Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cooking Eggs

Cookie cutters. Just because the word "cookie" is used in congruence with the name, does not necessarily mean that the tools must be exclusively used to cut dough into shapes. Rather, be creative! Whilst cooking eggs "sunny side up," use different shapes in order to hold the place of the egg together. First spray a non-stick spray on a sauté pan, as well as around the inside of the cookie-cutters/molds. Heat a sauté pan on MEDIUM/low heat. Why is this important?

Eggs are actually one of the most challenging foods to master in terms of cooking. The line from perfectly cooked to overcooked occurs within a matter of seconds. When cooking sunny-side eggs, begin at a low heat. As the eggs "set," they turn from transparent in color, to a bright white. The goal of a sunny-side egg is also to cook the egg white, while keeping the yolk "runny." The intention being that the yolk provides a "sauce" when consuming the egg with other elements. Unlike meat, which one can use a thermometer in order to verify the degree of doneness, the cooking of eggs is a much more visual process. When the whites are bright white and the yolk is a golden yellow, yet still "jiggles" slightly when shaken in the sauté pan, they are ready to be consumed. If one prefers to cook the eggs more, then absolutely - cook the eggs more! As the chef, you are the artist… as well as creator of flavors. You chose the manner of how certain elements are cooked.

Most dishes begin with caramelizing onions/shallots. Not only does the fragrance permeate your home, but the taste of caramelized onions/shallots compliments so many different vegetables. I first sweated the onions in almond oil, I then tossed in portabello mushrooms and cooked until soft. When the oils were completed absorbed, I deglazed with a hint of red wine, then added the juice of 1/2 lemon. Diced red bell peppers and chives where then added to the vegetable mixture. To season, I chose smoked applewood sea salt, cajun seasoning, sicilian blend of dried herbs and a plethora of freshly chopped cilantro.

Whilst the veggies were cooking and the flavors were marrying together, I then began cooking my eggs on low/medium heat. Granted yes - it takes time to cook eggs in this manner… but in terms of presentation, as well as taste, it is well worth the extra effort.

Then came the mango and extra cilantro. Both items were on their last legs. I could either chose to "not see them" starring at me in the refrigerator and discard them tomorrow (since the would have spoiled had I not used them today)… or find a manner of making them work with the dish.

Bring it, challenge. I embrace you.

When making ceviche, I will sometimes include mango in the mixture of red bell peppers, fish, avocado, cilantro, etc. I was curious in pairing mango and cilantro… would it work? After cutting the leftover mango in a small dice, as well as mixing with the remaining cilantro, I drizzled the combination with a hint of almond oil, as well as sprinkle of freshly crushed sea salt and lemon juice. The acid in the lemon helped to brighten the herb, which balanced the sweetness of the mango. The almond oil provided a savory, nutty essence.

In order to tie the two elements together, I chose to decorate the white plate with reduced balsamic vinaigrette. On one side of the plate, the bright yellow and green mixture of mango/cilantro. Trailing down the plate was the reduced balsamic, which led to the vegetable medley and sunny-side egg. Again, when cutting into the egg, the yolk instantly became a thick sauce which poured over the vegetables.

Delicious and an experience in and of itself!

Love y'all! ♥

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