The Egg: Part 1 of 3

“I want you to be healthy and everything but this blog is a lot less fun than when it had super fattening food.”

-Grace, January 7, 2013

Well, I was getting tired cooking (not eating) the healthy stuff, too.  In fact, this evening I made this:

Salisbury steak with cremini mushroom gravy, couscous (whole wheat!) and green beans with lemon butter

Salisbury steak with cremini mushroom gravy, couscous (whole wheat!) and green beans with lemon butter

Sorry, no recipe, but the mushroom gravy was delish.  Every dish had butter in it– the green beans with lemon, the couscous (but it was WHOLE WHEAT, which neither Kurt nor Ken have noticed and I’ve made it three times).

So today I’ve decided to write a series of three posts about the egg– perpetually lurking in the depths of your fridge, an overlooked inspiration for any meal other than breakfast.  Some folks scoff at eggs, but I do not.  A large egg has 5 grams of fat, less than a glass of whole milk or a stick of part skim mozzarella string cheese.  I always keep at least two dozen eggs in my refrigerator.  As the old commercial goes, they’re Incredible and Edible.

I like to work exclusively with the extra large organic cage-free variety (that’s a mouthful).  Cage-free for personal reasons, organic for flavor and extra large because…well, just because.  I used to buy organic solely for omelets or dishes where the egg was the star of the show because the yolks are so brilliantly colored and superior in flavor to non-organic eggs, but I have since gone organic-only.  I like to get eggs from my chicken man, but he’s an hour away, so I’ve been buying my eggs at Wegman’s.  I’m thinking of making the change to large eggs because Costco sells them in 2 dozen packs, but I want to check if they’re cage-free.

Eggs are versatile; you can work with them whole or divided into egg yolks and whites.  I use them for main dishes, desserts, sauces and baked goods.  Now that I think of it, eggs are probably another one of those foods our family will never give up.  I can only imagine the reaction if I switched over to Egg Beaters…

My first egg recipe is courtesy of Grace; I think she made this when she was in b-school.  It’s an old-timey finger food that can be gussied up or dressed down, and every cook has his or her favorite preparation.  I’ve never seen anyone turn down an offer for some– except my sister’s husband Jeff because of his aversion to mayonnaise.  Have you guessed yet?  One last clue– if you can hard boil eggs, you can make these…

DEVILED EGGS!

Grace’s Pesto Deviled Eggs

  • 12 hard-boiled, extra large eggs, sliced length-wise, yolks placed in a small bowl
  • 2 TB pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Do you have problems peeling hard boiled eggs– shells sticking in pieces, hunks of white coming off with the shell– or maybe you have overcooked eggs where the yolks have an unsightly green ring around them?  If you  do, then let me share this cooking tip.  If you don’t just move on to the next step.  This method works really well for me; I don’t have those ugly sulfur marks and my eggs are easy to peel!

  1. Use old eggs– by old, I mean about a week.
  2. Place your eggs in a large pot, with enough room to cover with water by a 2-3 inches.  It’s better to cook them in a single layer, but I often layer them, especially when I’m making a lot of eggs!
  3. Set the pot over medium heat so the water slowly comes to a boil; let the water come to a FULL HARD boil.  This means that the surface is covered with big bubbles and when you stir the water, it immediately returns to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Clamp on a lid, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Test an egg to see if it’s fully cooked by removing from the pot and immediately running it under cold water til it’s cool enough to peel.
  6. Peel the egg and see if it’s cooked through.  If ready, then you have two choices.
  7. Remove the eggs from the pot into an ice water bath (really the best way), but I’m usually too lazy to do that and I simply dump out the hot water and continue to fill and dump cold water into the pot til the eggs are cool.
  8. Peel to use (or eat) immediately or store in the fridge.

My boiled eggs, prepared as above:

Nice yellow yolk, no green, not overcooked...

Nice yellow yolk, no green, not overcooked…

To assemble the filling:

Mash the egg yolks with a fork.

If you want to be fancy and pipe the filling into the egg whites, you can puree these in a food processor.

If you want to be fancy and pipe the filling into the egg whites, you can puree these in a food processor.

Add the pesto, mustard and mayonnaise.  Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

If the pesto is fairly loose (liquid), you may need to add more.  TASTE!

If the pesto is fairly loose (liquid), you may need to add more. TASTE!

Spoon yolk filling into sliced egg halves.

Use a teaspoon to fill the eggs-- or pipe if you used a food processor!

Use a teaspoon to fill the eggs– or pipe if you used a food processor!

Refrigerate ’til cold and serve.

I love my egg plate!  Since these would be quickly devoured by Kurt, I didn't bother to be neat or to garnish...

I love my egg plate! Since these would be quickly devoured by Kurt, I didn’t bother to be neat or to garnish…

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