Sunday, April 5, 2015

Steamed Eggs

Don't you just hate when the night before you promised egg salad to the church/shower/social event you realize that you used all the eggs you'd been saving* and you were going to have to use new eggs?

*You know, because older eggs are easier to peel when you're doing hard boiled eggs?

Well have I got good news for you. There is a better way to cook eggs for egg salad, deviled eggs, etc. One that just doesn't require long fingernails for picking off tiny flecks of shell, leaving divots in the egg white, or cursing under your breath.


Steam them.

Steamed Eggs

from finecooking and seriouseats


Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a steamer pot.
Fill a bowl with ice and water.
Place eggs in steamer basket. Cook covered 6 minutes for soft boiled, 12 minutes for hard boiled.
Spoon eggs into ice water bath. Let sit for 15 minutes to cool (and stop the cooking). Peel under running cold water.


Your turn! 
What's your best time saving (frustration saving!) technique? Does it have a recipe that it really shines for?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Menu and Timeline

Holidays are one of my favorite things. I love cooking for friends and family and spending hours talking over good food. Starting with a detailed plan helps keep things running smooth so it stays fun. I've definitely had dinner parties that stressed me out... so I'm sharing my Easter timeline to help you wrangle the to-do list and keep the stress of entertaining low!

My Easter Dinner Menu: 
Deviled Eggs
No-Knead Dinner Rolls (dough can be made the day before)
Peas with lemon, mint, and scallion
Balsamic Carrots
Potato Gratin
Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Sweet Tea

***Important Scheduling Note!! We got a fresh local ham this year, brined it ourselves, and sous vide cooked it for 48 hours, so other than the last minute glaze making, it is excluded from this timeline. Most hams need 3ish hours to be fully heated through. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman if your ham didn't come with directions. (Full disclosure, I haven't tried her ham recipe, but I trust her as a source.)

Two-Seven Days Before: 
Make the menu.
Read all the way through all of the recipes (even if you've made it before).
Add ingredients to shopping list. (Keep count of things like eggs to be sure you have enough by the time you're done with all recipes. I keep a tally in pencil.)
Go shopping.

The Day Before:
Make the bread dough for the dinner rolls, right up through the last mixing step. Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.
Make and frost the carrot cake.
Make the sweet tea.
Boil the fresh peas (or thaw the frozen peas).

The Morning Of: 
Take the dough out of the fridge to let it come up to room temp for two hours.
Put the ham in the oven.
Hard boil eggs for deviled eggs. Peel, and cool to room temp.
Prepare deviled eggs, refrigerate until serving.

Two-Three Hours Before: 
Roll dinner roll dough into large marbles, placing three in each cup of well greased muffin tins. Cover and allow to rise for 1-2 hours.
Heat oven to 375°F. Clean, peel, and slice potatoes. Layer in gratin dish with cheese and seasonings, pour in heated cream. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Forty-Five Minutes Before: 
Roast carrots at 400°F for 20 minutes, toss with balsamic glaze, roast for 5 more minutes.
Put dinner rolls in 400°F oven for 17-20 minutes.
Make glaze for ham.
Once carrots and rolls are done, turn oven up to 450°F to final roast sous vide ham.

Twenty Minutes Before: 
Cook peas.
Roast ham at 450°F for 10 minutes.

Day of cooking dishes used:
Roasting pan (ham)
Gratin/Casserole dish (potatoes)
Jellyroll pan/baking sheet with rims (carrots)
2 Muffin tins (dinner rolls)
Medium saucepan (heat heavy cream for potatoes, then peas later)
Steamer basket (eggs - could also do in medium saucepan in AM, clean for potatoes and peas in PM)

Your turn!
What is your classic Easter must have menu item? How early do you start planning and prepping?


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