Which Came First?

The egg is as universal as the Nobel Prize; so universal, in fact, that it’s the subject of a question so old, so mystifying that it’s become rhetorical. Does it matter what came first? Our favorite recipes for nature’s perfect food.

The egg is as universal as the Nobel Prize; so universal, in fact, that it’s the subject of a question so old, so mystifying that it’s become rhetorical. Does it matter what came first? Our favorite recipes for nature’s perfect food.

Eggs in Purgatory

½ cup olive oil

2 large onions, sliced thinly

2 red bell peppers, cut into strips

2 yellow peppers, cut into strips

2 teaspoons sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1 thyme sprig

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

approximately 1 cup water

8 eggs

In a large pan, heat olive oil, add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add peppers, sugar and herbs and continue to heat for 5 more minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, reduce heat and cook on low for 15 minutes, adding water from time to time to maintain sauce consistency. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Make four wells in sauce. Carefully crack two eggs into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook gently over very low heat 8-10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and cilantro.

Serves 4


Deviled Eggs With Caper Berries

15 eggs

1⁄4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 splash Worcestershire sauce

1⁄4 cup sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Spanish caper berries

Hard-boil, chill and peel the eggs. Slice them vertically, carefully remove yolks, and arrange the whites on a platter. In a food processor, mix the mayo, mustard, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, salt and pepper; adjust seasoning to taste. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the cooked eggs. Garnish with caper berries, either sliced and placed on top or left whole and served on the side.


Mushroom Ragoût with Eggs

¼ cup olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 pound mixed mushrooms (button, cremini,

shiitake, oyster)

1⁄3 cup white wine

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1⁄3 cup heavy cream

¼ cup Parmesan, grated

3-4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

8 eggs

Heat oil in large skillet and sauté onions and garlic over low heat until onions are soft, 6-8 minutes. Add mushroom, thyme, salt and pepper. Raise heat and sauté until liquid evaporates. Add white wine and allow to evaporate. Add chicken stock and reduce by half, then add cream. Bring to rapid boil. Remove from heat. Add parsley and cheese. Cook eggs sunny side up, then gently slide onto mushroom mixture.

Serves 4


Basic Mayonnaise Recipe

1 egg yolk (egg sizes vary so be aware that you may need more or less oil depending.)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

1 cup grape seed oil (substitute other neutral vegetable oils)

½ each juice of lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together egg yolk, mustard (if desired) and a pinch of salt in a medium stainless steel bowl (you may use a food processor for larger quantities; otherwise, with a small batch like this recipe it will not work properly.). Add a few drops of oil and whisk. Gradually add the remainder of oil in a slow steady stream while continuing to whisk, stopping regularly to make sure that all the oil is incorporated. Mix in lemon juice and add black pepper and more salt if needed.

Note: If your mayonnaise separates during the process, don’t throw it away. In a fresh bowl start over with another egg yolk and drizzle in the broken mayo and adjust your amounts of oil and lemon juice.

Tips:

1. Use farm fresh eggs! Homemade mayo is very stable if made properly and will keep as long as your eggs are fresh. If you purchase them from a local farm your mayo should be good for at least a week. If made with eggs from the grocery store I would recommend only making enough for the moment.

2. Make it punchy. If you want to add spices or herbs to your mayonnaise do so in the beginning of the process, prior to adding the oil, this way there will be even distribution of flavor.

3. Slow and Steady. When you first add the oil, start your stream as slowly as possible, otherwise the egg and oil will not emulsify, and look fatty and lumpy. If the emulsion is happening properly it will into cream and look like, well, mayo.

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