Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In which she comes back to blogging, with steamed eggs

So, I turned 40 last weekend, and have been introspecting more than usual about what I want out of life. I mean, I'm so very happy. I've been married for just over a year -- something this Southern belle thought would NEVER happen -- I like my job, I live in a really cool city, I'm healthy, I have amazing friends... but what do I want to DO with my life sort of introspecting, and I remember seeing a quote from some uber-successful man, maybe Jobs, or similar, saying something akin to make a list of what you love to do and a list of what you're really good at and see where they overlap, and then make a career of it. Sounds so easy! 

Since no one (that I know of, please correct me if I'm wrong and then TEACH ME YOUR SORCERY) has made a living off going to the gym and making dinner every day, I landed on this: I love making food and I love sharing with others how to make food, and not just MAKE it, but make it delicious and beautiful and nutritious and affordable. And I think that I'm good at it, and people all over the web seem to food blog for a living so why couldn't I? I know it will take more than photos and words about recipes but why can't I start here? Just here. I am good at something and I want to share it. HERE.

At any rate, I'm not so naive to believe that I don't have to work first and work hard before income will follow but BUT! I've had two friends in the past week asked me about my steamed eggs so I thought I'd share that first. 

I eat a LOT of eggs.

In the past, I've been a vegetarian. I've tried gluten-free. I've gone (almost) dairy-free. But over the years, over all the fads and diets, I've never, ever given up eggs. What a perfect specimen of food nature has given us. It even comes in its own package! 

At any rate, I eat (what I call) a hard-boiled egg almost every morning. As such, I typically batch cook them. And they are neither hard, nor are they boiled. They are steamed. And they are perfect.

Have a vegetable steamer? A really, really basic one. Maybe one like this

Here's what you do.

Bring a medium saucepan containing about an inch-inch and a half of water to a boil. Insert steamer basket and a half dozen eggs. Set two timers for 7 minutes and 11 minutes. (Here's where it gets personal -- I like my yolks a tad creamy. I think it's technically "over medium." If you like yours harder, go 12-15 minutes. Play with it until you find your perfect amount.) When the first timer goes off, make an ice bath. Something large enough to immerse all the eggs with plenty of cold water around them. You want to stop the cooking when they are exactly where you want them. I use a 4-quart container with two full ice cube trays of ice (+water) for 6 eggs. Let them hang out in there until they're cool, maybe 15-20 minutes, then dry off and store in the fridge. (I have no idea how long they will last as they're never around for longer than a week at our house.)

Fun fact -- there are two membranes between the shell and the white of the egg, and they're surprisingly strong. If an eggshell cracks during cooking but the membrane stays intact, the shell will close back up in the ice bath. IT'S MAGIC, Y'ALL!!

magic! aka SCIENCE
Tip: for easier-to-peel eggs, I've tried it all, including that baking soda nonsense. The real trick is... older eggs. Those membranes are no joke, y'all, and the fresher the egg, the stronger the membrane. Let 'em rest a week or so before steaming and you can get the shell off in two easy pieces.

Here's a close-up of the over-medium yolks:

YASSSS. So good. I keep them in the refrigerator is this darling Anthropologie egg crate. I eat one every morning before the gym and at the tune of 70-80 calories, 6-7g protein, 4-5g fat (< 2 saturated), it's one of the healthiest foods around. It's full of choline and other vitamins and minerals and is extremely bioavailable. It's a wonderfood! And I wanted to share it with YOU.