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Archive for Breakfast

TIP OF THE DAY: Easier Soft Boiled Eggs & Easter Breakfast

Some people have never had a hot, runny, seductive soft boiled egg.

That’s because they’re such a pain to peel when hot that even most restaurants don’t offer them.

Soft boiled eggs were popular in our family. Nana had a set of vintage silver-plated egg cups; Mom had ceramic cups.

The eggs were served with “toast soldiers” (photo #2): slices of toasted bread cut into half-inch vertical strips, for dipping into the yolk. (In the photo, the soldiers are topped with lots of yummy salmon caviar.)

Soft boiled eggs have long been popular among those who could afford the egg cups: Egg cups were found in the ruins of Pompeii.

No egg cups? Small ramekins, juice glasses and even some cocktail glasses will work. You can also nestle the egg in rock salt (photo #3) or small pebbles.

You can even make origami egg cups (photo #5). Just follow the video below or this visual from Gathering Beauty.

TAKING THE TOP OFF THE EGG

  • Nana’s Spoon Method: With a teaspoon tap the top of the cooked egg several time to crack the top of the shell. Place the tip of the spoon under a crack and slice through the egg, lifting the top half inch off as work around.
  • Mom’s Knife Method: With a regular flatware knife, whack the top of the egg as if the knife were a guillotine. For a more pleasant visual, then, as if you were one of Napoleon’s Hussars, whacking the neck off a Champagne bottle with your saber [the technique is called sabotage]). This should cut through the shell and most of the egg. Use the knife to lift off the top of the egg.
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    We are incapable of doing either of these correctly. With the spoon, we end up with fragmented pieces of shell. With the knife, the force can end up spilling yolk.

    Practice makes perfect, but we found a better solution: an egg cutter, also known as an egg topper. It’s an inexpensive gadget and takes up very little room in the gadget drawer.

  • Our Egg Cutter Method: Place the egg cutter (photo #4) around the top half inch of the egg. Squeeze to cut. Remove the top.
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    EASTER EGGS

    Dye The Eggs: Photo #1 shows how they do it at Petrossian.

    Top With Caviar: For Easter or other festive occasion, top your eggs with affordable caviar: capelin, lumpfish, salmon, tobiko, trout or whitefish roe.

    For bright colors, we’re partial to salmon caviar or colored and flavored whitefish roe. (For sturgeon caviar, we waive this suggestion.)

    Check out the different types of caviar and roe* in our Caviar Glossary.

    FOR SCRAMBLED EGGS

    If you want to fill the egg shells with scrambled eggs, you need to sterilize the insides of the shells or else (far easier) buy pasteurized eggs, such as Davidson’s Safest Choice.

    Here are instructions to sterilize the shells from Rem Cooks.

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    *The Difference Between Roe And Caviar

    All caviar is roe, the uncooked eggs of any fish. While caviar has traditionally referred only to sturgeon roe, the roe of many (or any) fish is now commonly called caviar. In the U.S., it is legally permissible to call any roe caviar as long as the fish is identified, e.g. salmon caviar.

    As food writers, we prefer to use the latter with the fish identified, even if it is sturgeon caviar. There are enough different kinds of sturgeon caviar, that even confining the word to sturgeon requires a modifier: beluga caviar, Black Sea caviar, Iranian osetra caviar, farmed white sturgeon caviar, etc.

    By the way, caviar is not a Russian word, nor is it used by Russian speakers. Khaviar, meaning eggs, is of Persian origin, found in the Iranian and Turkish languages. Russian speakers use the word ikroj (pronounced EEK-ruh, with a rolle “r”) for all roe, and use a modifier (beluga, salmon) to specify which type. Habitués of sushi bars will note that the Japanese adapted this word into ikura, salmon roe.

     

    caviar-easter-eggs-petrossian-230sq

    Salmon Caviar Egg

    Caviar Egg

    Egg Cutter

    Origami Egg Cups

    [1] For Easter, dye the eggs after you’ve cooked them (photo courtesy Petrossian). [2] Salmon caviar and toast “soldiers” (photo courtesy Le Coq Rico | NYC. [3] No egg cups? Use rock salt (photo courtesy Sturia Caviar). [4] Or make origami egg cups, with these instructions from Gathering Beauty. [5] How to cut the tops from the eggs (cutter from Amazon)..

     
    HOW TO MAKE ORIGAMI EGG CUPS

    There are several origami egg cup tutorials on YouTube. This one is the slowest (i.e., easiest to follow).
     
     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Bone Broth For Breakfast

    Breakfast Soup With Hard Boiled Egg

    Chicken Bone Broth

    [1] A hot, hearty, nutritious breakfast (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [2] You can buy bone broth in multiple or individual serving sizes (photo courtesy Appetite For Health).

     

    Over the last couple of years, bone broth—made from the bones of beef or chicken—has become the nutrition du jour, for lunch, dinner, and for breaks during the day.

    How about for breakfast? In Asia, soup is a breakfast standard.

    It’s hot, hearty, nourishing comfort food.

    And you can make it with whatever you like.

    We adapted this recipe from one by Good Eggs.

    You can substitute whatever broth you prefer (miso, pho, etc.). You can buy the packaged broth, and even individual portions of it (such as with Nona Lim’s and Pacific brands).

    If you have other vegetables in the crisper, or a piece of leftover chicken, just cut or shred them and toss them in.

    If you’d like tofu instead of ramen, ditto.

    And if you’d like to have the broth for lunch or a snack, no one will question your judgment.
     
     
    RECIPE: BREAKFAST SOUP WITH BONE BROTH

    Ingredients For 3 Servings

  • 12 ounces broth
  • 5 ounces (one packet) ramen
  • 1 head bok choy or ½ head chard or kale, sliced into ½” ribbons
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts chopped roughly
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly (substitute mint, basil, parsley, chervil)
  • Optional: hot sauce or other favorite seasoning
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    Preparation

    1. HEAT the broth, diluting with water as desired. When the broth boils, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the greens and scallions, and any extra vegetables or proteins.

    2. SIMMER for another 3-5 minutes, until the greens are bright and tender but still have texture.

    3. BOIL a small pot of water, add the eggs and simmer for 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Remove from the water and place in an ice bath. Peel them when they are touchable.

    4. PORTION the broth into bowls, along with halved egg. Garnish with herbs as desired.
     
      

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    RECIPE: Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles

    Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffle Sandwich

    Smooth Operator Peanut Butter

    Fancy Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

    [1] A different kind of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Photo courtesy Cait’s Plate. [2] You can also celebrate with peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies. Here’s the recipe from Chef de Home. [3] Don’t want waffles? Here’s a special way to celebrate with a sandwich (photo courtesy Jif).

     

    April 2nd is National Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. It’s easy to whip up a sandwich; but more special to make a waffle sandwich.

    We’re making waffle sandwiches, inspired by a recipe from Cait’s Plate.

    We used Peanut Butter & Co.’s Smooth Operator, but you can use any flavor of any brand you like.

    Peanut Butter & Co.’s other peanut butter flavors include The Bee’s Knees (honey), Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, Crunch Time, Dark Chocolate Dreams, The Heat Is On, Mighty Maple, Old Fashioned Crunchy, Old Fashioned Smooth and White Chocolate Wonderful.

    We used Smooth Operator and Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Spread in Strawberry. We made our own waffles from scratch. Frozen just doesn’t do it for us.

    But if you use store-bought waffles, you’ll be ready to eat in five minutes.

    RECIPE: PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY WAFFLES

    Ingredients For 1 Serving

  • Waffles of choice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons jelly or jam of choice, or more to taste
  • Optional layer: sliced bananas
  • Optional garnish: berries or other fruit
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    Preparation

    1. MAKE the waffles. Spread with peanut butter and jelly, add the optional bananas and stack into a “sandwich.”
     
    P.B. & J. IN THE U.S.A.

    Last year, Smucker’s conducted a study on America’s favorite comfort foods. The winner was PB&J.

    Comforting America through thick and thin, rich and poor, crunchy and creamy, the survey revealed that PB&J is beloved across all generations.

  • 30% of Americans say a PB&J sandwich is their number one choice for comfort food, followed by macaroni and cheese (21%) and grilled cheese (19%)
  • 30% of Americans are most likely to eat a PB&J sandwich when packing/making one for their child.
  • 60% of Moms say a PB&J sandwich is the easiest lunch to make.
  • 57% of Dads say a PB&J sandwich is the easiest lunch to make.
  • 48% of millennials say a PB&J sandwich is their go-to lunch item.
  • 37% of millennials eat a PB&J sandwich about two or more times per week.
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    HOW PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY CAME TO BE

    Jelled, crushed fruits have been around since ancient times. It took a couple of additional millennia for peanut butter to appear.

    Peanut butter was developed in 1880 by a St. Louis doctor, to provide a protein food for people who had lost their chewing teeth. In those days, peanut butter was scooped out of barrels by the corner grocer.

     
    Thanks to the proselytizing of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who owned a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, peanut butter became popular at health spas (sanitariums).

    It was lapped up by the rich and famous who populated the spas, and the recipe returned home with them. Peanut butter was the fad food of the elite. It moved into the mainstream only after the elite market was saturated.

    According to Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea by Andrew F. Smith

    Peanut butter became a trend (in the old days, a “fad”). According to sources in The Story Behind The Dish, peanut butter was originally paired [on crackers or tea sandwiches] with celery, cheese, nasturtium, pimento and watercress.

    Here’s more on the history of peanut butter.

    In a Good Housekeeping article published in May 1896, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” The following month, the culinary magazine Table Talk published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

    The History Of The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

    According to The Story Behind The Dish: Classic American Foods by Mark McWilliams, the first published recipe for peanut butter and jelly on bread was from Julia Davis Chandler in 1901.

    The recipe also appeared in the 1901 Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics, edited by Fanny Farmer.

    It helped that peanut butter became popular around the time that sandwiches were becoming common lunch food in the U.S. According to McWilliams, they really “burst onto the scene in 1920s.”

    Check out the history of peanut butter and the history of jelly

    For the rest of PB&J sandwich, here are the history of bread, and the history of waffles.

     
      

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    FOOD FUN: Easter Toast

    Easter Toast

    Arla Blueberry Cream Cheese

    Easter egg toast. Use the same concept for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine and other “holiday toast” (photos courtesy Arla USA).

     

    Make Easter egg toast as a holiday treat.

    These were made with blueberry cream cheese from Arla USA, maker of cream cheese spreads in blueberry, herbs & spices, peppercorn, original and lite.

    You can bring these toasts ready-made to the table, or bring the individual ingredients for an assemble-your-own activity.

    Use the same concept for Christmas toast, Independence Day Toast, St. Patrick’s Day toast, Valentine toast, and so on.
     
    RECIPE: EASTER TOAST

    Ingredients

  • Toasted bread of choice*
  • Cream cheese(s) of choice, e.g. plain and flavored, room temperature
  • Fruits of choice, e.g. apple slices, blueberries, grapes, raspberries
  • Vegetables of choice, e.g. bell pepper strips, chives/scallions, grape tomatoes
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    Preparation

    1. SLICE the fruits and vegetables into halves, coins or matchsticks, as desired.

    2. CUT the toast into ovals using a large, sharp scissors. You can buy oval cookie cutters, but we printed out an oval template, cut out and placed over the toast as a guideline.

    3. ASSEMBLE and serve.

     
    USES FOR THE TOAST TRIMMINGS

    Don’t toss the toast trimmings. If you’re not the type to nibble as you cook, then:

  • Pulse them into breadcrumbs.
  • Use as croutons to top soups and salads.
  • Toss into omelets or garnish scrambles.
  • Make a savory parfait: cottage cheese and/or plain yogurt layered with toast bits and herbs.
  • Top an open-face sandwich.
  • Feed birds.
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    *Avoid thick slices or dense breads stuffed with dried fruits and nuts. They’re not as easy to cut into neat ovals.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Customize Your St. Patrick’s Day Bagel

    Green bagels are a novelty on St. Patrick’s Day. But here’s a more elegant way to enjoy your bagel, with green fruits and vegetables.

    The concept can be applied to any holiday or occasion with theme colors (see the lists below), and can be part of a bagel buffet for brunch. Bonus: It’s a way to add an extra helping of produce to your daily intake.

    On top of the cream cheese, arrange fruits and/or vegetables in your color theme, as demonstrated by Arla Foods, maker of the cream cheese spreads used on the bagel (photo #1 and photo #6 at the bottom).

    Fruit on bagels beyond a raisin bagel? See photo #5, below—and try it on English muffins, too.

    Pick some fruits and/or vegetables from your color list, and get started. The green group has the most options.

    (Note: Specialty colors, such as yellow watermelon or purple bell peppers, aren’t typically found at supermarkets. Head to a specialty produce store or a farmers market.)

    GREEN FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli (including rabe and rapini)
  • Capers
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Green apples, figs, grapes, plums
  • Green beans
  • Green bell pepper
  • Green olives
  • Green onion (scallion) tops
  • Green peas
  • Herbs (basil, dill, parsley, etc.)
  • Jalapeño
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuces (everything from arugula to watercress)
  • Pickles/gherkins
  • Sprouts
  • Sugar snap peas, snow peas
  • Zucchini
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    ORANGE FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Chiles (aji amarillo, habanero, Thai yellow chile)
  • Dried apricots
  • Kumquats
  • Mango
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Orange cherry or heirloom tomatoes
  • Orange or mandarin segments
  • Orange watermelon
  • Papaya
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    PURPLE/BLUE FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Berries: blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries
  • Dried blueberries
  • Eggplant (grilled)
  • Purple figs, grapes, plums
  • Purple olives
  • Red cabbage
  • Specialty varieties: purple bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, string beans
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    RED FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Jalapeño or other red chile
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Radicchio or red endive
  • Raspberries or strawberries
  • Red apples, grapes, plums
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Red grapes
  • Red onion
  • Red tomatoes
  • Watermelon
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    YELLOW FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Apples (golden delicious and others)
  • Chiles (aji, banana, golden cayenne, lemon, Hungarian yellow wax, pepperoncini, etc.)
  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Yellow tomatoes
  • Yellow watermelon
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    Green Bagel Toppings

    Green Bagels

    Green Bagels

    Shamrock Bagels

    Bagel With Fruit Topping

    [1] and [6] The alternative solution from Arla Foods. [2] Conventional green bagels from Einstein Bros Bagels. [3] Fancy (and $6 each!) at the Wynn Las Vegas. [4] The creativity award goes to the shamrock bagels at Sunrise Bagels and Cafe in Wyckoff, New Jersey. [5] Fruit-topped bagel from Number 2 Pencil.

     
    Green Bagel Toppings

    [6] Bagels with a buffet of green fruits and vegetables (photo courtesy Arla Foods).
      

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