eggs

My Culinary Debut

While I was poking around looking for Turkey Day recipes, specifically bread pudding recipes, I ran across a tasty-looking corn pudding recipe from Ina Garten. This got my wheels turning, and I was reminded of a recipe for Indian pudding that I made many, many moons ago. 

My memories are vague, but I’m sure my mom will fill in some of the details I’m missing once this posts to Facebook. It was a school project, I believe in middle school, possibly with a paper that accompanied it. I remember making the Indian pudding for my class, then getting invited to “present my project” to the school board. I imagine it may have had something to do with the fact that there was food involved with the project. Kind of like when it’s someone’s birthday at the office and you get free cake.  I do remember getting a thank-you note from the superintendent, mentioning that they were surprised that the pudding didn’t contain any pumpkin, since it had that pumpkin-spice flavor. What do you know? I was doing pumpkin-spice before it was cool! #hipster

Indian pudding is a New England recipe, sort of an Americanized version of the British hasty pudding. This version is from The Heritage Cookbook by Better Homes and Gardens. I actually remembered that when I text my mom to ask her about the recipe. I can remember that, but I can’t remember why I walked into my living room. Father Time is a cruel SOB.

Sweet Indian Pudding

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 C milk
  • 1/3 C molasses
  • 1/3 C yellow cornmeal
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and molasses, stir in cornmeal. Cook and stir for about 10 mins, until thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine egg, sugar, butter, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Gradually stir in hot cornmeal mixture. 
  5. Bake uncovered in a 1 qt casserole at 300 degrees about 1 1/2 hours until pudding is set. 
  6. I find it tastiest when eaten warm, but you can also chill it & top it with some whipped cream. 

Croque Monsieur Bread Pudding

This is a great recipe for anyone who has kids who refuse to eat crusts/end pieces of bread. I’ve been saving the butt-ends of loaves of bread in my freezer for several months now, and I have a whole bag full. Originally, my plan was to make a sweet bread pudding for Thanksgiving, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

A simple dinner that my kids enjoy is a Croque Monsieur. Basically, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, on French toast. Some folks like to add in ham or bacon but I find just cheese is just fine.

Imagine my amusement when while watching an episode of American Horror Story: Asylum, Dr Thresden (AKA Zachary Quinto) is making a Croque Monsieur for a “guest” & declares:

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You are creepy as hell Quinto, but SPOT ON.

This recipe is the casserole-version of the sandwich.

Croque Monsieur Bread Pudding

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • bread crusts, butts, and end pieces (about 1 loaf worth), cubed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4-1/2C half-and-half
  • 4-6 oz Munster cheese, grated or cut into thin strips
  • 4-6 oz Baby Swiss cheese, grated or cut into thin strips
  • cooking spray
  • nutmeg (of course)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, making sure you get the sides thoroughly. (The type you would make a lasagna in is perfect.)
  3. Spread half the bread cubes evenly in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Layer the cheese over the bread cubes.
  5. Spread the other half of the bread cubes over the cheese.
  6. Beat eggs and cream together. Crack all the eggs, then add cream to 2C. 
  7. Pour egg mixture over bread and cheese. With your hands, push bread and cheese down into egg mixture gently. 
  8. Let soak for 10 mins. Push down again. 
  9. Sprinkle top of pudding with nutmeg.
  10. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes, until pudding is set, not runny, and slightly golden on top.
  11. Scoop out and serve, a great rainy-day treat with tomato soup!

 

 

#putaneggonit (Part 3) The Wonderful World of Coddled Eggs

Today I coddled a few eggs and my world changed a little. Coddled eggs are a gently steamed egg that can be cooked in a variety of vessels. This morning I coddled an egg in a tea cup (see above) and this evening I tried 2 in tiny mason jars (because really, what can’t a mason jar do?). Absolute success. This is what I love about eggs. Cooking eggs can be difficult to master, but once you get your technique down, they are awesome every time. For the record, you can buy an egg coddler from Sur la Table, but you don’t really need one, any vessel will work. Although, if I stumbled upon one of these cute vintage ones from Royal Worcester, it would be hard to resist.

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Hello cutie. Royal Worcester egg coddlers.

Coddled Eggs in a Tea Cup or Baby Mason Jar

Equipment & Ingredients:

  • a pot large enough for your vessel(s) to fit inside of comfortably with the lid on
  • small tea cup or baby mason jar (1 for each egg)
  • 3 or 4 large eggs (however many you have cups/jars for)
  • cooking spray
  • hot water (I used my electric kettle)

Directions:

  1. Turn your stovetop heat to high, but do not put the pot on the heat yet.
  2. Using a kettle heat enough water to cover the portion of the vessel containing the egg (about 2-3 inches up should work).
  3. Spray your vessel liberally with cooking spray. (This is the key of getting the egg to pop out of the vessel effortlessly when it’s cooked.)
  4. Crack the eggs into the vessel.
  5. Carefully place cups/jars into the pot.
  6. When the water boils, slide the pot onto the hot burner & pour water from the kettle into pot around vessels taking care not to drip water into the vessels.
  7. When the water reaches a rolling boil, put on the lid and lower heat to a medium-high simmer.
  8. Boil, covered for 6-7 minutes or until eggs reach desired doneness. The cups/jars will rattle around slightly during the cooking process.
  9. Carefully take vessels out of hot water (they will be HOT) and turn eggs out onto plate or eat from vessel if desired.

“What can I do with my coddled eggs?” you may say. I’m glad you asked. Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Make a Steak & Egg McMuffin of sorts. One of my favorites is a coddled egg, on a toasted English muffin, with sautéed mushrooms & onions, and a bit of leftover steak.
  2. Have it on top of a slice of cold pizza.
  3. Atop your Ramen, Soba, or Odon noodles.
  4. Make your own EggSlut

“What’s an EggSlut?” Great question. While scouring the internet for ideas to further fuel my egg obsession I came across EggSlut. It’s a food truck (food trucks are so hot right now) based out of LA, that makes all manner of egg/breakfast sandwiches. Their star is the Slut, which is described as “a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar and served with a demi baguette”. Oh man. I really had to give that a try!

Coddled Egg with Mashed Potatoes and Cheese (AKA EggSlut)

Equipment & Ingredients:

  • small mason jar (1 for each EggSlut)
  • a pot large enough for your jars to fit inside of comfortably with the lid on
  • 3 or 4 large eggs (however many you have cups/jars for)
  • cooking spray
  • hot water (I used my electric kettle)
  • about 1/3 C mashed potatoes per jar (I do mine with heavy cream & plenty of butter. Sometimes with the skins left on.)
  • about 1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese per jar

Directions:

  1. Turn your stovetop heat to high, but do not put the pot on the heat yet.
  2. Using a kettle heat enough water to cover the portion of the jar containing the egg (about 2-3 inches up should work).
  3. Spray your jar liberally with cooking spray. **very important step**
  4. Put a scoop of mashed potatoes in the bottom of each jar. You want the mashed potatoes to come about an inch to an inch & a half up the side of the jar.

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    These are homemade mashed potatoes with the skins on (I like the texture) but this would also be a great recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes.

  5. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the potatoes.

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    The jars are in the pot here. #YOLO

  6. Crack an egg into each jar. IMG_0018_2
  7. Carefully place jars into the pot.
  8. When the water boils, slide the pot onto the hot burner & pour water from the kettle into pot around jars taking care not to drip water into the jars.
  9. When the water reaches a rolling boil, put the lid on the pot and lower heat to a medium-high simmer.

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    This is right before I covered it. The water is at a good, rolling boil.

  10. Boil, covered for 6-7 minutes or until eggs reach desired doneness. The jars will rattle around slightly during the cooking process.
  11. Carefully take vessels out of hot water (they will be HOT). You can turn your EggSlut out onto a plate or enjoy it right out of the jar with some toast or an English muffin.
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Beautiful & delicious finished “Eggslut”. You can give her a more family-friendly name if you want to… 🙂

#putaneggonit (Part 2)

My (not so) recent obsession with all things egg-related continues. This week, my husband returned from a year in South Korea. He had a lot of things to tell us about his time overseas but the thing that stuck with me most (of course) was his description of some South Korean street food he had recently tried. His description of a mini-loaf of cornbread with a hard-boiled egg inside of it created an itch in my brain that could not be scratched unless I gave making it a whirl. I entertained various scenarios: make the batter, crack a raw egg into the middle. Definitely not, the egg would take on a fried-egg-type consistency and would be flat and not round. A pre-hardboiled egg: would overcook and become tough in the 10-15 baking time of the muffin. A soft-boiled egg: would be the right consistency and shape after baking, but would be extremely hard to peel. Finally, I decided on a halfway-between-soft-boiled-and-hard-boiled egg and peeled it gingerly.

The most difficult thing about this recipe is to get the batter to surround the egg completely. I ended up with a few where the muffin tops peeled revealing the egg inside. This is street food, it’s designed to be “grab & go”. The recipe below uses a standard corn muffin recipe for the batter, but feel free to use your own recipe or even a mix if you want to play and are short on time…


South Korean Egg Bread: “Gyeran Bbang”

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 C yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 dozen eggs, boiled 8 minutes, cooled, and peeled (carefully)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray or line pan with cupcake liners. I found that the cupcake liners worked best to get the muffins out of the tin intact.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients to form batter. Using a small scoop, fill the bottom of each cup of the muffin tin. Make sure the bottom of the cup is completely covered so the egg can’t peek out.
  3. Place a boiled egg in each cup and press down gently.
  4. Top each cup with another scoop of batter. I used my fingers, sprayed with cooking spray they wouldn’t stick, to push the batter around the egg so it is surrounded & covered. Depending on your pan, and the size of your eggs you may need 2 scoops.

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    In-progress pic. Top row is a scoop in the bottom of the pan. Middle row eggs are pushed down. Bottom covered with batter and ready to go!

  5. Bake until golden and crunchy on top, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for at least 5 minutes before turning muffins out to a wire rack.

If you’re obsessed with eggs like I am, check out my Huevos board on Pinterest!

#putaneggonit (Part 1)

The theme of the week is eggs. Really, the theme of my life is eggs. I have this theory, any dish is better when you put a fried egg on it: pizza, burgers, fried rice, name one food that isn’t better with an egg on it.  You can’t. I really could eat eggs at every meal & never feel deprived. In keeping with my pickling obsession, I pickled some eggs this week. In all fairness, I’ve never eaten a pickled egg before so I have nothing to compare it with with regard to quality. I don’t even know where you would get a pickled egg. At a bar? Isn’t that what’s in the jar on The Simpsons at Moe’s Tavern?

The pickled egg recipe I tried out was made with liquid smoke to give it a slight smokiness under the vinegary pickled flavor.  I also looked at some recipes for pickled eggs using beets, where the eggs end up a lovely pinkish-red color when they’re done. But since I’m one of the only members of my family who likes beets, I 86ed the idea (for now).


Smoky Pickled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Pack your hard-boiled eggs in jars. Fun fact: 1 dozen large eggs fit nicely into a quart-size Mason jar. Don’t worry if it seems like there’s not enough room, the eggs will shrink down slightly in the pickling liquid.

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    Here are 1 dozen large eggs crammed into quart-size Mason jar, waiting to be pickled.

  2. In a saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and heat over medium-high heat until salt has dissolved and liquid begins to boil.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer pickling liquid for about 5 minutes.
  4. Cool liquid, uncovered to room temperature. It takes about 30 minutes.
  5. Pour liquid over eggs until completely immersed (A few of mine were peeking out of the liquid on top, and didn’t get as flavorful all the way through.)
  6. Cover jar and refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. The longer they are able to sit in the liquid, the happier and more pickley they will be.

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    Here are the finished eggs. 2 of them got a little torn during the pickling process, but I think this is normal. Any ideas on what I can do to prevent this in the future?

  7. Be aware the egg whites will be slightly harder than a normal hard-boiled egg. Delicious in egg salad, for making deviled eggs, or straight out of the jar!

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    Here are 2 of the eggs, in all their brownish glory, waiting to be sliced open and devoured (they later were).

For more on my egg obsession, check out my Huevos board on Pinterest!