Easter Cooking Fest

27 Apr

With the work I have lined up for the guys, chores around the house, the doggers, family drama, and way too much cooking to do; somehow I have found time to share my exploits.  Actually, I wanted to do some free writing and spill some thoughts out of my head, that will have to wait for another day.  So….

Easter.

Fluffy bunnies, eggs, peeps, candy, Jesus, more candy, chicks, peanut butter eggs, ham, lamb, and _____ fill in what else evokes the image of easter.  For me and my Polish heritage it is a large lunch, blessing of the basket and some sort of edible food shaped as a lamb.  Normally there would be a cold kabanosy and a hot keilbasa, potatoes, borscht, ham, new potatoes, two crazy chopped  salads (i don’t eat them), horseradish, and bread.  Oh, how can I forget the butter lamb and then for dessert the lamb shaped babka.  Now that I am in the city with Mr. Big and the doggers I am not headed home for the holiday.  I will fend for myself.

My cooking-fest started a week back with the infamous house smoked ham.  So delicious!  Besides the ham I will set up the table for 2 to include spring peas, new potatoes, miseria (cucumber and sour cream salad), deviled eggs, potato/onion/cheese pierogi, horseradish, maybe some duck, and my cannoli cheesecake.  That is the feast including a glass of wine.

The highlights i’d like to share of the feast are the deviled eggs.  I did not get into deviled eggs until I got into culinary school and Chef Loving taught us how to prepare them in breakfast class.  The recipe he had us use was great.  It was a combination of cream cheese, butter, vinegar, s&p, cayenne, the pressed yolks, and dried mustard.  Wow.  I was surprised  by the eggs.  Why?  Well, I am an egg white girl always have been.  Not saying I dislike yolks, but I did not enjoy their yolky flavor.  Ordering eggs over hard was and still is the norm for breakfast, but now I eat the yolk.  If they come out underdone I would have to create a dam or try not to puncture the yolk.  Just was not my thing.

My yolk complex is not quite over, but I do enjoy a poached egg with, yes a hollandaise sauce. Hah.  Or on a perfect lardon salad.  There is something about the egg and it’s richness that I love and despise at the same time.  I will figure it out one day.  Back to the deviled eggs.  What I discovered in culinary school was my love of acid and how fat is really good friends with it.  The first batch of deviled eggs I made I put too much vinegar in and I loved it.  The acid lifted the rich fatty-ness of the yolk and matched my love of the white.  The butter and cream cheese assisted in my appreciation of this dish.

The other day when I was making the eggs I did not want to buy cream cheese.  I rarely use it.  I had to think on my toes and I selected my double cream brie cheese.  Why?  One has to think about the functionality of the ingredient you do not have or want to omit.  You need to identify what ingredient does in the dish.  What is it’s role or function, especially if it is a base ingredient.  This sounds like idea of substitutions is going to lead to more egg adventures in the kitchen.  A deviled cobb egg, BLT egg, blue cheese, sweet yolk, and more…. Who knows some more ideas will come up.  Plus, curlers seem to really like deviled and pickled eggs and Mr Big likes the deviled eggs I make because they are not runny.  Oh well, easter has come and gone.  Now we need to eat all the leftover food.  Enjoy.

Fall Back Deviled Eggs

Yield 8 halves

4 eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons brie, room temperature, no rind

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Hard boil the eggs.  The quickest way for me is place the eggs in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Once a boil is reached turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot.  It should take about 8-10 minutes for the eggs to reach the hard boiled state.  If you have another technique that works use it.  There are many.
  2. Once cooked, peel the eggs, and slice lengthwise.  Pop out the yolks into a small bowl.  Clean out the whites with a damp towel.
  3. With a fine mesh colander press the yolks though it.  Now you will have fluffy yolk particles.
  4. In a small bowl mash together the brie and the butter, until well incorparated and creamy.  Add the yolk, mustard, vinegar, and mix.  You should have a paste like filling.  Taste and season it as you wish with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  5. Arrange the egg whites in a line on the cutting board.  Using a small pastry bag and with a star tip, fill the pastry bag with the yolk filling.
  6. Begin to pipe the yolk filling into the egg whites where the yolk used to be.  Fill all the eggs with the yolk, you may have extra yolk filling.
  7. Garnish as desired, with a caper, some dill, roe, or other plush of herb.
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