Eggcellent!!!

To me eggs are magic.  I know I’m not alone in this, but not much on our planet can keep up with eggs.  The combination of nutrition, sustenance, and pleasure I get from a perfectly cooked egg is hard to beat.  I just had an over easy egg with buttered toast this morning and it once again caught me off guard.  It’s a combo I’ve had countless times and it still makes me moan in disbelief.  I decided to write about eggs because I came across some pics I had of my new favorite pizza.  Then, (As I was scrolling the web for ideas on cooking with Corn Flakes) I came across an idea so devious…it had to be awesome.  Soft boiled egg with Corn Flakes and, wait for it…vanilla ice cream.  With my curiosity piqued, I needed to try this; so try it I did.  IMG_1264

It was pretty damn good.  Crunchy custard is how I’d describe it.  If you like custard or French vanilla ice cream then you’d enjoy this fun little ditty.  For guests; you can pre-cook, cool and peel your eggs, then bring em back up to heat with a minute and a half in hot water.  If I were to plate this for wow factor instead of private hom-nom food tasting, I’d scoop the vanilla then make an indention and place it back in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Then to plate on top of a pile of flakes and place the warm egg in the indentation, garnish with fancy salt.

You know chef hats right?  Le Toque Blanche?  Well, the ridges on chef toques had 101 ridges signifying the 101 preparations of an egg a chef should be able to execute.  There are many more ways then a hundred but the tradition stuck; at least that’s what I learned in  cooking school.   

Also…the aforementioned farmer’s pie?  Make it as soon as possible; here’s how it goes.

Farmers pizza:  Make pizza dough as you would normally for a personal pizza and use a 450° oven.  For toppings, scatter the ingredients listed below using the arugula liberally and as a nest for the egg in the middle.  This pizza is meant to cook about 12 minutes, so prep your crust accordingly.

Olive oil, chile flake, salt, caramelized onion, chèvre, arugula, one egg and a little cooked bacon as an added option. 

Two new ideas to re-introduce you to the egg.  If you still struggle with classic morning preparations, don’t be scurred, here’s the low-down.

Soft boiled: place older eggs (fresh eggs are harder to peel) in a pot of boiling water for 6 minutes.  Remove to an ice bath until cool enough to peel.

Hard boiled:  Place eggs in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil then cover and turn off heat and let it sit for 12 minutes.

Poached:  bring three inches of water to a boil in a medium sauce pot with a tsp of salt and 2tsp vinegar.  Lower heat to a simmer and gently crack the egg into

Scrambled:  Heat a skillet over medium heat until very hot.  Whisk the egg(s) with 1T (per egg) water, milk or cream .  Lightly coat the skillet with fat, pour in the egg, sprinkle with salt and gentle scrape from the bottom till desired doneness.

Shirred/baked:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a ramekin, crack in an egg or two and bake for 15ish minutes.  Feel free to add a tablespoon of cream before baking and anything else you want to taste.  i.e. cheese, bacon, garlic onion…whatev’s.

Over easy:  My personal favorite; heat a skillet over medium heat until hot.  Coat the pan with fat, either lightly or liberally, then gently crack in the egg.  Season with salt and cook about one minute, then confidently flip and cook another minute or 30 seconds.

One last thing.  Some people are sensitive to cholesterol.  I get it, I feel for ya.  Eggs do contain a good amount of it.  If you don’t have any issues already then don’t worry about how much you are getting from a couple eggs.  Cook ’em in oilve oil and you’ll be good to go.  As another little side note:  Hopefully anyone with raised LDL levels re on some sort of HDL rich oil to bring your body into balance.  Remember that all fats are not equal and neither is all cholesterol.  Virgin coconut oil raises HDL levels quickly and easily; now go get yer egg on.

Guajes

IMG_0847One of my posts from earlier in the month inspired this post.  I was doing a fresh tortilla class and thought these little guys would be great in a Mexican version of pesto.

Guaje, (pronounced gwa-heh) are seeds (legumes really), from the Leucaena tree and they’re interesting enough to be tasty.  They are protein dense and taste like garlic, onion and pepita with a bit of raw starchiness.  I figured, omitting the nuts and garlic from the pesto for these might make for something new and wonderful.  I didn’t realize how to shuck em until I scoured teh interwebz and came across this lady at the 4:20 mark.  Look at her go on that thing…it’s a better video if you have in-fact tried shucking these lil’ bastards.  I was trying to do it like other bean pods; where-bye you pull away the fibrous string from the seam.  I was cutting that away, then prying open the pod with mixed results.  Watching this lady do it made me realize the method of splitting the pod equally from the tip.  (Use your fingers not your mouth like her.)  She was just doing it to show they are happily eaten as a snack…plus she knew her efficiency would blow that guys mind.  Still…it’s like picking herbs or peeling garlic…takes a little time that you often don’t feel like spending.  Don’t forget about delegation; utilize any opportunity for child slave labor or a drinking spouse or friend to help shuck.

To shuck properly, the pod should be ripped open at the end(tip), then peeled open with equal force on both sides.  It takes about 15-20 minutes to get 1/2c of seeds.  They can be used in anything and in any way.  Toasted, fried, roasted, raw, braised, boiled or steamed…do what you want.  All I’ve done is the pesto and thrown them raw into salsa, both with tasty results.  Look around your neighborhood and you’ll probably see a Leuceana tree, the pods are usually on trees in the month of May.  I’ve seen em my whole life…I just didn’t know I could eat em :-|

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