"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Tea Eggs (Cha Ye Dan)

    Tea_Eggs

    Here is a little number that has fascinated me for quite some time. I first experienced, these fantastic looking marbled eggs with a light fragrance and outstanding taste, in a surprising hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown, and they have been twisting my imagination ever since.

    As the execrable advertisement said. “Quick… To the cloud!”. Time to do some research..

    Wikipedia says:

    Tea egg is a typical Chinese savory food commonly sold as a snack, in which a pre-boiled egg is cracked and then boiled again in tea, sauce and/or spices. It is also known as marble egg because cracks in the egg shell create darkened lines with marble-like patterns. Commonly sold by street vendors or in night markets in most Chinese communities throughout the world, it is also commonly served in Asian restaurants. Although it originated from China and is traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine, other similar recipes and variations have been developed throughout Asia.

    The process is, as all elegant things, fairly simple. Eggs are hard-boiled, then cracked, but not peeled, rested, then simmered in a steeping mixture. (I have so many side comments in the vein, of “A hard-boiled egg, please. Cracked, but not peeled… All in a Sean Connery brough)
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  • Quiche

    Time for food, but given the recent set of medical stupidity one must go a bit lighter. So maybe eggs, but sunny-side up, over easy, scrambled, just is NOT going to do it for me.

    I WANT TASTE!. I WANT TEXTURE! I WANT SAVORY…. So a quiche, but one with real bacon, real veggies, and lots of cheese and eggs..

    Quiche is essentially an custard made with milk and eggs poured into a pie crust and baked. You want just enough eggs to set the milk, but not so many that the quiche becomes truck tire. You want a bit of wobble in your quiche as it comes out of the oven. Wobble means silky, melt-away custard in every bite.

    The fool-proof part comes courtesy of the French. They long-ago settled on the perfect formula of one part egg to two parts milk. A standard large egg weighs two ounces and a cup of milk is eight ounces, so a good rule of thumb is two eggs per cup of milk. One can bump this up a bit to make a more substantial quiche and go with three eggs and a cup and a half of milk in a nine-inch pie crust.

    Or as one person wrote:

    I always use the Julia Child ratio: put the eggs in a large measuring cup and add enough dairy (cream/half & half/milk) to bring the total up to 1/2 cup per egg. So, if you used 4 eggs, you’d add enough dairy to make 2 cups of custard. So simple to remember and a perfect blend of dairy and egg: not too thick, not too liquid, just right.

    Now as per quiches, they have a reputation as a fancy French entree, and for being rather persnickety to prepare, but quiches are actually very easy to make. With a little science, some good chemistry, a proper ratio and a bit of technique, quiches can be a very good selection for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late night snack.

    There are some things key to good quichery :

    1. Flaky Crust
    2. First of all, the pie crust must be tender and flaky. A good tart crust, works well.

    3. A tasty Filling
    4. The filling must have some kind of structure so the pie will hold together when sliced. As the eggs cook, they set, forming a custard. A basic quiche recipe using the proportions of 1-2 cups of dairy with 3-4 eggs will work. Any other add ins, (bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions, etc) need to be fully cooked and cooled, BEFORE adding to the filling. In this case, 1 cup dairy to 4 eggs, plus my add ins. I am looking for hearty here.

    5. Proper Baking
    6. Following baking times and temperatures are KEY to a quiche that is cooked but not rubbery. I.E. The center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.

    You can fill your quiches with just about anything; they’re wonderful refrigerator Velcro. Leftover bacon, cooked chicken, ham, cooked vegetables, bits of cheese transform into a “slice of heaven”

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  • Deviled Eggs – Gangnam Style

    d-eggs

    Walking out for dinner last night, I chanced upon an intriguing little cafe / lounge with a quite twisted menu.. From Fried Pickles to Wasabi Deviled eggs the offerings were out of the ordinary, but with a very appealing set of twists

    The eggs were beyond belief, and the chef seems to be impervious to flattery, social engineering, Booze, Bribery, Blondes, and just out right threats of kidnapping and torture.

    Looks like I need to reverse engineer this one myself. The eggs, were hard boiled, uh, duh… The deviling was a light an airy cream of egg, homemade mayo, wasabi, and some form of vinegar, in the form of Sirachi! For a heated sweet and sour kick, and I’ll dust with 5 spice powder to reenforce the Asian flair

    Background
    Deviled eggs are hard-boiled eggs cut in half and filled with the hard-boiled egg’s yolk mixed with different ingredients and are usually served cold as a side dish, appetizer or a main course. Deviled eggs are one way of using Easter eggs after the children have found them and are a common holiday or party food.

    The deviled egg is purported to have originated in ancient Rome. They are still popular across the continent of Europe, in The Netherlands and Germany they are usually filled with caviar and served in rémoulade sauce, these are known as “Russian Eggs”. In the Midwestern and Southern U.S., they are commonly served as hors d’oeuvres before a full meal is served, often during the summer months. Deviled eggs are so popular, that special and carrying trays are sold specifically for them.
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  • Hard Boiled Eggs

    eggs0981

    Hard boiled eggs are a spring tradition in many cultures. From the boiled eggs for the seder to easter eggs

    If one is to follow tradition and and have one’s grand children hunt Easter eggs, one must produce Easter eggs.

    Background

    Easter eggs or spring eggs are special eggs given to celebrate the Easter holiday or springtime.

    The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in celebrations of spring and was adopted by many cultures.

    The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted hard boiled chicken eggs. These eggs are often hidden, allegedly by the Easter Bunny, for children to find on Easter morning.

    Boiled eggs are eggs (typically chicken’s eggs) cooked by immersion in boiling water with their shells unbroken. Hard-boiled eggs are either boiled long enough for the egg white and then the egg yolk to solidify, or they are left to cool down, which will gradually solidify them, while a soft-boiled egg yolk, and sometimes even the white, remains at least partially liquid.

    The egg timer was so-named due to its common usage in timing the boiling of eggs. Boiled eggs are a popular breakfast food in many countries around the world.
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  • Holiday Grog – Eggnog

    It is cold, rainy, in the morning, hot and steamy during the day, just out and out miserable. It has been a beyotch of a day, and I have had it. I want something to put out the fire in my throat, cool the acid in my stomach, ease the tension in my neck, most of all stop the jerks wth the hammers from hitting my head. I started thinking about Dirty Blue Martinis, or Bullet Manhattens but I must be functional in the morning for yet another day in paradise.

    It is the holiday season and I should try to get into the sprit, and a spirit other than “BAH!, Humbug!”, but then again Dickens’ Victorian England did have some decent ideas about food and spritis, so perhaps I’ll take a page from their book and prep a pitcher of egg nog. Cool and creamy to sooth the throat and stomach, with a strong punch of bourbon to unwravel muscles and ease the annoynaces of the mind.

    Eggnog is one of those holiday traditions that is either hated or cherished. Some rail at the foamy, milky substance as if it were an abomination; others laud this elixer to the skies.

    It is truly the holiday season, rich foods, wonderious cookies, and to top off the taste sensations, egg nog. NO plate of cookies for Santa is complete with out a mug of eggnog. Add a bit of bourbon and dark rum, and santa might just forget all your transgressions, at least after the third glass..

    Not the canned crap, pasteurized and sanitized to remove all flavor, then with chemical flavor enhancers added, but a REAL, RICH, THICK, flavorful emulsion of egg yolks, milk, sugar and vanilla, folded into a egg white foam for texture and mouth feel. (If you are concerned about raw eggs, pasteurized in the shell eggs are available.)

    Background

    Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based, frothy textured, beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, beaten eggs and flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg; often with the addition of various liquors, such as brandy, rum, and / or whiskey.

    Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the United States, Canada and Luxembourg and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Christmas and New Year. Commercially, non-alcoholic eggnog is available around Christmas time and during the winter.

    The drink derived it’s name “egg-and-grog”, a common Colonial name for rum. Eventually the term was shortened to “egg’n’grog”, then “eggnog”.

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  • Shirred (Baked) Eggs

    In search of a set of ramekins to do pot pies in, I happened upon a set of plates similar to a gratin, but called shirrer’s. Of course, I needed to find out just exactly what these were for..

    Shirred eggs (also known as baked eggs) is a dish in which eggs have been baked in a flat-bottomed dish; the name originates from the type of dish in which it was traditionally baked. It is considered a simple and reliable dish that can be easily varied and expanded upon. An alternative way of cooking is to crack the eggs into individual ramekins and cook them in a water bath, creating the French dish eggs en cocotte.

    Shirred eggs is an egg dish where eggs have been baked in a gratin dish with a flat bottom. Traditionally they have been cooked in a dish called a shirrer, from which the dish gets its name, but the name now applies regardless of the type of dish they are baked in. They differ from eggs en cocotte, which are baked in a ramekin sitting in a Bain-marie, or water bath. Shirred eggs can be served at breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. (I’ll NOT go into the various names and the origins of such meal names.) They are typically baked simply with butter until the whites have set and the yolks are thickened, and are usually served in the dish in which they were baked.

    Variations on the recipe include adding breadcrumbs or cheese to the top of the eggs to create a crust, or garnishing with herbs such as tarragon. Adding a protein such as fish to the dish has also been suggested by chefs to round it out sufficiently to make it suitable as a dinner-time option.

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