Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Poached Eggs

November 3, 2015

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Recently, I have been enamoured with poached eggs. I like them cooked so that the yolk is almost set, but still soft and ever so slightly runny. They are perfect on top of roasted vegetables, in a salad or with avocado toast. No matter what tried and true tricks I use to keep the eggs together I still get whispy egg whites. Yes, I put a little vinegar in the water, and yes, I crack the egg into a cup and slip it gently into the water, but nothing solves the problem quite like Julia Child did.

The secret to Ms. Child’s perfect poached eggs, lie in her technique. First, she always used a pin to poke a tiny hole in the eggshell to allow the excess air to escape. Next, she cooked the egg, still in the shell, in boiling water for exactly 10 seconds. Once removed from the water, she reduced the water in the pot to a simmer,carefully cracked the egg into the water and cooked it for 3 or 4 minutes until it reached the desired consistency. For a harder center, it may take a minute or two longer.

It seems that cooking the egg for 10 seconds while still in the shell allows the whites to set just enough to keep them together when they hit the water. No more whispy whites, or misshapen eggs. This technique is pure genius!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Egg Salad

October 26, 2015

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Lately, my go-to lunch has been either a salad or chopped roasted vegetables with 2 poached eggs on top. Its fast, easy, low in calories and high in nutrition. Recently, an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that I may be on to something. The report contends that adding eggs to a salad helps the body absorb carotenoids, a substance found in red and yellow fruits and vegetables. The most notable ones are lypocene and beta carotene, which help fight inflammation.

In a study highlighted in the report, participants who ate 3 eggs with their salads absorbed 3.8 times the caretenoids than those who did not eat eggs. It is thought that the fat in the yolks is what is responsible for the increased nutrient levels.

Who knew my lazy lunch was a perfect nutritional storm?

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Egg Substitutes

September 29, 2015

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Many baked goods recipes call for eggs, but if you are baking for a vegan, or someone with an egg allergy, it is still possible to make sweet treats without them. Three common substitutes for eggs are mashed bananas, a flaxseed and water paste, or aquafaba, which is the water from a can of chickpeas.
All three have their place in recipes, as the reaction, or flavor may effect the outcome.

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Bananas: Use 1/4 cup of mashed bananas for every egg called for.

This can be helpful when making baked goods such as muffins or coffee cakes where the banana flavor is a nice addition. It will yield dense, moist baked goods, but if the banana taste is a deal breaker, this will not be the option for you.

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Flaxseed Paste: For every egg called for, mix 1 tablespoon of ground golden flaxseed or flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water to form a paste. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes to thicken.

Flaxseed is often listed in vegan recipes as an egg substitute, and the flavor is pretty much undetactable. It will not react exactly like an egg and the end result might not be as pretty as you would like. It will be tasty and is a good solid option for eggless baking if taste trumps texture and beauty.

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Aquafaba: For every egg needed, add 3 tablespoons of the water from canned, unsalted chickpeas, known as aquafaba.

Lately, aquafaba has been popping up more and more in articles and on websites. Quite honestly, I had never heard of it until a couple of weeks ago, but it may factor into my baking soon, so I can provide vegan options on Indigo Jones Eats. The water from the chickpeas has many egg-like properties, from being protein rich to having that slightly slimy, runny texture of an eggwhite. It also has emulsifying and leavening properties making it a great choice for eggless baking. Those who have used it report that it reacts very much like an egg, yielding lighter,evenly colored baked goods that rise properly. The best part? No bean flavor is detectable.

While all of these are great substitutes for eggs in many baked items, we would caution against using them for things like souffles, where the eggwhites are key players, although we have seen recipes using aquafaba successfully to make meringues. Aquafaba has become so popular that it even has its own website. We also love that it cuts down on food waste, as it is a product that usually gets rinsed off and thrown away when we eat beans.

If you want to go vegan in the kitchen, try to experiment with some of these options until you find the right one for your recipe, and enjoy!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Separating Eggs

April 7, 2015

 

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Separating eggs is serious business. If you are making something like a souffle, meringue or another dish that requires beaten, fluffy egg whites, it is crucial that no yolk gets mixed in. If there is any moisture, egg yolks, or other impurities in the bowl, the egg whites will fail to become the big, white peaks you are looking for.
For this reason, we recommend using 3 bowls to separate eggs. One for the white, one for the yolks and one to separate the eggs over.

We separate the eggs and put the white in the small bowl and throw the yolks into the designated yolk bowl, before transferring the whites to the larger bowl. That way, if you get a little yolk into the whites while separating, you only lose one egg.

If you happen to get a little yolk into the whites, put it aside to use for things like egg white omelets, or other dishes that don’t require the egg whites to be beaten into stiff peaks. A little cream of tartar can also keep the egg whites stiff after beating.

Happy Baking!

GIF: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Eggs and Asparagus

April 21, 2014

What symbolizes springtime more than stalks of green asparagus, eggs and a lemony sauce? We served this last night as a first course, but it could be a great main dish for a light dinner, accompanied by soup and some crusty bread (hello meatless Mondays!) or as an entree for Sunday brunch.

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Roasted Asparagus With a Poached Egg and Lemon Mustard Sauce:

recipe adapted from Foxes Loves Lemons

Clean asparagus and trim the tough stems. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until cooked but still crisp. Timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus, so be prepared to cook thick stalks longer, and very thin ones for less time.

In a sauce pan, heat about 3/4 cup heavy cream,  and simmer until it reduces to about 1/2 cup, and has a thick, saucy consistency; about 6-8 minutes. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a little lemon zest, a generous tablespoon of butter, 1/8 teaspoon dried mustard, and a little finely chopped fresh tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, bring water to a boil in a large pot or high sided sauté pan, and then reduce the temperature so that it is gently bubbling. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (plain white vinegar will also do) to the water, and gently slide in the eggs. We recommend cracking them 1 by 1 into a small dish and pouring them into the water to avoid breakage. Cook 3-5 minutes. Three minutes will yield a very soft, runny yolk, and at 5 minutes it will be nearly hard boiled.  Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the eggs from the water, and place on a paper towel to drain.

To serve, place several asparagus spears on a plate. Add the egg, and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and garnish with a few tarragon leaves and some lemon zest. Enjoy!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Centering Egg Yolks

April 15, 2014

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With both Easter and Passover occurring this week, many people have hard boiled eggs on their minds.

When making deviled eggs, it’s nice to have the yolks perfectly centered in the whites, to allow them to be stuffed evenly, and to look more presentable on the plate. Here is a little trick that will make that possible.

The night before you plan to boil the eggs, lay the carton on it’s side in the refrigerator. Use a rubber band to keep the eggs from rolling out of the carton. Leave them for 12 – 24 hours. Cook as usual, and viola! Perfectly centered yolks.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: What NOT To Microwave

April 8, 2014
Do you think they had a microwave disaster?

Do you think they had a microwave disaster?


While microwave ovens can speed things up in the kitchen, they can also lead to disaster. I actually ended up in the hospital due to  a freak microwave accident,  but alas, that is a story for another day.

Here are some things that should stay out of the microwave:

Metal should never be put into the microwave. Even the smallest bit can send plasma through your microwave, melt the metal, or in the case of aluminum foil, start a fire.

Many plastics are labeled microwave safe, but although those products themselves are safe in the microwave, they can give off unhealthy chemicals that are not safe for humans to ingest. Just. Say. No.

Hot peppers contain an ingredient called capsaicin, which gives them that hot, spicy flavor. Once microwaved, it also gives off a vapor that is unpleasant to inhale. Skip it, and use the stove.

It seems as though hard boiling an egg in the microwave would be a good idea, right? Wrong! The center of the egg gets very, very hot, the steam inside has no way to escape, and bam, you guessed it: they explode.

Have you ever had a microwave disaster? Tell us about it in the comments below!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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No Yolk

November 7, 2013

4093602642For many years, we have been led to believe that egg yolks are our enemy. They are fattening and harbor all the nasty cholesterol that clogs our arteries and leads to heart problems, right? WRONG!

The American Heart Association recommends that we limit our cholesterol intake to 300 mg, per day. One egg yolk contains 185 mg, and who really eats just one egg? One egg contains approximately 72 calories, while the white contains only about 17 calories. It seems like a no-brainer to skip the yolk yet nutritionists are beginning to think differently.

Almost 90% of the nutrients in an egg are found in the yolk. What’s a little cholesterol, when you can get calcium, iron, folate, zinc and vitamins A, D and E, just to name drop a few?

Cholesterol is determined more by your genetics, fitness habits and stress levels, and less by the amount of animal fats you consume. Your cell structure is dependent on it, and it’s a precursor to your sex hormones and essential for growth.

They are better than a bagel for weight loss. Studies show that those individuals who ate eggs for breakfast, lost more weight than those whose breakfasts were made of white carbs. The high protein content also kept the subjects satiated for longer periods of time.

So, toss the old conventional wisdom out the window, and try eating the whole egg. You might just find it’s the healthier alternative.

No yolk. (bad pun intended.)

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Bringing Eggs to Room Temperature

October 29, 2013

Many recipes call for eggs to be “room temperature” when they are being used for baking. The reason being that eggs disperse more readily and evenly through the batter when they are not too cold, and egg whites beat more quickly at room temperature.

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So what do you do if you are ready to bake, but the eggs are still sitting in the fridge?
To take the chill off of eggs, gently place them in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes, or until they are no longer cold to the touch. Do not use boiling water, or the eggs will start to cook.

Dry them off and commence baking!  You will notice a difference.

photo:Glasshouse Images

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Foods for Body and Brain

August 28, 2013

It’s back to school time, and young people across the country are settling into a new routine. For many college students, that means a steady diet of fast food, and it’s not just the dreaded “freshman 15″ that should cause culinary concern. We have all heard the adage ” You are what you eat,” but did you know that certain foods can improve your studying ability, help you sleep better, and beat stress?

Our friends at The Best Colleges, have shared this great info graphic with us, to show you the power foods that help you be at your best.

The average college student eats fast food a whopping 6-8 times per week! These calorie bombs not only expand your waistline, but they decrease your concentration as well.

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Planning a day of cramming for a big test? Try these nutritional powerhouses to enhance your studying:

Fish has been shown to enhance your memory. Get your omega-3’s in fresh fish or fish oil supplements to increase reaction time by 20%.

Caffeine not only wakes you up, but also improves your mental acuity.

Eggs provide choline, which is nicknamed the memory vitamin.

Start your day with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a hot cup of joe to get the most out of your study session.

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A good night’s sleep is key to performance. Cherries contain melatonin, which regulates sleep. Bananas are rich in tryptophan, which helps the body produce calming hormones. The magnesium in almonds also promotes muscle relaxation. Snack on cherries, bananas and nuts about an hour before bed to ensure a restful night.

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School can be stressful, and these stress busters will help you get through the difficult times. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and its caffeine content keeps you sharp for long study sessions. Avocado is just one of the fruits that help bolster your immune system, keeping you healthy throughout the school year. While eating garlic and onions is not the best recipe for a great social life, these antioxidant filled flavorings protect the immune system and increase blood flow. Add a little avocado to your salad or sandwich, as well as some garlic and onion rich foods like hummus, guacamole or salsa to stay healthy.

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The right nutrition can make a big difference in your health, as well as your grades. Fuel up properly to get the most out of your education.

info graphic courtesy of : the best collages.org


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