Eat Well: WWW's Eggcellent Adventure

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks mom!
IMG_5502
My first post with GGC, almost two years ago, was about eggs. (Wow! I can’t believe it’s been almost two years!) With Easter and Passover just around the corner, it seemed a good time to continue the conversation about this sumptuous symbol of spring holidays.

In my previous post, I talked a great deal about finding eggs that are humanely and sustainably raised. To briefly reiterate, look for PASTURE fed eggs if you want to ensure that you are getting the best eggs—organic, cage free, and even free range labeling means nothing. Eggs are a bargain at any price. And besides the ethical reasons, buying eggs from happy chickens makes all the difference in taste and nutrition, worth every penny of the $2-3 dollar extra that you pay per dozen. Always check up on the farm that produces your eggs. Higher price is not a guarantee of humane practices.

Eggs are probably our most versatile food because of the very specific chemistry of egg protein. You can boil them, fry them, scramble or poach them. You can whip the whites to make meringues or soufflés or use the yolks to make rich and creamy sauces. Eggs turn ice cream into gelato and pudding into mousse. Combining them with milk creates creams and custards.
Cooking with eggs requires a few tricks of the trade. Egg protein is very sensitive to heat; too much heat and you can get a hard rubbery mass or a curdled cream. Eggs should never be boiled or cooked on high heat at all according to Harold McGee, foremost authority on the science of cooking. So how do we cook hard-boiled eggs for the holidays? Don’t boil them! Follow these instructions and you will end up with perfect hard-cooked eggs.

Tips for hard-un-boiled eggs

1. Start with eggs that are 1-2 weeks old if you want to be able to peel them cleanly. (Fresh egg whites stick to the inner shell and tear when you peel.) If you buy your eggs now, they will be ready by Passover and Easter.
2. Gently lower eggs into a large pot of water. (I use a slotted spoon for this so the eggs don’t break.)
3. Quickly bring the pot JUST to a boil.
4. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the eggs sit for 10-12 minutes (if you boil an extra egg, you can test it for doneness.)
5. Chill eggs quickly in ice water to prevent the yolk surface from turning green.
6. To shell eggs cleanly, crack egg all over and start peeling from the wide end, carefully pulling the membrane and shell.
IMG_5504
IMG_5593
Tip: And if you're decorating eggs for Easter, never boil them in an iron or aluminum pot or the color won’t stick.

Now the question is…what to do with all of those leftover eggs!? I love to eat hard-cooked eggs just plain. Of course you can devil them or make egg salad, both great ways to use them. You can make Niçoise or Cobb salads. In the middle of brainstorming for this post, I suddenly had a memory of my grandmother sharing with me, 35 years ago, her recipe for curried eggs. I dug through my recipes and sure enough there it was, hidden away and forgotten, an Anglo version of an Indian curry (my grandmother was from Yorkshire). You make a béchamel sauce (white sauce), add some curry and sautéd onion, some eggs, and voila!

This was traditionally served on toast “points.” It turns out that there is a history associated with “Hindu eggs” or “Curried eggs” in England but in no way do these recipes resemble true Indian curry. And today, with our more sophisticated tastes and exposure to great Indian food, we know what curry tastes like. Our stores are now stocked with the necessary ingredients and we don’t have to fudge like our grandparents and great-grandparents did. Frankly, the thought of eating eggs in white sauce doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. But finding this recipe made me smile as I thought about my beloved grandmother who lovingly shared with me all of her favorite recipes. It also inspired me to make a real curry with hard-cooked eggs. I made the “cream” for this curry out of pureed raw cashews, my new favorite thickener. You can substitute with yogurt but the cashews add a delicious sweetness and added protein to the dish. This sauce is delicious over vegetables, also.

Egg Curry
¼ cup cooking oil
½ t cumin seeds
½ t black mustard seeds
2 onions, sliced
1 jalapeño or Anaheim chile, chopped
1 T grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, grated
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes pureed in a blender (2 cups) (or 2 cups canned pureed tomatoes)
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cups water
½ cup RAW cashews
¼ cup yogurt (optional)
6 hard cooked and peeled eggs
A little lemon juice to taste
cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil in large pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds and cook until they sizzle and pop.
IMG_5584
Add onion and cook until soft and brown.
IMG_5585
Add chile and cook another couple of minutes. Add tomato puree and cook on medium high, stirring until the water has evaporated and the oil starts to separate from the paste.
IMG_5587
Add the spices and cook a couple more minutes.
IMG_5588
Puree the cashews with ½ cup water until it forms a smooth, thick paste. Add to curry. Add more water if needed or yogurt.
IMG_5591
Peel hard cook eggs, cut in half, and put into curry, covering them with the sauce. Gently heat through. Serve over rice with cilantro garnish.
6998905289_a2c456f698_b
Note: I like the garam masala flavor with the cashew cream but you can replace it with curry powder or turmeric if you want. If you want to make this into a vegan dish, add sautéd cauliflower in place of the eggs and don’t add the yogurt. Enjoy!

Love,
WWW

26 comments:

Valerie @ all mussed up | 12:07 PM

This looks utterly, utterly delicious.

I recently learned that egg yolk is a mega source of lecithin, a nutrient the brain desperately needs to function. This nutrient is very heat-sensitive, though, so I've decided to forsake my hard-boiled days and start a new era of soft-boiling. I thought I would have a hard time with the switch, but I am completely smitten with the vivid orange hue and creaminess. NUM.

Shea Goff | 12:27 PM

I just started reading Rebecca's posts and love what she does here, but I must say, you are such a wonderful addition to this place.

I always look forward to your tips and recipes. Thank you for sharing them.

Kathryn | 12:41 PM

I have been waiting for Mama WWW to return! So glad she did this week and can't wait to try the new recipe :)...Thanks!

Kailee | 12:54 PM

Yum!! Since I've been pregnant, I've been an egg eating machine. I will most definitely try this egg curry!

Thanks for sharing! We do eat meat in our family, but your posts ALWAYS inspire me to cook more and more meatless meals.

Michele | 12:57 PM

Momma WWW, i'd love to hear more about this cashew thickener idea you have going! I've been grain free and could use something to attempt a good gravy from time to time (and I'm avoiding the cornstarch, too).

Diana | 1:32 PM

This just reminded me of a recipe that my Oma used, and my mom taught me: eggs in mustard sauce. Sounds ew, but I really loved it. Total comfort food for me, mashed potatoes, boiled eggs, mustard sauce (roux with mustard, kid you not). So weird.

Shannon | 2:03 PM

we don't do dairy or grains, but I think coconut milk would make an excellent sub for the yogurt. We eat a ton of eggs and this is going on my list of recipes to try, STAT.

SouthMainMuse | 2:13 PM

I always try to have some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. They are good, filling and good for you. They keep me satisfied for a good while. Your recipe looks delicious.

kelli(q) | 2:21 PM

I am a total hard-cooked egg fiend. One day, I swear to you, that's all I ate until about 7pm. I had so much energy and was completely satisfied. Now I am constantly on the search for ways to incorporate them into my meals. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous | 2:46 PM

Yum! And what a nice surprise to see a post from Momma WWW! So nice 'cuz' you're family! Best to you both, JJJ.

Wendy Woolf | 3:11 PM

Shannon...it would be great with coconut milk, but you could just add a little veggie broth or water, too. The yogurt is optional.

Anonymous | 4:00 PM

Dear Wendy,

Will you please, please consider publishing a cookbook (with the fantastic pictures of your cooking process?). I cannot tell you how much I ADORE your posts on this site. I have cooked almost everything you've ever posted here. Your black eyed peas are a staple in my house. You inspire me so much! I would love to have a recipe book of all your favorite food.

Pretty please??

-Happy and Healthy in San Francisco

Molly | 4:16 PM

I'm totally making this! Also, what is that yellow dish on the side of the last picture? Looks yummy.

Wendy Woolf | 5:49 PM

Molly...that is the red lentil dish found here: http://www.girlsgonechild.net/2012/01/eat-well-easy-as-red-lentils-and.html
It is a staple in our household...the best ever!! :)

mamanegi | 5:50 PM

This looks perfectly delicious! My toddler LOVES eggs, and curry, have a feeling we will be eating this soon!

tam | 6:13 PM

My mouth is watering! Yum!

Susan | 4:54 AM

We read a tip on how to cook hard boiled eggs so they slip right out of their shells and it has worked like a charm every time. Steam the eggs rather than boil. We put them in a steamer basket and let them steam for about 20 minutes. The shells absolutely never stick. In fact the egg usually slips out lickety split, with most of the shell still intact.

Molly | 6:55 AM

Wendy, I had a *feeling* those were the red lentils! I already made those and love them. Now an excuse to make them again with egg curry!

Wendy Woolf | 8:25 AM

Susan...thanks for the tip! I've never heard that and will definitely try! Stuck egg shells are a pain!

Lisa@Pocketfuls | 10:17 AM

Mmmm, eggs! :) Thanks for the delicious sounding recipe! I am also very intrigued by the cashew cream!

Here is a lovely, natural way to colour boiled eggs for Easter, without using chemical dyes: http://pocketfulsoftreasure.blogspot.ca/2011/04/easter-eggs-naturally.html I tried it for the first time last spring and was really pleased with the results.

Aimee | 10:32 AM

Any suggestions about where to get fresh farm eggs in SD? After livign in NZ - where the yolks were very orange - I've always been a bit grossed out by the yellow yolks we get in our eggs here...

Wendy Woolf | 3:50 PM

Aimee...Seabreeze organic farm (in Del Mar) has eggs if you belong to their CSA but you can get Vital Farms eggs at Jimbos or Whole Foods and they are from pasture raised chickens. Also, there are a lot of home hen raisers out there...what part of SD do you live?

Lynn | 3:31 AM

My go-to egg curry recipe is an early Madhur Jaffrey one (similar to this, with tomato puree, broth, toasted cumin and cream) but I can only imagine how delicious the addition of cashews must be, so I'll be trying this very very soon!

Maricris @ SittingAround | 5:50 PM

Thanks for sharing mommy WWW! That dish really looks delicious. Will surely try it!

MommyNamedApril | 10:03 AM

it's possibly on purpose - but we can't pin the egg or curry images on pinterest because you have them set to private on flickr. just thought you'd like to know :-)

Anonymous | 6:46 AM

Do you realize that 17 percent of the U.S. population lives at or below the poverty level? That 40 million Americans use food stamps?
Those of us who are fortunate enough not to have to live with poverty and hunger should never lose sight of the fact that many people can't afford an extra $2 or $3 for a dozen eggs laid by "happy chickens." There IS no "extra" for those folks.
Not all children have dozens of changes of clothing like your grandkids do. Not all of their parents can afford to buy the kinds of toys your grandkids have, either.
We are a society that is seduced by the lure of consumerism. As long as we are busy shopping for the perfect egg, baby stroller or whatever we enjoy convenient amnesia about poverty and what it produces: ignorance and want, just like Charles Dickens warned in "A Christmas Carol" over a century ago.