Tag Archives: supper

Creamy Eggs

2 Aug

Creamy EggsEggs are humble things, but they taste spectacular, and they add their special golden glow and richness to lots of different dishes. They therefore should be treated with great honour and respect. I love making things with eggs – custards, quiches, cakes, ice creams. But sometimes, what I really want is the perfect egg in all its glorious eggy-ness. When that happens, I turn to this recipe for creamy eggs. Well, in all honesty, these eggs are scrambled, but the methodology and the finished product are just so different from the regular garden variety scrambled eggs that we started to call them differently. They deserve it.

These eggs are creamy to the point of custard, but still most definitely not. They are scrambled, and yet silky, unctuous, rich and light in a way that eggs whipped in a pan could never be. The secret is in the preparation, and because of that, these creamy eggs are really a gift of love. They take a while to make – may be 15 minutes – may be half an hour. It all depends on your heat source, on how well you cushion your eggs from the heat, and how many people (and thus how many eggs) you are feeding. As a result, I would not make this for more than 4 people – but I prefer making it for just 2. Or even, as a gift to myself, for just one. For breakfast or a light supper, these eggs are perfect.

These eggs are also really good for someone who isnt feeling very well. They are so easy to eat. They slip down the throat, and fill the belly. Their golden colour, and tantalising scent perk up even the most jaded or weary of appetites…

Remember though, as a cook, this is a meditative dish. The constant stirring, the thoughtfulness about thickness and balance, the tasting… you have to be in the present when you make these eggs, and what you put into them is what you get out of them. Make sure that you are happy and loving when you make this dish, because if you arent, you will surely taste it in the eggs.

You can serve these eggs with lots of things. For non-vegetarians, snippets of silky smoked salmon layered atop the eggs seems like silk on velvet. For the rest of us – the sharpness of basil or another herb, snipped fine, might be a perfect contrast to the sublime richness of the eggs. To be honest though, I serve them with nothing but a crack of black pepper and a silver spoon, nestled in a pretty bowl like golden curds. Sometimes toast might get a look in – just for that crunchy contrast, but honestly, you need nothing but these eggs to bring sunshine and smiles to those you love… incluing yourself!

For each person, you will need:

  • 2 fresh organic eggs (preferably at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp sour cream or creme fraiche
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cold butter cut into tiny slivers
  • Bain marie – double boiler set up

A bain marie or double boiler can easily be made by putting a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Just make sure the bowl doesnt touch the water, and have a kettle of boiled water standing by in case you need to replenish the water at a critical moment. Start off by filling the saucepan about 1/4 full with water, and setting over low heat to come to the boil.

Meanwhile, break the two eggs into a bowl, and very gently, mix in the sour cream or creme fraiche with a fork. Try not to beat the eggs or whip them or form too many bubbles in the mixture. Water and air are the enemy of creamy eggs – they form steam which help puff up the eggs as they cook. You want something much deeper and darker and sensual. Fluffy eggs have their place – but not here!

Crack some black pepper and a pinch of salt over. You can adjust later. You just want a tad right now.

Once the water is boiling, put the metal bowl on top of the saucepan, and slide your eggs in. No butter, no oil. Just eggs and a little sour cream. With a spatula, start stirring the eggs…. Find a pace and rhythm that works for you. Figure eights usually do it for me. Watch the eggs carefully, and just keep stirring and stirring. Slow and even, no sudden movements, just a gentle silky pattern. You will see the cream slowly dissolve into the eggs, and the mixture go from slightly glossy and transparent to thick and yellow and opaque.

Keep stirring. (Thats the basic recipe. Eggs and stir!) Your eggs will go through quite a few stages. They will start gaining thickness, and will look like golden oatmeal porridge. Basically, what you are doing is cooking the water out of the eggs, and encouraging the proteins to thicken and cream. This takes time and gentleness – in heat and in touch. Go fast, and your eggs will respond and go rubbery.

When they look like thick oatmeal porridge, you can add a little bit of cold butter for silkiness and smoothness and creamy taste. But you dont have to if you dont want to. What you should do at this point is taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.

Keep stirring. 🙂 When the eggs look like a firm cottage cheese or ricotta, take them off the heat immediately.

Serve atop crisp toast, or in a bowl with a silver spoon.

Taste the love.

Welsh Rarebit (Rabbit!)

18 Jul

Rarebit Rabbit All Tastes YUMI recently read a post on things on toast. I adore just about anything on toast – from gorgeous glowing tomato bruschetta to a poached egg and mushrooms to simple toast, butter and sugar (a firm favourite of my late Ayah’s). Oooh Nutella and banana!

But when I thought of things on toast at that moment, I thought of Welsh rarebit – that divine burnt cheese creation that comes from poverty (instead of rabbit, you used cheese in an alchemical mix with ale and spices). Goddess, this is good food. Simple, warming, easy to make.

And wonderfully enough, any extra is quite long lasting! You can put it in the fridge where it will firm up. From there, you can slice this cheese-beer mixture and use it to top more toast… or whatever else catches your fancy! Its phenomenal stuffed into portobello mushroom caps and grilled. Its ambrosial as the centrepiece of a grilled cheese and tomato. Im sure you can think of many other uses.

The one issue I had with rarebit is that it is mostly made with Worcestershire sauce as its primary spice ingredient. Worcestershire has many good things – vinegar, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic and other spices (including clove and cinnamon). Unfortunately, one of its major ingredients is anchovies – a big no no for vegetarians. So I had to find an alternative, and I found it in A1 steak sauce, amazingly enough! It had most of the same ingredients as Worcestershire sauce, but without the anchovies, which would have un-vegetarian-ed this delectable meal.

Because this is basically burnt cheese on toast, you need to really layer flavours. I added some old balsamic vinegar and a touch of soy to the recipe to make up for the “lack” of anchovies. I also rubbed a cut garlic clove over the toast before putting on the cheese – subtle, but it imbues the final dish with a whisper of flavour. Its delicious, easy to make, and a perfect supper or dinner for friends and family.

For the cheese sauce you will need:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 – 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 – 2 tsp A1 sauce
  • 1 tsp old Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup ale – I used Leffe
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups grated cheese (I used a mix of 2 parts Cheddar to 1 part red Leicester with a tad of pecorino grated in)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 – 9 drops hot sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp or so soy sauce (optional to taste)

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has completely melted, add the flour, and mix well. Cook this mixture (a nominal roux), stirring all the while, until lightly toasted in colour – a light tan is good. This should take you about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the Dijon mustard, A1 sauce, balsamic and ground pepper, and mix well.

Add the ale, and stir to combine. I usually start using a whisk at this point. The roux will start to deepen the sauce, but you will be adding a few more elements to get a very rich thick final result. Add the heavy cream, and cheese, and whisk well after each addition. Continue whisking as the cheese melts well into the sauce. Make sure it does not come to a boil.

Once the cheese has completely melted, drip the beaten eggs very slowly into the mixture, whisking all the while. Once the egg is completely incorporated, continue to whisk until it is thick to your liking. It should coat the back of a spoon, and when you draw a line through the sauce, the line should stay clean. Taste. Take off heat, and add hot sauce. I usually add 9 drops because I like it a little spicy, but do what tastes good to you. A few drops will be barely traceable but it will add to the final sublime flavour.

Add salt and soy to taste. The cheese should have added quite a bit of salt already, so be gentle.

Leave to cool for a while, as you prep the toast and oven.

To serve (for 2 people – you can adjust for the number of people in your house – the cheese mixture will serve up to 8 people):

  • 4 slices good toasted bread (I used multigrain and sourdough from my favourite bakery)
  • 1 cut clove of garlic
  • a handful of micro-greens (I used pea shoots), washed and cleaned
  • a lick of olive oil and vinegar for the greens
  • 1 vinegar onion each
  • a few baby tomatoes
  • A little minced Italian parsley

First, preheat your oven broiler, and arrange your oven rack to the highest level.

Toast your bread very well. You want it well browned on both sides (this is caramelisation, and flavour!). Rub one side of each piece of toast with a cut garlic clove.

Arrange the toast, garlic rubbed side up, on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. The paper will capture any cheesy bits that come off the toasts – usually the most tasty bits!

Spoon about 2 – 4 tablespoons (depending on the size of your bread and your greed, obviously) of cooled cheese mixture over the toasts.

Broil for about 5 – 10 minutes until the cheese is burnt on top and bubbling.

While the toasts are broiling, toss the micro-greens with a tiny lick of olive oil and vinegar, and slice a few baby tomatoes.

Serve 2 toasts per person, with some micro-green salad, a few tomatoes, and a vinegared onion. Sprinkle a little minced parsley over all.

I specifically chose sharp and vinegary side dishes to cut the serious richness of the cheese toasts, but if you hate micro-greens or vinegar onions, obviously, choose what you love as sides!

Pure heaven.