Spring is in the air! Here is some egg-spiration including ever relevant prior posts and a few egg recipes for Easter (and year-round..)
As with most people, I am always inspired at Easter especially because the seasons are changing and it’s our new year! These guys take the cake though with their easter egg tree..
But wow, looking back at my blog, I’m extra inspired by how inspired I was in 2007 or 2008. It all still holds true, but let’s just say, the wonder of eggs and a ‘God’ we don’t understand are now givens; I am presently more focused on just getting a ton of mundane tasks done - like my cooking, paperwork and cleaning, maple soda and hiring, planning for the season. The greens will be sprouting soon enough, weehoo..
For Easter, On Eggs and God I really like this post (from 2008), which I also find amusing since I am even more of a witch now, fascinated by plant intelligence for instance. Once in a while, it’s important to stop, think and feel, question or accept, taking stock and ‘lacher prise’. Often time alone in the kitchen provides that space, like snowshoeing or running say, conducive to figuring something out and finishing off feeling good. A moment of peace and clarity can go a long way. There can never be too many elephants in the room. Besides, my dad the minister comfortingly told me once since that I am effectively praying to God by doing my thing the best I can, by practicing my craft and expressing myself in tune with nature, loving and doing and sharing, while being honest and true. My kind of religion. Scroll down to my Egg Epiphany. http://soupnancy.squarespace.com/blog-journalessays/2008/3/23/for-easter-eggs-and-god.html
My Easter Egg A quick ode to the egg and all its properties, from 2007. Kind of boring as in ‘duh’, but fact: eggs are truly amazing. How can you not find the phenomenon that is meringue extraordinary?! http://soupnancy.squarespace.com/blog-journalessays/2007/4/6/my-easter-egg.html
My Easter soup (from made with lamb lungs, a fun exercise in tribute to my producers and Greek tradition but not necessarily one to repeat. http://soupnancy.squarespace.com/blog-journalessays/2011/4/18/greek-easter-soup.html
These following recipes are more of a sure bet, like my eggs en cocotte (baked) with wild mushrooms and greens below.
First of all, a basic egg cooking guide is a good idea to share with your kids or to revisit if you’ve forgotten to cook eggs. Everyone should know how to cook eggs. http://firstwefeast.com/eat/complete-guide-to-cooking-eggs-at-home/ This overview covers basic egg knowledge; I just don’t agree with frying an egg in oil at high temp, but to each his own.. And for a hard-boiled egg, I stand by the method of putting them in cold water, bringing to boiling temperature, removing from heat and covering for 10min. Chill in running water while cracking the shells a bit and peel. When cooking in the pan, gentle/medium heat and butter, not oil. And I couldn't be bothered with the 62C degree egg. I prefer more texture, but mainly, why spend hours cooking an egg in a circulator, when 5 or 10 minutes with an old-fashioned technique works just fine.
An Italian Easter Ricotta pie https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/04/spinach-herb-and-ricotta-pie-recipe-rachel-roddy-torta-pasqualina
Egg toast Mumbai sytle https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/magazine/egg-cheese-and-toast-mumbai-style.html
Pound cake An easy recipe to remember (approximately equal parts by weight of butter, sugar, eggs, flour), and a snap to make, it’s just plain good stuff. I had forgotten about this old classic, more often making a current lightened version using less eggs and butter, adding milk/yogurt and baking powder, vegetable oil for a fine cake or ‘quickbread’ (like banana bread), if not going all out to make a fancy dessert. I rediscovered pound cake this winter when my girlfriend was preoccupied with ensuring her athlete-daughter had enough energy for her competitions; pound cake was important filler. It was hanging around, we ate it. And then, I came back home to make it regularly. Bonus is that it keeps well on the counter for over a week, perfect with coffee or breakfast, or for a snack. Dress it up with coulis, fruit and whipped cream, caramel or chocolate it can be a swoon worthy dessert. While at JS, I would incorporate wild flavours such as mushroom powder or sumac, long pepper or sweet clover flower and maple sugar etc, this lemon poppyseed version at home is tough to beat. See recipe below.
Baked eggs with wild mushrooms and greens
Chef Nancy Hinton, Les Jardins Sauvages
200g wild mushrooms (4c)
*(or 150g JS sousvide, cooked, frozen wild mushroom mix)
30ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
15ml (1 Tbsp) butter
1 small onion, minced (1c)
5ml (1 tsp) minced garlic
45ml (3Tbsp) white wine
125ml (1/2c) heavy cream
150g Blanched/Precooked greens (lambs’ quarters, wild mustard leaf, spinach fiddleheads, asparagus), chopped (2c)
drops to taste hot sauce or chilli flakes
to taste salt, pepper
100g grated cheddar cheese
option chopped cooked bacon
to taste maple syrup
Sauté mushrooms in a hot pan with oil. As soon as caramelisation starts, lower the heat a bit. Add onions and butter and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, add the garlic and lower the heat and cook 5-10 minutes more until the mushrooms are cooked through and tender, the onions translucent. You might want to add a squirt of water to finish the cooking (so it doesn’t dry out or fry). Season to taste with salt, pepper, worchestershire, herbs.
Deglaze with white wine and add cream. Remove from heat.
Add cooked greens, and make nests for the eggs.
Or divide mushroom mixture and greens into greased ramekins.
Crack the eggs into the nests. (You might want to break the eggs into a bowl first to make sure there are no shells).
Season again or add bacon, and a spoonful of pansauce or cream on top of the egg. Top with cheese.
Put in a hot 350F oven and cook for 10-20min until desired doneness.
*When it comes to small ramekins, it is often recommended to place in a pan of hot water which makes for a gentler heat but it takes a lot longer (like 30min) so your choice, after 10 minutes, you need to be checking.
*Serve with hot sauce and maple syrup or a tomato salsa. And good toast.
Œufs en cocotte aux champignons sauvages et légumes verts
Chef Nancy Hinton, Les Jardins Sauvages
200g champignons sauvages (4t)
*(ou 150g Mélange Forestier JS blanchies congelées sous-vide hors saison)
30 (2 cu.à soupe) huile d’olive
15ml (1 cu.à soupe) beurre
1 petit oignon émincé (ou 1t)
5ml (1 cu.à the) d’ail émincé
45ml vin blanc
125ml crème 35%
150g Légumes vert blanchis (chou gras, épinards de mer, feuilles de moutarde, têtes de violon ou asperges etc) et coupé grossièrement (2t)
gouttes huile de piments/sauce au piments ou pincé piment broyé
au goût sel, poivre
100g fromage cheddar râpé
option bacon cuit et haché
au gout sirop d’érable
Faire poêler champignons dans l’huile à feu vif. Quand la coloration commence, baisser le feu et ajouter le beurre, les oignons et continuer la cuisson plus lente pendant 5 à 10 minutes de plus, ajoutant l’ail à la fin, jusqu’à temps que les champignons sont cuits au centre, tendre et encore juteux et l’oignon translucide. Rajouter un peu d’eau si c’est trop sec pour terminer la cuisson. Assaisonner les champignons à votre gout (sel, poivre, worchestershire, herbes..)
Déglacer avec le vin blanc, et réduire. Ajouter la crème et enlever du feu.
Garnir de légumes verts et faire quatre trous (nids) et placer les œufs.
Ou séparer les champignons et les légumes dans 4 cocottes individuelles beurrées et placer les œufs au centre.
Assaisonner et garnir de bacon si vous désirez.. Ajouter une cuillère de sauce/crème par-dessus l’œuf. Garnir de cheddar râpé.
Enfourner à 350F pour 10-20min jusqu’à la cuisson désiré.
Avec des ramekins individuels, on peut les mettre dans une plaque avec de l’eau chaude pour une cuisson plus douce (et plus lente). Peu importe, verifier la cuisson après 10min.
Servir avec un filet de sirop d’érable et sauce piquante.
Une salsa de tomate et du bon pain accompagne bien aussi.
*I don’t remember where I got this particular recipe which uses cake flour, baking powder and an off kilter ratio with more butter, but I like it.
1 loaf (standard 9x5)
1/2c each (230g total) brown sugar, white sugar
5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
15ml (1 Tbsp) lemon zest
4 large eggs
2c (230g) cake flour
5ml (1tsp) baking powder
30ml (2Tbsp) poppy seeds
Have all ingredients at room temperature first of all.
Cream together the butter and sugars, lemon zest and vanilla (or whatever flavours you like) until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs one at a time, whipping well after each.
Combine dry ingredients and mix into butter-sugar-egg mixture, gently incorporating until homogeneous.
Bake at 350F in a greased/parchment lined loaf pan for 50min-1hr until a knife comes out clean.