Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Baking Gloves

Hello again,
I just wanted to show you my new baking gloves. Our old ones got a little singed, I think from the BBQ, so I went to Russell Food Equipment (my favourite place to shop) to find a new set. I bought my sister a pair of these for Christmas (yes, we are all kind of nutty about food around here) and have wanted a pair for myself since. I am kind of proud of myself for not purposely destroying my old ones just to get new ones. Anyway, here they are...

They are professional baker's gloves with a reinforced Kevlar thumb. I really like that they are longer than the ones you usually see in most stores so that the hair on your wrist doesn't get singed off.

Happy Baking!

Best Scrambled Eggs

I wanted to share with everyone what is likely my favorite recipe to make. I made these scrambled eggs for my wife on the day I proposed and have made them more times than I can count. They always impress and don't even require you to make them especially bad for you.

I know many people will look at the eggs and go, "ewww, they look runny." This is the same thing my wife said the first time she saw them and she gags if fried eggs are served to her with runny white. She now requests that I make this every weekend. This is a nice simple recipe that one person can make if they get if coordinated well, but it is even more fun when two people make it together, especially when it is early Saturday morning and your coordinating skills haven't warmed up.

The recipe comes from my personal idol, Gordon "chuffin" Ramsay. I recommend serving it with some tomatoes on the vine and some cremini (aka baby portabella or brown) mushrooms. At the time I couldn't find any of the mushrooms I wanted because they have been difficult to find since on the major growers here had a fire. My wife also isn't a fan of the lightly cooked whole tomatoes (I think they are delicious) and I didn't have small enough tomatoes so I didn't make them this time. You can use regular cherry tomatoes if you like as well, but the presentation of tomatoes on the vine is wonderful.

If you have crème fraîche feel free to use it instead of the whipping cream, it will impart a lovely flavour to the eggs. I recommend using a non-stick pot to make these in unless you want to be scrubbing the pot for a long time. Eggs are the one place I always recommend using non-stick unless you plan to basically poach the egg in fat. I offer the choice of either butter or olive oil (you can do half of each too) and I can attest that the olive oil eggs are very good. Be sure to use the best olive oil you have and one that isn't too overly spicy so that it doesn't mask the flavour of the chives. The butter gives the eggs a more creamy texture that is wonderful on the palette and so it is preferred, but it also makes the recipe a bit rich. I have made these eggs with skim milk as well but with each removal of more and more fats it becomes less complex and the flavour suffers. Feel free to play with the recipe yourself, the technique is the really important part of the recipe, not necessarily the exact ingredients.

One final reminder; do not add the salt until called for in the recipe. If you add salt to eggs before they are nearly cooked you will end up with watery eggs.

Scrambled Eggs
Makes 2 servings

5 eggs
1.5 tbsp cold unsalted butter or olive oil
Splash (about 2 tbsp) of whipping cream or
crème fraîche
Chives (about 2 tbsp)
Salt and pepper

Crusty loaf
Tomatoes on the vine (the small ones work best)
Cremini mushrooms

1. Break the eggs into a small non-stick pot and add the fat.
2. Heat the eggs and fat over medium heat. Start to warm the pan for the mushrooms and tomatoes if you are making them.
3. Continue to stir the eggs with a heat-proof spatula. As the eggs cook, take them off the heat as you notice the eggs starting to cook faster. One the egg cooking has slowed, return them to the heat. You end up putting the eggs over the heat for approximately 30 seconds and then off the heat for approximately 30 seconds.
4. Toast two thick slices of the bread and drizzle with olive oil.
5. As you notice the eggs getting close to the final picture, add the cream, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Take the eggs off the heat and let the eggs continue to cook off the heat. The cream should slow the cooking and keep the eggs from overcooking. The eggs almost have the consistency of risotto.

Resist the temptation to overcook the eggs. It may take a couple tries of this recipe to get it just right, but after that they will be no problem.

Mushrooms and Tomatoes:
Heat frying pan over medium heat and place mushroom and tomatoes (on the vine) into the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the mushrooms half-way through the cooking.

Make these for someone this weekend and let me know how it went!