Hard-boiled egg

Okay, you’re all going to laugh at me this time. I apparently can’t make hard-boiled eggs. I am the laughingstock of the culinary world.

See, I wanted to make some hard-boiled eggs for salads. I used the Rouxbe method: bring cold salted water to a boil, add eggs, reduce heat to a simmer, set timer for 12 minutes, then when the time’s up place eggs into an ice bath to stop cooking and prevent the grey ring around the yolk that has been a feature of every single hard-boiled egg I’ve ever eaten. I let mine sit under running cold water because I don’t have ice in the house right now, but what the heck. If they had the grey ring, I’d live.

Left them in the fridge until dinnertime. Took one out. Cracked it on the counter. The whites were still runny, let alone the yolk!

I think what did it in the end is that my “simmer” was closer to a “poach.” I know, I know: bad chef, walking away from the kitchen before verifying the temperature. Mea maxima culpa.

Anyway, they’re back in some hot water now. (New method: put eggs in cold salted water, bring to a boil, take off heat, let sit for 20 minutes, drain and cover with cold water, let sit for 15 minutes.) They will almost undoubtedly have the grey ring. I honestly don’t care at this point.

So… there you go. My shameful confession. You may all take this brief moment to revel in your superior technique and let me know how you make your hard-boiled eggs.

Update: After the second cooking (method mentioned in penultimate paragraph), the eggs are actually perfect: hard-cooked all the way through but no sulfur ring. Yay!

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Baking day

So... much... sugar...

So… much… sugar…

Today is baking day with Marc’s mom, in preparation for the Jewish holidays. It’s early in the day yet: there are only 6 types of cookies made so far. We’ve still got plenty more to go, not to mention some bar cookies and maybe some cakes. (*dies of sugar overdose*)

Jean Talon Market feast

Mmm... farmers' markets...

Mmm… farmers’ markets…

The spoils of a successful trip to the Jean Talon Market. Supper tonight will be beer-battered cod with a side of spinach pasta in a butter-tomato-bell pepper sauce. Appetizer of baguette and awesome boar-grape pâté. Throughout: nibbling on the most delicious maple pecans I’ve ever tasted. Yup… we done good.

Bread without yeast

You wouldn't know it to look at it, but this is a 1.5-lb loaf.

You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but this is a 1.5-lb loaf.

This, friends, is what happens when you get distracted when making your bread and use baking powder instead of yeast. The containers are about the same size, about the same color, and… yeah, I mucked this up good. This is a 1 1/2 lb loaf. It looks like a hockey puck. I bet you could even use it in the NHL or something. Sigh.

Taco time

Taco station, ready to go!

Taco station, ready to go!

A veritable feast tonight! Some friends came over and decided they were in the mood for tacos, we we put together a taco night with all the fixin’s: taco meat (obviously), home-made salsa, bell peppers, home-made guacamole, some left-over rice, yogurt (to use instead of sour cream). Colorful and delicious! What more can a girl ask for?

Lemon chicken with pine nuts

Lemon chicken with pine nuts

Lemon chicken with pine nuts

This was my latest Rouxbe recipe, as I’ve started a unit on chicken. The recipe is here. For those who don’t feel like clicking through, the short version is that you marinate chicken legs in olive oil, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Then you make a short stock with the backbones from the chicken legs and a bunch of vegetables. When you’re ready to cook, you caramelize the skin side of the chicken in a hot pan, then finish it up in the oven, and then use the sucs (caramelized bits), onion, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, stock, toasted pine nuts, honey, and cilantro to make a pan sauce. (In the original recipe, there’s supposed to be olives, but I don’t really like olives, so I left them out.)

The end result is extremely tasty, but also takes quite a lot of time, especially making the stock.

I did this recipe over two days, making the marinade and stock yesterday and cooking the chicken today. It took about an hour and a half each day, though admittedly about 5-10 minutes of today was spent dealing with an unrelated spill in the refrigerator that got into and under my vegetable drawer. (Sigh.)

There were a lot of firsts in this recipe for me:

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Matzoh brei

Matzoh brei: looks terrible, tastes delicious.

Matzoh brei: looks terrible, tastes delicious.

This, my friends, is matzoh brei. Specifically, it is matzoh brei that Marc made for me this morning. Matzoh brei looks horrible and tastes delicious, and is perhaps the only Passover food I like more than rest-of-the-year food. Essentially, it’s moistened matzoh that’s then fried with an egg. It’s wonderfulness embodied. You should have some. Mmm… matzoh brei…