Thursday, March 8, 2018

Baked Eggs and Shirred Eggs

Aren’t over-easy eggs pretty? Did you notice that they are baked? Of course, not – you can’t tell from this photo. You can’t tell, either, that the whites are completely done and the yolk has started to firm.

I assure you, they are delicious. Not these three, but the ones we’ve done and I’ve forgotten to take photos. So I captured this particular shot from a YouTube video about baking eggs.

The way we’ve done it – for the two of us – takes a metal pie pan, some oil to cover the bottom of the pie pan. Place the pan in a 415 pre-heated oven while opening four eggs and placing them in a two-cup measuring cup. I wish I could be specific about the time the pan is left in the oven, but I don’t remember specifically – just that it and the oil is hot and ready for the eggs. Carefully remove pan, carefully pour the eggs into the pan, return pie pan to oven for five minutes. This will have the eggs done and the yolks over-easy flowing.

I’m certain there are variations on heat/time – but there are tons of variations on adding milk for shirring, fresh herbs and/or spices for your specific tastes. Speaking of shirred eggs, the link has a lot more information, that includes this paragraph:

Traditionally, shirred eggs are eggs cracked in a dish, topped with a splash of cream and a little parmesan and then baked until the whites are firm and the yolks are still a bit soft. I've enjoyed them over roasted carrots and leeks, mushrooms, sautéed spinach with a dollop of ricotta on top, chorizo and roasted sweet potato with a sprinkle of cotija, and so on. All equally delicious. To get started for yourself, all you need is a few eggs, a splash of cream, and a little cheese of your choosing for a base. After that, how you personalize your shirred eggs is up to you. Note: Use a flat baking dish, instead of a high sided or deep dish, to ensure the eggs cook evenly. I used a small cast-iron casserole dish

Eggs can also be baked in hash, hash-browned potatoes, stewed tomatoes, spinach and if I keep writing variations we’ll have a book!

Ours slide out nicely out of the pan, after running a spatula across the middle, separating into two servings. They fit comfortably along the curve of our breakfast plates, with plenty of room for meat and toast on the other side of the plate. Don’t you wish I’d get those photos done so I wouldn’t have to write so much!!

The point is – the eggs are on the table for everyone to sit down to the meal at the same time (as long as they like their eggs the same way) without leaving the cook eating last. Larger pan, more eggs, more plates, still eating hot food with the cook.

Yes – this was our meal last night, and I promise to edit this with personal photos if I can remember it next time. Until then, feel free to sent me your photos!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Back To Garlic - With Chicken

This is not my photo - and clicking on it will take you to the Toque Tips article on preparing, using  Romertopfs, as well as some awesome recipes:

Isn't that beautiful?

You've never heard of Romertopf? Don't worry, I hadn't either until several years ago. I read about roasting a chicken in one and was sold on the idea.  I mentioned it to my well-versed-in-cooking daughter - who bought me one. I believe it is the Classic "Standard" on this page. Definitely big enough for six, as I roasted a hen in it last night.

Umpteen years ago, my Dad made a chicken stew that used 20 uncut cloves of garlic. It was delicious and the garlic's flavor was unique - not like mincing garlic at all. Besides - I love garlics, as I've shown.  But I wasn't doing much cooking then as I had to do company travel. (ASIDE: Sort of like that past three years when Beloved Husband and I were spending more time with doctors/hospitals/tests and none with our 42 group - which disbanded when our hostess had open-heart surgery. That happens as our generation ages.) And, I never got the recipe from him.

Every once in a while since then, I've checked out multiple garlic clove chicken recipe. For one reason or another, I didn't follow up - and this weekend I was going to fix a meal for my daughter, her husband and two of their grandchildren. What better time to run across a 40 garlic clove chicken recipe!!

Naturally, I changed the recipe. Remember - DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN. That's part of the Romertopf instructions. Here's what I used for ingredients:

1 Roasting hen
2 garlic bulbs (approximately 20 cloves - I should have bought more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (yes, my spice cupboard is limited)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I had bottled, fresh would be better)
Romertopf Classic for six

Rinse the chicken, pat dry, salt and pepper the interior to your taste. Separate and peel the garlic cloves - do not cut. Prepare the Romertopf bottom with its water bath. Place the garlic cloves in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and poultry seasoning, then place in a single layer in the bottom of the damp Romertopf. Add the hen and sprinkle with the lemon juice.

Cover and place in the COLD oven. Turn heat to 475 degrees and set your timer for 75 minutes. When the timer goes off,  remove the Romertopf, take off the top, check for doneness and browning. If you wish the chicken skin browner, return bottom to oven for another 10 minutes. Be very cautious - the clay pots are very hot and should not come in contact with anything cold until they cool down or they will break.

Trust me, the roasted garlic cloves will taste great. Don't ignore them.  There will be broth to use as you please - I saved it to make chicken and dumplings the next day since there was enough left over chicken to fix for just the two of us, using Betty Crocker's Bisquick dumplings recipe.  Nice to be able to utilize leftovers quickly.

A couple of notes - our great-granddaughter liked the roasted garlic, using as a spread. Our great-grandson touched his tonque to a clove and determined the texture did not meet his standards. Not a problem, we also roasted ears of corn, steamed carrots, had a tossed salad - and made Papa some instant mashed potatos. May I remind you how great Janet Wilson's carrots are?!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Quick Delmonico Potato Casserole

I seem to be unable to take my photos as soon as these dishes come out of the oven. At that point, my only concern is getting them into the car for a ten-minute drive to our 42 game night so they'll still be hot and bubbly. Especially something as delicious as this potato casserole.

I've found similar online with grated potatoes, but this one is really quick and easy, and so very flavorful. I think it has the makings for being a very flexible dish and as I make a change or two, I'll post the results. This time I followed my friend Shirley's recipe:

1 32-ounce package frozen hash browns, thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup (low sodium suggested)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp suggested)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, diced

2 cups corn flakes, crushed (not too fine)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Now, we put all of this together:

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350
Combine Potatoes ingredients, mixing well, then spoon into the baking dish.  I did put the thawed potatoes in last.

Combine corn flakes and melted butter.
Sprinkle over potatoes
Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly

How much easier can you get? I must admit to a couple of changes already - I was out of cream of chicken soup, so I used cream of chicken and mushroom. All I had on hand was light sour cream. Mine was deliciously creamy, but not quite as creamy as Shirley's when she brought it. This time, too, the cornflakes were a bit crunchier - perhaps she watched it more closely and didn't complete the full 45 minutes, we're not certain. We were certain that this was delicious!

Of course, we made more than one dish - even though this recipe will feed 12, and we're a group that has to watch carbs, this is a "More, please," comfort food.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cornbread - Small Batch, Small Cast Iron Skillet

I have a five- or six-inch cast iron skillet. I used to have one even smaller that my mother-in-law used to fry one egg at a time, but I don't know where that one ended up after a move or two.

This small one is just right to fix cornbread for four people (or two people two meals) and since there's two of us in this house and two next door, it seems appropriate (and well used.) Used to be that we'd keep one of the envelopes of cornbread mix in the pantry (well, maybe two or more) but we run out fairly often, so I went looking for a recipe that would give us the right texture, right taste at the right size.

Got it. Don't use it if you're making cornbread dressing or cornbread salad - it won't be sufficient. But - when you have a good bowl of beans or stew or chowder or anything such as that, this is just right. At least I got a photo, even if it was after supper!

I found this on Cookie Madness and must say I only made minor adjustments.

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal (she used slightly coarse; I used what was on hand)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk (well, I used 1/2 cup + 3 Tbls 2% milk - again, what was on hand)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (oops, didn't have any)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter or I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spread, melted (we keep Parkay for Papa's sheet cake, so that's what we had on hand)
So, after those ingredients, come the instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place a 5-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
  2. In a medium size or mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and egg. Whisk in almost all of the melted butter spread, reserving about 1/2 tablespoon for the skillet later on.
  3. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  4. Add the reserved butter to the hot skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet (it should sizzle and butter should pool around it) and place it in the center of the oven.
  5. Bake until the center is firm and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.
That worked! Tonight we're having half with our bean supper, with leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I especially liked the crispness that the heated pan/melted butter adds. Enjoy!

Red Neck Spray Starch by Bonnie Bowman

No, that's not getting ready to cook - that the result of losing our dishwasher one day and our garbage disposal two days later. I had promised dinner for guests, and met that commitment. I dislike washing dishes!! But, it can be done.

Instead of working on recipes for eating, my appetite has changed and I'm gathering 'recipes' for quilts. I finished my very first one for our great-granddaughter, Jaylin, and enjoyed it tremendously! I found I like piecing the tops, my sweek OKSiL (which means Oklahoma Sister-in-Law) has a long-arm quilter and has discounted quilting the pieces for me. Then I get to add the binding and an embroideried note about the quilt - so I commited to three more in time for Christmas. I have one done:

I think it's beautiful - and I learned so much from creating it. No, it's not a pattern I followed. It's my own design and I couldn't describe it if I wanted to. I wanted to learn how to make blocks, so I made a sampler of several. Of course, they were different sizes and nothing fit together, so I did a reverse applique technique from a Fons & Porter magazine  (click here to watch the video) -- and it worked!!!

I also attended OKSiL's quilt guild in Tulsa where we listened to Bonnie Bowman give us tips on how to be a "Red Neck Quilter", money-saving tips for quilting supplies and this one recipe for Red Neck Spray Starch - here are my notes on that:
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon cornstarch  (less for less stiff, more for more stiffness)
3 tablespoons cold water  (to completely dissolve the cornstarch)
Place those in a heat-proof two-cup measuring container.  Add enough boiling water to make one cup, stirring constantly as you add. Then, add cold water to the mixture and fill to the two-cup line. Let the mixture cool, the pour into a spray bottle.  Shake well before each use.
You may have to experiment a  bit to get the right spoonsful of cornstarch for the stiffness you desire. Discard after a week or so and make a new batch. 
So - while coping with kitchen appliance change-out and adding a brand-new hobby with over-commitments, I still have time for recipes! That, my dears, is a recipe for happiness in life.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No, I Haven't ...

... been trying new recipes. Yes, I still have been cooking - but using tried and true recipes that are already listed here. Just yesterday I fixed Hot Corn Dip for a fellowship we had at church. That one is enjoyable, but I was close to the first of the line, the slow cooker had been on high for three hours and that first bite really did singe my tongue!

The night before we had our first Ladies Meeting for this fall - and I took advantage of the fact it was a salad night and fixed my mother-in-law's Tomato Aspic Salad. That recipe is over sixty years old, probably is not politically correct, but has such a wonderful crunch with a creamy texture that I really enjoy it. Only two other family members do, so I really appreciate our ladies!

What prompted this blog was a discussion with our pastor and other couples at the table about "Traditional Foods." There are vast differences between those in our northern states from our southern favorites.

For us, New Years calls for black-eyes peas. Whether simply factory canned, from an aunt's garden or a specific recipe such as Hoppin' John, eating twelve on New Years Day is supposed to guarantee twelve months' of good luck. Pastor's wife's family grew up on the tradition of cabbage for New Years, also designed for good luck. That holds for Cajun cooking, too. Their family fixed both. Recently their son asked why - the answer was "Tradition!"  He says he's starting a new tradition - one that does not include either menu item.

That brought to mind a Christmas dinner tradition we have with First Daughter and her husband. As the family grew, grandchildren married and family commitments had us scattering, it seem for a decade or so that every-other Christmas, there our two couples for Christmas dinner. The first time, we set a menu that has become our traditional Christmas dinner:
Shrimp cocktail - we all love those with the red sauce spiked with great horseradish
Baked potato - and all the trimmings: cheese, bacon, sour cream, chives (not all use all, though)
Tossed or wedge salad - nothing special, just our favorite dressings
Well risen yeast rolls (light and fluffy!)
Ribeye steaks - grilled to perfection, cooked to order - and Son-in-Law is good at that!
Dessert - individual preferences - cheesecake or peach crisp
As soon as that menu became part of the conversation, several people said they would sign up for that tradition!

Our family is in the process of setting up plans for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of those will be a group of close to thirty, with turkey and ham/or roast, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, fruit salad (maybe even the Tomato Aspic!), mashed potatoes, giblet gravy (yes, it will have giblets and boiled eggs - one lady I know does NOT include those), deviled eggs, pea salad - and those are the ones we can count on plus surprises every year!

Now -- aren't you ready to plan holiday menus?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Adaptations for Simple Way to Poach an Egg

This method had me tossing out my egg poacher (the little four-egg steamer thingy that always had eggs sticking!) and eating protein for breakfast.

The video is simple - select your pan, get the water to the point of boiling, add a bit of vinegar and salt. Have the eggs broken into ramekins, ready to go in when the water boils. We have chickens, so our eggs are usually fresh and float quite well. I have used store-bought and sometimes they stick, so remove those gently in order to keep them whole.

When boiling, stir the pot (clock- or counter-clockwise - his little joke) and get the water swirling around the pot. I cook two eggs for me, and I've done four in the same two-quart pot. Slide the eggs from the ramekins into the moving water and watch the whites swirl back into place. I've never had to 'shape' them using this method.

I like my whites done completely but the yolks runny and I've found that four minutes gives me the best results. Took a couple of times to get to that perfect time, but it works. Once my eggs are in, I set the four minutes - timer goes off, they are just right.

Remove them with a slotted spoon large enough to hold the whole egg, with enough slots to get rid of all the water. If that's very important to you, blot with a paper towel.  I simply put them on toast and I'm just fine. That's how I serve myself, with salt/pepper and a bit of prepared mustard.

This is very adaptable - there's no limit to what you can do: Eggs Benedict (did you notice that Ree does that swirly thing, too), or Savory Bacon & Crab Cakes (unless you don't like crab, then substitute another meat), or maybe some Huevos Rancheros (remembered poached is better for you than fried!) and I'd add a spread of home-made-non-refried beans. Be creative, it will be delicious!!