Maybe lockdown is the perfect time to bring back soufflés. If you screw it up – and you probably won’t – and who’s going to complain? A few months or a year from now you can whip one up for a special night. Then, Jeez, who knew you could make a soufflé? Plus it has tons of Parmesan and cheddar in it.
Eggs Baked in Avocado is as easy and foolproof a brunch as you’re likely to find, unless your local patissière delivers bags of warm fresh-baked croissants. If you happen to come into some warm croissants or decent bread to serve with the eggs and avocados, all the better. Baked avocadoes are delicious, but it’s hardly surprising most people have never eaten one, not when a ripe avocado is so good with just a squeeze of lime and a bit of salt. A baked avocado has a rich, deep flavor that loves complimentary fat, like an egg yolk or cream, or the acidic contrast of a salad. As we were pulling the elements of this post together I suggested topping the eggs with a spoonful of crème fraîche and calling it a day. Not Jody. The rule in our house is, once you open an avocado, you eat it–or you make sure someone else does–that same day, so just setting aside the cup of avocado flesh leftover from making a bit of room for the eggs was completely unacceptable. You’re the lucky beneficiaries – you get eggs baked in avocados, served with a spicy avocado salad and crème fraîche.
When Jody said, “Hey let’s do Shirred Eggs with Spinach, Mushrooms and Toast Soldiers,”* I responded with an enthusiastic, “Huh?” Something stirred in the part of my brain where meal descriptions from Dickens and Wilkie Collins rattle around with episodes of Jewel in the Crown, Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, reasonably accurate associations because Googling shirred eggs brings up the original 1896 edition of Fanny Farmer. She explains that shirred eggs are baked; the name derives from the dish used in the preparation, an egg-shirrer, a shallow gratin dish for baking the eggs. Did you catch that? …are baked …for baking the eggs.
That’s it, the whole circus? I mean, shirred means baked?
Pickled Eggs 3 Ways is the final and most colorful installment in our recent trilogy of egg recipes. We made two batches of each of these eggs, a week apart, both to test the recipes and so I could photograph the process from pickling juice to finished eggs. As I write this the first batch of three dozen eggs is nearly gone–in case you’re wondering if kids will eat pickled eggs, the answer is Yes, they will. Who can resist wedges of a saffron and purple egg, child or adult? These eggs are tart, but not completely sour (note the sugar in the recipes), which makes them a flexible dining companion. Of course pickled eggs are the ultimate picnic food–festive, not prone to spoilage, and given to pairing nicely with other preserved items like cheese, smoked fish–and great beer. They stand out with mixed greens–and when combined with with wasabi mayonnaise make a killer egg salad
When Jody and I signed up for the cycling fund-raiser the PanMass Challenge last year we stepped up our game when it came to exercise. Speaking exclusively for my Falstaffian self, I thought it might not be a bad idea to drop a few pounds ahead of the actual 200-mile 2-day ride. That’s how we ended up making dishes like Steel-Cut Oats with Eggs, Preserved Lemon and Olives.
But it was a journey to get there.