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Surely the most versatile cooking ingredient!
Eggs in General
Member Name: GentleGenius
Eggs in General
Advantages: Tasty, filling, economical, versatile
Disadvantages: The chocolate meringue dessert takes a bit of practice, unless you're a natural
Eggs have got to be the most versatile of all foods. They are an essential ingredient to so many recipes, such as Yorkshire pudding, cakes, bread & butter pudding, the Great British Breakfast and so very much more.
When I was a small child, breakfast invariably consisted of eggs to begin with, either boiled with soldiers, a fried egg perched on top of a piece of bread which had been fried in butter to a golden crisp, or just plain scrambled eggs on their own. Afterwards, there would always be a bowl of some sort of cereal.
There was a belief around back in those days that eggs with brown shells were somehow richer in nutrition than those white shells, although I have no idea how that superstition came into being.
My mother would buy a dozen eggs each week from the milkman, and they didn't come in a cardboard or polystyrene box. The milkman would carefully wrap each egg in straw that he would fish out with his hands from a large metal churn which was packed full of the stuff, then gently place them into a large brown paper bag. My mum would then bring the bag with into our living room-cum-kitchen, remove the eggs, brush away the straw and insert them into a strange bright green coloured heavy glass egg holder, which was some piece of very ugly, yet fascinating Victoriana inherited from who knows where!
Over the span of my adult life, eggs have been very valuable to me as I've gone through phases of being both lacto- and ovo-vegetarian. During the ovo phases, I didn't have that egg-buying ceremony with the milkman which my mum went through, simply because milkmen have gradually become a dying breed, what with the advent of cartons and supermarkets. Instead, I would stock the kitchen with lots of huge-sized free-range eggs, and play around, experimenting, inventing different recipes of my own.
Although it's been some while since I've abandoned a carnivorous diet, I still eat a lot of eggs and indulge in some of my self-created recipes...three of which I'd like to share with Dooyoo members - so, here goes!
All recipes serve two people with good appetites.
(1) EGGS IN RED WINE
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved
A knob of butter (approximately a dessert spoonful)
A rounded dessert spoonful of white flour (not cornflour as it doesn't work as well)
A generous pinch of dried rosemary
10 fl. ozs of punchy red wine
In a large non-stick saucepan, heat the butter until it melts and the foam subsides. Add the flour to the melted butter, and over a very low heat, stir the mixture continuously, thoroughly and vigorously until it forms a smooth, lump-free paste. Still stirring in the same way, cook for one minute.
Slowly and gradually, add the red wine to the flour/butter mixture, just a little at a time, stirring continuously, until all the wine is used up.
Raise the heat under the pan to high, and bring to the boil, still stirring like mad. The mixture should thicken into a sauce of about the same consistency as custard. Then, stir in the dried rosemary.
Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and carefully drop the eggs into the sauce with the yolk sides facing upwards. Gently prod each egg half into the sauce so that they are fully immersed, then cook without stirring for five minutes.
Serve with mashed potato and peas, or a green salad with garlic or ciabatta bread, or with plain boiled rice (I find Basmati rice most suitable for this recipe).
A warning does go with the above recipe in that it is very rich, indulgent, and may not suit everybody's palate.
(2) POTATO, EGG & LEEK BAKE
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon black poppy seeds
2 tablespoons unsweetened crème fraiche or plain Greek yoghurt
1 large leek, washed, trimmed and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
A small knob of butter
A little ground nut oil
Boil the potatoes in the usual way, then drain and mash. Thoroughly mix in the poppy seeds and crème fraiche or yoghurt.
Melt the knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and fry the leek slices over a very high heat, just to sear them - this shouldn't take longer than a couple of minutes.
Carefully mix the leeks with the mashed potato.
Pre-heat the oven to medium, and brush a fairly large, deep ovenproof container with the ground nut oil.
Press the mashed potato/leek mixture into the oiled container, then make (using your fist to do this is the best way) four evenly spaced apart dents in the surface of the potato. Carefully crack one egg into each dent, then sprinkle the whole surface with the ground black pepper.
Bake, uncovered, for about 35 minutes or until the eggs have set and cooked completely...the yolks should be hard.
Serve with salad, or baked beans or peas or steamed green beans, or as it is with garlic bread.
(3) RICH CHOCOLATE MERINGUE DESSERT
1 large bar of Galaxy Milk Chocolate, broken into cubes
1 large bar of any brand of plain chocolate, broken into cubes
1 small carton of double cream
1 tablespoon of good quality brandy
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 rounded dessert spoonful of sifted icing sugar
1 Cadbury's Flake Bar, finely crumbled
A little ground nut oil
NB: This recipe takes a bit of practice, as sometimes some of the ingredients can curdle when blending/heating. My only advice for when this happens, is to adopt patience and go by trial and error.
Melt the Galaxy Milk Chocolate and the plain chocolate pieces together. You can do this by putting in a microwaveable container and whizzing in the microwave on full power for 80 seconds then stir thoroughly to combine - or, place the chocolate pieces into a heat-proof deep dish which will snugly fit over the surface of a saucepan that has boiling water underneath, then stir the chocolate pieces until they are completely melted and well blended together.
Place the blended chocolate into a non-stick saucepan - do this while the chocolate is still hot and soft - then place over a very low heat. Beat the egg yolks quickly into the chocolate using a Teflon whisk, until completely blended into the chocolate. Keep beating and stirring whilst adding the cream. Mix thoroughly, then remove from the heat and carefully but thoroughly stir in the brandy.
Spoon the chocolate/egg-yolks/brandy mixture into a deep bowl. Leave to one side, then when completely cooled, place in the fridge to chill and harden, for at least 3 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to very hot, and lightly grease a flat non-stick baking tray with the ground nut oil.
In a deep bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and the shine has disappeared from the surface. Then, gradually and slowly, using a metal spoon, carefully fold in the icing sugar, blending thoroughly.
Using a large tablespoon, scoop dollops of the egg-white/icing sugar (meringue) mixture onto the oiled flat baking tray. It doesn't matter how many or few dollops you make because they are going to be broken up anyway, but don't cook it all in one piece.
Cook the meringue pieces in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
When the meringue pieces have cooled and the chocolate mixture has been chilled for at least three hours, crumble the meringues finely over the chocolate mixture, then sprinkle the Cadbury's Chocolate Flake over the top.
Happy eating, and thanks for reading!
Summary: I'm starving now !!!
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