Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Butter Basting Makes Fried Eggs Better

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On Quora.com, someone asked me how to make “the perfect fried egg.” The question was well timed, since I’d discovered basted eggs the day before. They're easier than over-easy eggs, and they leave the yolk nice & runny for toast.

The following recipe has been modified from another one I found. The author of the original recipe, whoever that was, called for Kosher salt specifically. As far as I'm concerned though, you can use any salt you have on hand; table salt, garlic salt, Himalayan pink volcanic salt if you happen to have some of that lying around. As for me, I used just good old table salt.
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Basted Eggs Recipe
I only wanted one egg, but used the same 2 Tablespoons of 
butter.  My egg's  yolk was mistakenly basted enough to
form that white film over the yolk.  If the yolk
had been constantly basted the yolk would've
overcooked, but luckily it was still perfectly
soft and runny inside.


Ingredients:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs
Salt & black pepper to taste
Favorite hot sauce (optional)

Procedure:
Melt 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter in a medium nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the butter foams, add 2 eggs. As the eggs cook, carefully tip the pan toward you so that the butter puddles towards the edge, then use a spoon to baste the hot butter over the egg whites. I like the yolks to be soft and runny, so I avoid basting the egg yolks. If you like a firmer more set egg yolk, then go ahead and spoon butter over the yolk too. Baste in this manner until the whites have no jiggle to them (2 to 3 minutes).

Use a spatula to transfer the eggs to a plate, leaving the butter behind. Season the eggs with pinches of salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce (I prefer Cholula). Place the pan back on the stove over medium heat and continue to cook the butter until it becomes deeply golden and nutty-smelling, about 2 minutes more. Pour the browned butter over the eggs.
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Not only will you get a perfect golden round runny yolk, but the butter will give the eggs a deeper richer flavor. Of course, you can garnish them with parsley, cilantro, dill, any herb really. Honestly though, the only garnish I need is two strips of bacon and a piece of toast.
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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Food Trends

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The mimosas are gone. The glazed ham, biscuits & gravy, and shrimp & grits have been picked clean. Brunch is over, and the nephews just left with their; toys, books, and puppets; from Uncle James marking an end to Christmas 2019. Now that I have no more cards to write or gifts to shop for, I can finally return to blogging.
Ghost Pepper Fries from Wendys
Subject: Ghost Pepper Fries from Wendy's | Date: 05/20/15 |
Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

Being a self-proclaimed foodie, I subscribe to a number of food & drink newsletters. While I was perusing my inbox, I came across "The Food Trends Predicted to Take Over Menus in 2020" from Eater.com.

The world of food is as susceptible to trends as the worlds off music, fashion, and haircuts are. No kidding. Over the last few years fast food eaters have dined/snacked on “Ghost Pepper” flavored burgers & fries, Pretzel Buns, and Filled Cores (sundaes, burritos, etc....), while fine dining chefs made a habit using cooking with Alternative Proteins and topping dishes with Sunny Side Up Eggs.

I’m not going to plagiarize Eater.com’s list here, you can click the hotlink for the full list. I simply have some thoughts to share in response to their piece.

The veggie burger trend has been picking up steam since last summer. Frequent readers will remember that I tried Burger King's Impossible Burger and didn't care for it. Not only did it not taste beef, the patty While I will never be a convert to the proverbial church of faux meat, I think it's nice to see products being made available to the vegetarian population.

Of course, corporate food is more interested in creating new revenue streams than in “being nice.” Nevertheless, the result is the same. Yet, I wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to offer a few straight foreword vegetarian options (quinoa bowls, veggie wraps etc....) rather than trying to make vegetarian dishes look like carnivorous fare.

While most food trends have the shelf life of an unrefrigerated gallon of milk, they do serve a purpose. Such trends are the result of experimentation which propels innovation. Think about it, without trends testing the culinary waters, we’d still be eating wedge salads, tuna noodle casseroles, and Chicken a la King our grandparents ate.

That being said, some trends strike me as silly, if not downright stupid. I will never, and you can hold me to this, I will never use a glazed doughnut as a hamburger bun. I don’t know about you, but I don't want mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard anywhere near my doughnut. Nor, do I want a tough and chewy pretzel bun on my burger or hotdog. The attraction of using a bun which an eater can’t comfortably bite through is lost on me.

At their best, food trends have the ability to keep things fresh and exciting for those of us who like to try new things. This is not to say that eaters should jump aboard every epicurean bandwagon which comes along. If a trend intrigues me, I’ll check it out. I love trying new foods and flavor combinations. However, I won’t latch onto something simply because it is a trend. Sometimes the proverbial emperor is naked.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Tasting The Past

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Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. The promise of roast turkey, savory dressing, and coffee with pie already tickles the tongues of eager Americans. It’s a fun time to be a food lover, unless you've been a food blogger for more than a decade.

In the past, I’ve recommended Gew├╝rztraminer as a wine pairing for turkey, I’ve examined the probable menu for the “first Thanksgiving” feast, I’ve written about Thanksgiving appetizers, and shared my recipe for oyster dressing more than once. In fact, here it is again; why not?
I have nothing new, culinarily speaking, to say regarding Thanksgiving. Nothing. Bupkiss. Sure, I could surf the internet for unique recipes, such as “Sour Cream & Chive Biscuits,” and pass them on to you, but unless I take the time to tweak such recipes, making them my own, I’m committing plagiarism.

Perhaps having nothing new is OK though. If Thanksgiving is about anything it’s about tradition. It’s about passing time honored recipes from one generation to the next. There's much to be said for doing that special dish the way mom used to make it. Taste can connect us to our past in a way old photos and crocheted wall hangings simply can’t.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Seasons Eatings Revisited

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I’d finished writing the following blog before I realized I’d written a similar blog, on the same topic, four years ago. Nevertheless, some things deserve to be addressed again, especially when they keep coming up in conversation.
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BBQ for Summer, Hearty Pastrami Sandwich for Fall,
Smothered Pancakes for Winter, Baked Eggs Florentine for Spring | 
All pictures taken by James Kiester & Dani Cogswell |
If you have read this blog for any length of time, you've seen my best friend’s name credited for many of the photographs I’ve used here. While we’re as close as two platonic friends can be, we don’t always agree.

We were watching Pioneer Woman make a hearty stew, and I commented that it would be a good dish for fall. She floored me when she said there was no such thing as seasonal food. She’d eat anything she liked any time of year.

Granted, no matter what the calendar says, I’m not going to turn down a medium rare steak or a double cheeseburger. However, I do find myself gravitating toward some foods over others, depending upon the time of year.

Spring – I tend to lean toward fresh greens, salads, and light crisp white wines.
Summer – I want fair/ball park foods. Hotdogs, ice cream, and garlic fries all washed down with a easy drinking pilsner or lager are on my checklist.
Fall – Now is the time for rich stews and soups, stuffed turkeys, and smoked meats & cheeses alongside bold red wines and stouts.
Winter – The line between fall and winter foods blurs for me. I find myself wanting many of the same cold weather foods during winter that I wanted in autumn. However, during Christmas I want my nut covered cheese ball and standing rib roast washed down with plenty of eggnog and/or mulled wine.

Of course, these are very generalized examples in order to illustrate a much broader rule of thumb. I’m sure you can think of a myriad of other dishes which you only crave during certain times of the year.

Leave a comment with some of your favorite seasonal dishes.