much easier. Allow them to sit and steam in the bag. When they are almost cool, and leaving the bag closed, rub the skins off the peppers with your fingers through the bag. It seems odd at first, but it makes much less mess than taking them out and doing it by hand. When they are all skinned, open the bag and wipe off the skin debris with a towel. Don’t rinse them, and don’t feel the need to remove all of the black, charred skin; it adds to the flavor. Cut off the top of the chile, make a slit down once side, and scrape out the seeds [and if you like, trim out the ribs]. You can attempt to seed them without cutting the side, keeping them in tact, but it’s hard.  Pasilla or ancho chiles that have a wider top and are shorter are easier to seed intact. These chiles are usually stuffed and fried or baked– so keeping them intact is more important.

 

I used 8 oz of goat’s milk Jack cheese. Half [4 oz.] I cut into 6 strips to stuff the chiles, the other half I shredded to put on top. Put a slice of cheese in each chile, fold it over, and place into a baking dish.

 

Make the custard: Beat together 1 1/2 cups of whole milk [I used 1 cup of lowfat milk and 1/2 cup of half and half], 3 large eggs, and a scant 1/4 cup flour [the step I regrettably omitted]. A higher fat content milk makes a better custard and one that is less likely to be watery. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the custard over the chiles, and sprinkle with the remaining, shredded cheese. This is not a lot of cheese, compared to other recipes, if you want to add more– go for it. Often cheddar is used in conjunction with Jack. The goat cheese was really good, perhaps a goat cheddar? I sprinkled some ancho chile powder and freshly ground black pepper on top. Bake in 350 degree oven until brown and puffy. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before cutting.

My mother’s recipe is as follows [same assembly, just different amounts of ingredients]:

Use a 9: x 13″ pan.

18 chiles, seeded
1 lb. M. Jack cheese cut into 1″x3″x1/4″ strips to stuff into chiles
1/2 lb. Cheddar, grated
5 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 t salt; pepper to taste

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these deviled eggs are made with smoked fish, i got the idea from a local restaurant. the coarse salt on the top gives them a salty crunch. oh my god, so good.

i used 5 hard- boiled eggs, but for the sake of being even-steven, you can use a half dozen. to hard boil eggs, put them in a pot and cover them with water. add a teaspoon of salt to the water– it makes them peel easier. bring the water to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. move the eggs around with a spoon a bit to help center the yolk. after two minutes, take the pot off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for another 12 minutes. after 12 minutes remove the eggs and put them into cold water– even an ice bath if possible. when they have cooled than you can peel them. knock them against a hard surface to crack the shells and peel away under the thin membrane.

 

after they are peeled, cut eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. i know this is all really obvious, but you never know. i hate to leave anyone guessing.

 

put the yolks in a bowl and mash them well with a fork. if you want to do this in a food processor you can, but i prefer the natural texture of the ingredients and once you pulverize everything there’s no going back.

to the yolks add a scant 1/4 c of mayonnaise. i’m not a fan of mayo, if you want to use something else you can– sour cream, quark, maybe even a little buttermilk mixed with one of the above. add 1 t each wet [brown] and dry mustard, 2 T well- minced italian flat leaf parsley, 1/8 t celery seed, smoked salt, pepper, and a few shakes of angostura bitters. you can also add smoked paprika [or sprinkle on top], a little lemon zest, and finely chopped onion or chives. mash this up well with the fork, beating well, annihilating the small chunks of yolk. if you like it more wet, add some more mayonnaise or whatever you decided to use as moisture. once this is well- combined, add about 3 T well- minced smoked fish. use the dry smoked fish, not wet, brined/cured fish like lox [i mean, you probably could, but…]. chop the fish first against the grain of the meat, it breaks it up faster. stir well into mixture and distribute the filling back into the egg whites. sprinkle with smoked paprika, chopped parsley or chives, and coarse flaked salt, or a combination…

have some chardonnay…

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frittata

flora loves frittatas, and we have these cute little pans that make a great single serving. i have another frittata recipe on lambaste, it was one of my first posts. they are similar, some things i make different all the time. both recipes work fine.

you can add cooked vegetables, fresh tomatoes, ham, cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, spoons- full of ricotta, goat cheese, chunks of brie, and fresh herbs… anything really, as long as you like it with eggs. today we just grated some cheddar cheese and used dry thyme.

preheat oven to 425 degrees. beat eggs with a little milk or half and half, about 1 t per egg. season with salt and pepper and add the dried or fresh herbs. heat an ovenproof skillet that can also be put on a burner. add butter and swirl to coat edges. add eggs then go around the edge of the pan once, pulling the cooked edges into the center with the back or a fork [gently, don’t scratch the pan]. turn off the heat, and add grated cheese and other ingredients [put the cheese on last], and put dish on a rack in the top third of the oven. when the eggs are nearly set, turn on the broiler and broil until the top is a nice brown. watch it carefully so you don’t burn it.

cut into wedges [or serve in the pan if individual size].

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this was my hair-brained idea for lunch, that usurped my day. it turned out well, although next time it will be better. still, it was very yummy.

i started this morning by making crepes. i was going to do a sweet baked crepe thing, but then decided i wanted something savory.

for the crepes, beat 3 eggs with 4 T of low- fat milk. add 4T of flour and a pinch of salt. let rest for 20 minutes or more, then make the crepes. put butter in a skillet over medium heat, and add butter. when it is sizzling, add about 1/4 cup of the batter and swirl the pan so that the crepe covers the bottom of the pan. the crepes should be slightly bigger than the pan you will bake the dish in. flip crepe and allow to cook briefly, then remove. put a bit more butter in pan before each crepe, although not much is needed. try to make one crepe that is bigger than the rest. put crepes on a plate under a dishcloth and set aside.

cut about half of a butternut squash into large chunks. add 2 cloves of garlic and a couple of chunks of ginger root. add about a 1/2 cup of water to the lidded dish and microwave until squash is soft. drain water. remove ginger and mash squash and garlic while hot. add 1T chopped fresh sage.

while the squash is cooking, prepare the volute sauce. make a roux from 2 T butter and 3 T of flour. saute until light brown but not burned. add 2 cups of hot milk or half and half. stir until thickened. add 1/4 c white wine, some cayenne pepper, freshly grated nutmeg, salt to taste, and ground black pepper. when squash is done, transfer the ginger to the volute.

the trick to this dish is to minimize the amount of liquid that comes out of the squash. allow the squash to cool completely, so that a lot of moisture evaporates. if the squash seems really wet, put in a skillet with a little olive oil, and allow the squash to condense a bit to evaporate some of the moisture.

when the squash has cooled, mix in two beaten egg yolks and 2 T flour. beat egg whites until stiff. fold egg whites into squash mixture with as few strokes as possible as to not deflate the whites. if the squash is still warm, add some squash into the egg yolks first to temper the eggs, then add to the rest of the squash.

put about 2 T of melted butter in an oven- proof dish that is slightly smaller than the diameter of your crepes. brush butter to coat entire inside of the dish.

put the largest crepe in the bottom of the dish [i used an iron skillet]. spoon some of the squash mixture on top of the crepes. spoon some of the volute on top, and some grated cheese. i used a goat gouda, which was fantastic. continue to layer, splitting the filing amounts depending on the number of crepes you have, knowing you will end with a crepe, volute, and grated cheese, but not the squash filling.

continue to layer, ending with a crepe, the volute sauce, and grated cheese. bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. gently open the door and cut vents in the top with a sharp knife, to allow steam to escape. bake for another 20 minutes or so until the top is brown. let rest for about 10 – 15 minutes after, to allow more moisture to escape. cut into wedges and serve.

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flora and i developed this recipe this morning, they were SO yum! we like them on the thin side, you can add a full cup of flour if you like them thicker.

beat lightly two eggs and 1 cup of milk. add 1 T lemonade concentrate, and the zest of 1 lemon. mix together and fluff with a fork [i’m not a sifter]: 3/4 [to 1] c white whole wheat flour, 2 t baking powder, and 1/2 t of salt. mix flour into egg mixture. drizzle in [beating at the same time] 2 T melted butter [or safflower oil].

syrup: in a small pan, melt the juice of one lemon and 2 T of honey.

cook on a hot griddle prepared with melted coconut oil [or butter]. plate with powdered sugar on top, and drizzle over the melted honey and lemon juice syrup. add chopped, toasted, lightly salted almonds if desired, or a dollop of creme fraiche or mexican crema. also great with berries!

these were easy and very tasty. we ate them ALL! good for a weekend morning.

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simple simon egg sandwich

i usually don’t eat breakfast, but often when there is a chill in the air, i want to have something warm and salty. this couldn’t be easier, so simple.

the trick is to have all of the ingredients ready at the same time.  the egg takes about the same amount to cook, as the english muffin does to toast.

heat a small skillet with a little butter [get skillet hot before adding butter — always]. put a baking ring in the pan, and crack your egg into it. add about a half a cup of water and put a lid on it. basically, you are basting the egg.

start that toast at the same time. while both are cooking, thinly slice a bit of cheddar cheese, and warm the ham [or whatever kind of meat or meat [gulp] substitute you are using]. after a few minutes the egg yolk should be set but not totally firm, i like it still a bit runny. lightly butter the muffin, put hot egg on muffin, salt and pepper to tast [keep in mind meat is salty, i just add pepper, oh my god, i totally lied, i add more salt!] then cheese, then warm meat. thouroughly enjoy and have salad for lunch and dinner.

breakfst_sand2

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fritatta

…or as my daughter calls it, “that egg dish with thyme from the garden we put in the oven.”

there are more involved ways of making fritattas, but here is a very easy way. prepare your eggs as you would for scrambling, 3 eggs with about 2T of water, salt and pepper. add some fresh herbs [oregano or thyme leaves, chiffonade of basil, etc.] and beat with a fork.

turn the broiler on, and add  about 1T of butter to a 6″ – 8″ stainless frying pan. make sure the pan is hot before adding butter so eggs will not stick. when butter is melted, add eggs. allow for the egg to set slightly, then with the back of the fork, gently pull the set egg into the middle of the pan from the edge. go around and around the pan until eggs are almost set, but there is still liquid on top and around edge. 

add  vegetables [pre-cooked if needed, there is not enough time to cook veggies], grated cheese, dots of goat or other soft cheese, whatever you like, and an extra grind of pepper.

put under broiler until the edges become brown. loosen with a spatula and serve. you can garnish with tomatoes, avocado, creme fraiche, chives, chopped parsley, roasted potatoes, salsa… whatever you like.

fritatta

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