Showing posts with label Eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eggs. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shakshuka – Say It With Me Now

This Shakshuka, or Shakshouka if you prefer, is why I’m so glad the show/blog/channel is called, “Food Wishes.” This North African one-dish-meal is so fast, easy, and delicious, but it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to do a video for it, unless someone sent me a request. 

I always appreciate these types of reminders, and seeing "Shakshuka" in a subject line does catch your attention, but now I have a little problem. I can’t stop saying it. It has basically replaced using profanity for me. Yes, now when I stub my toe, I yell "shakshuka!"

I know we did an Italian-inspired version of this idea, served in individual ramekins, but this is supposedly the original. The sauce is quite different, and I think more interesting. The peppers and mushrooms add another layer of flavor, and the spicing is much more complex. Not to mention, a large pan of this is much more of a showstopper.

Just be sure to cook your sauce until the veggies are nice and soft and sweet. I don’t think you want crunchy onions and peppers in this, so take a little time building the base. You will also have to monitor the liquid level as it simmers, but that’s very easy to adjust by adding a splash of water or broth.

Once the eggs go in, you can finish covered on the stove, or just pop the pan into a hot oven until they cook to your liking. I go for just barely set, and the advantage of that system is, if you do want them cooked more, you just need to stir the egg into that hot sauce, and it will firm-up instantly.

No matter how you like your yolks cooked, this makes for an impressive breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. And if you’re serving a large group, you can scale this up to any size pan or baking dish. I really hope you “shakshuka!” very soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 small portions: 
(one egg per portion as appetizer - double for a main course)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
large handful of sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
28-oz can (about 3 cups) crushed San Marzano tomatoes, or other high-quality plum tomatoes. Of course you can use fresh tomatoes in season.
1/2 cup water or broth, or as needed
6 large eggs (or as many as you can fit in you pan)
crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley to finish
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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bacon & Asparagus Dutch Baby, Baby!

I’ve been seeing savory, non-breakfast versions of Dutch Babies pop up on menus lately, and while I’m not sure that means it’s a hot new trend, I figured I would get in on the ground floor with this amazing bacon and asparagus version, just in case.

Above and beyond the ingredients, the most important thing here is using a cast iron pan similar to, or better yet, exactly like, the 12-inch example seen herein. These relatively cheap and indestructible pans are one of the best kitchen investments of all time, but if you don’t have one, there is a Plan B.

You’ll have to do the bacon and asparagus steps in a frying pan, and then transfer everything to a similarly sized casserole dish. Make sure the sides are coated with your bacon fat, and then pour in your batter, and bake as shown.

It will take a few extra minutes in the oven, but just simply bake it until it’s browned, and properly puffed. It won’t work as well, but you should get similar results. Either way, I really hope you give this wonderful bacon and asparagus Dutch Baby a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 small portions:
3 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup if packed, but don’t pack it)
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup all-purpose flour *packed 
*push and pack as much flour as you can fit into the 1/2 cup measure)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 strips bacon
1 generous cup sliced fresh asparagus

- Bake at 475 F for about 12-13 minutes, or until browned and puffed
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Friday, September 2, 2016

Easy One-Bowl, One-Step Hollandaise - A Miracle of Modern Science

I'm not sure what specifically that would be, but I assume there’s some kind of science behind this amazing, and possibly modern method I happened to stumble upon. I once saw a chef make hollandaise buy adding chucks of cold butter instead of whisking in hot melted butter, and it intrigued me.

Not enough to actually try it, but enough to make me wonder what would happen if we dumped everything in the bowl at once, and just cooked it all together. No one was more shocked than I was when it worked. And worked beautifully. By the way, I’m guessing I’m not the only person to have thought of this, but until I see proof, I will claim to be it’s inventor.

The only way this doesn’t work is if your heat is too high. I don’t have to tell you what will happen if it is. However, over a low flame (or double-boiler if you’re scared) this will come together very gradually, right before your eyes, and you’ll be able to stop anytime you see fit.  

Eggs are cheap, so give it a try, and see what happens. Being able to just dump everything into the bowl, and make hollandaise in one step is well worth the investment, especially with Mother’s Day coming up. Hint, hint. I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 portions (this can be scaled-up to how ever much you need):
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (you can always add more to taste)
salt and cayenne or hot sauce to taste
NOTE: If sauce gets too thick, just thin with a little hot water.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Soft Hard Boiled Eggs – Cooking with Steam

As vaguely promised in the grilled shrimp Louie video, here is my foolproof method for doing hard-boiled eggs, when we want softer, creamier yolks. This style works very nicely for salads, and above and beyond the texture, we get pure egg flavor, without the sulfuric bitterness that over-boiled eggs suffer from.

Of course, there are variables. Large egg sizes can vary, as does the temperature of refrigerators, so your time to hard boiled egg nirvana may vary. For me, 6 to 7 minutes gives me a perfect runny yolk; 9 to 10 minutes gives me what you see in the video, or a “soft hard boiled egg,” if you prefer; and 11-12 gets you closer to the fully-cooked, classic yolk.

My suggestion is to get a dozen eggs, and do some tests. This steaming method is very precise, and repeatable, once you lock it in. By the way, there doesn’t seem to be a big difference whether you cook one egg or six, but I’ve never actually tried this with a whole dozen, so if you do, let me know the results. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

3 quart saucepan with lid
1 1/4 cup water
6 large eggs, straight from the refrigerator
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