Edible Ohio Valley Spring 2011 : Page 24
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Your's Neighbor's Table
Spring Eggs<br /> <br /> When it comes to foodstuffs, "the basics" aren't always universal. Sometimes they differ by personality, by region, or by ethnicity. However, most cultures and cuisines utilize the humble chicken egg in one form or another. From the Japanese tamago to the French oeuf in cocotte, the egg can stand on its own or be accompanied by a garnish of vegetables, cheeses, and condiments, yielding a small savory meal or snack.<br /> <br /> If your house is like mine, when you run out of eggs, it really is time to do some shopping. I don't mean shopping at a gas station or a discount chain — we all know that they sell eggs: those sad little white orbs resting in their Styrofoam beds and filled with limpid, pale-yellow centers laid by chickens living in squalid circumstances at a factory farm near you. Stop right there. Just around the corner at your weekly farm stand is a nice farmer selling beautiful multicolored eggs filled with fiery orange yolks which have been laid by chickens who clucked away with their fellow hens as they feasted on spiders, grubs, weeds, and grasses. These are the eggs that you want to bring home to feed your family. Make the switch, taste the difference, and feel good about supporting sustainable agriculture.<br /> Deviled Eggs<br /> 12 halves<br /> In our family, no get-together is complete without a tray of deviled eggs. This is the traditional recipe that my Mom always made, minus the paprika.<br /> <br /> 6 eggs<br /> 1/4 cup plus It mayonnaise<br /> 2 1/2 yellow mustard<br /> 1 1/2 T sweet pickle relish<br /> Salt and pepper<br /> Paprika or togarashi to garnish*<br /> <br /> Place the eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with enough cold water to reach 1 inch above the eggs. Bring eggs to a boil. As soon as the boil is reached, remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow eggs to sit, covered for 15 minutes.<br /> <br /> Drain immediately and run under cool water. When cool enough to touch, peel, cither under the water or rinsing thoroughly after each egg is peeled.<br /> <br /> Cut each peeled egg in half. Rinse the whites if necessary and set aside on a tray or platter. In a small bowl, mash the yolks with the back of a fork. Blend in mayonnaise, mustard and relish. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.<br /> <br /> Fill the whites evenly with this mixture, either with a small spoon or piping bag. Garnish each egg half with paprika or togaroshi.<br /> *Togarashi is a Japanese spice blend consisting of sesame seeds, dried orange peel, ginger, and red pepper. It can be found at most Japanese grocery stores or blended fresh at Tea and Spice Exchange in Rookwood Commons.<br /> <br /> Photography by Julie Kramer food styling by Joanne Drilling vessels by Bethany Kramer<br /> www.edibleohiovalley.com<br /> <br /> Blue Cheese Souffle<br /> 4-6 side servings<br /> <br /> Many consider the souffle to be the Rolls Royce of egg dishes. While they are impressive to behold, fresh from the oven, they are also quite simple once the technique is mastered. This version is based on a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.<br /> <br /> 3T unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the souffle dish<br /> 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for garnish<br /> 3T flour<br /> 1 cup scalded milk<br /> Pinch of cayenne pepper<br /> Pinch of nutmeg<br /> 4 egg yolks, room temperature<br /> 3 oz blue cheese, crumbled*<br /> 5 egg whites, room temperature<br /> 1/8 t cream of tartar<br /> <br /> Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the inside of an 8 cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter x 3 1/4 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with the Parmigiano.<br /> <br /> Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 salt and 1/4 t black pepper. Add the cayenne pepper and nutmeg and continue cooking over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Souffle base should appear smooth and thick.<br /> <br /> Move the souffle base away from the heat, and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, while the mixture is still hot. Stir in the blue cheese and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.<br /> <br /> Put the egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for one minute, one medium speed for one minute, then finally on high speed until they form stiff, glossy peaks.<br /> <br /> Whisk one quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with a spatula to help the souffle rise evenly and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and brown. Resist the urge to peek, or souffle will fall!!! Serve immediately.<br /> <br /> *We love Kenny's Blue or Blue Jacket Dairy for local blue cheeses. French Roquefort or Blue d' Auvergne also work well.<br /> <br /> Bucatini Carbonara with Spring Peas<br /> 4-6 servings<br /> <br /> Rich, decadent, and redolent of smoke and pork, this classic pasta dish always satisfies me on a deep primitive level. The addition of spring peas, brighten both the palate and the plate.<br /> <br /> 6 oz bucatini or perciatelli<br /> IT extra-virgin olive oil<br /> 4 oz pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch dice<br /> 1 shallot, finely chopped<br /> 1 garlic clove, finely chopped<br /> 1 c heavy cream<br /> 2 T freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving<br /> 4 large egg yolks<br /> 1/3 cup fresh spring peas, shelled<br /> 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley (or fresh pea shoots if available)*<br /> Freshly ground pepper<br /> <br /> In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until most of the fat has been rendered, 7 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.<br /> <br /> Add the hot pasta to the skillet and stir to coat, 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water, the 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, peas and the egg yolks. Season with salt to taste. Divide the pasta into bowls and sprinkle with parsley (or pea shoots) and pepper. Serve, passing more cheese at the table.<br /> <br /> *pea shoots are the tops and flowers of the pea plant, which are often trained to trellis up a wall or fence. Not only are they edible (and pea-flavored), but their little curly tendrils provide a wonderful sense of spring whimsy.<br /> <br /> Chocolate Macaroons<br /> <br /> 30 cookies<br /> <br /> I first tried these light and tasty cookies at a friend's Pass over dinner party. Of course, I couldn't leave without the recipe...<br /> <br /> 1 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate (70% is ideal) in chips or broken into small, even sized pieces<br /> <br /> 2 large egg whites, room temperature<br /> <br /> 1/4 t salt<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup sugar<br /> <br /> 1/2 t vanilla<br /> <br /> 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut<br /> <br /> Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking dishes with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.<br /> <br /> Bring a small pot of water to a boil on the stove. Place the chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over the pot so that the bowl does not touch the water, but also does not fall into the pot. It should just sit on the rim like a lid. Allow the chocolate to melt in the bowl, stirring occasionally. Cool just to room temperature.<br /> <br /> In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, then vanilla, beating until the whites are thick and glossy. Fold in the melted chocolate and coconut.<br /> <br /> Drop the batter by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Switch the cookie sheets from top to bottom and bake another 10 minutes or so. Baking until tops are dry and cracked. Using a cake tester should reveal lightly moist crumbs. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.