Friday, September 30, 2011

Meatloaf + Eggs = Tasty

May 2010 issue is full of classic comfort foods like this delicious meat loaf. They based this recipe on one in Lobel’s Meat Bible by Stanley, Evan, Mark, and David Lobel (Chronicle Books, 2009), and featured it as part of Betsy Andrews's roundup of the best recently published meat cookbooks ("A Well-Read Carnivore").

3 slices crustless white bread
Kosher salt, to taste
16 oz. spinach leaves, stemmed
12 oz. ground beef chuck
12 oz. ground pork
4 oz. thinly sliced mortadella, minced
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 3 hard-boiled eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, 
to taste
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup beef broth
1⁄2 cup white wine

1. Tear bread into small pieces and transfer to bowl of food processor. Process until finely ground; set aside. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, 15–30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spinach to a bowl of ice water. Drain spinach and squeeze it with your hands to remove excess water. Set spinach aside.
2. Heat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the beef, pork, mortadella, cheese, rosemary, nutmeg, beaten eggs, garlic, and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer half of the meat mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Using your hands, form meat mixture into a 4" x 8" rectangle about 1" thick. Arrange half of the spinach on top of rectangle in a 2"-wide strip down the middle. Arrange the hard-boiled eggs end to end on top of the strip of spinach, and top eggs with remaining spinach. Using your hands, shape the remaining meat mixture on a sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle roughly 4" x 8" and lay it over the spinach, eggs, and meat. Press the meat gently around the eggs to form a uniform loaf, pinching top half of meat together with bottom half and smoothing any seams.
3. Brush meat loaf with oil and bake for 30 minutes. Pour in broth and wine and continue cooking meat loaf, basting every 10 minutes or so with liquid, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the loaf registers 155°, about 20 minutes more. Using a spatula, transfer meat loaf to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Strain cooking liquid; set aside. To serve, cut meat loaf into thick slices, transfer to a serving platter, and spoon some of the reserved cooking liquid over the top.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Breakfast Pizza - Good Morning

Found this recipe on

Breakfast Pizza

Adapted, barely, from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook via an earlier version of it

Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas

When I asked what I would change about this when I make it again, I drew a blank. I actually like it that much the way it is. Nevertheless, the bacon could of course be omitted if you’re bacon-averse, countless toppings could be added from spinach to mushrooms or sausage, you could swap some or all of the mozzarella for goat cheese and you could swap out some of the flour in the crust for whole wheat flour. Although the recipe as is makes two large pizzas, I think it would be fun to make six smaller ones with one egg each in the center — plus, friends could choose their own toppings. So “drew a blank” = okay, I have a few ideas. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this exactly as written next time.

1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour, plus more for dusting
Kosher salt
6 strips bacon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups grated mozzarella
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced

The night before, prepare the dough: Place 3/4 cup lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix on low for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and mix until a smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes more. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into two equal pieces and form each half into a tight ball. Place on a large floured sheet pan, place the pan in a plastic garbage bag, tie the bag loosely and refrigerate overnight.

One to two hours* before baking, place the dough in a warm spot. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and set a pizza stone on it. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the pizza.

Prepare the dough and toppings: Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Cool on a paper-towel-lined plate; roughly chop.

Dip your hands and a ball of dough into the flour. On a lightly floured countertop, pat the dough into a disc with your fingertips, then drape the dough over your fists and carefully stretch it from beneath to form a 12-inch circle.

Generously dust the surface of a pizza peel or large inverted sheet pan with flour and place the stretched dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with half of the Parmesan, mozzarella and bacon. Crack 3 eggs over the top and season with salt and pepper.

Bake the pizza: Shake the pizza peel slightly to make sure the dough is not sticking. Carefully lift any sections that are sticking and sprinkle a bit more flour underneath, then slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone in one quick forward-and-back motion. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg yolks are cooked, use the peel to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the parsley, chives, scallions and shallot on top. Let cool for 2 minutes, slice and serve immediately. Prepare the second pizza in the same way.

* The original recipe suggests that you take the dough out one hour before baking but I took mine out two hours earlier, because I always find it takes a looong time to get dough back to proofing at room temperature. In this time, you can lazily prepare the toppings and get your oven nice and hot.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Perfect Scrambled Eggs Says Cooks Illustrated

If you love to cook then I highly recommend my favorite food magazine, Cooks Illustrated.
The website is Unfortunately it's not a free site. However buying the magazine subscription gets you free web access. It's not for super fancy cooking. It's basic cooking tips on everything from cooking the best meatloaf to baking the perfect apple pie. They test their recipes numerous times so that they're fail safe. Their food and product reviews are also fantastic. They test everything from bottled ketchup to the best cooking knives.


It's important to follow visual cues, as pan thickness will affect cooking times. If using an electric stove, heat one burner on low heat and a second on medium-high heat; move the skillet between burners for temperature adjustment. If you don't have half-and-half, substitute 8 teaspoons of whole milk and 4 teaspoons of heavy cream. To dress up the dish, add 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, chives, basil, or cilantro or 1 tablespoon of dill or tarragon to the eggs after reducing the heat to low.


  • 4large eggs plus 1 large yolk
  • 2tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1/8teaspoon salt
  • 1/8teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2tablespoon unsalted butter , chilled


  1. 1. Beat eggs, yolks, half-and-half, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper with fork until eggs are thoroughly combined and color is pure yellow; do not overbeat.
  2. 2. Heat butter in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foaming just subsides (but should not brown), swirling to coat pan. Add egg mixture and, using rubber spatula, constantly and firmly scrape along bottom and sides of skillet until eggs begin to clump and spatula just leaves trail on bottom of pan, 45 to 75 seconds. Reduce heat to low and gently but constantly fold eggs until clumped and just slightly wet, 30 to 60 seconds. Immediately transfer eggs to warmed plates and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.



To get big, fluffy, tender, and rich-tasting curds, we experimented with every element of the process until
we nailed the right formula.

    adding yolks not only enriches the egg flavor, but the extra fat and emulsifiers raise the coagulation temperature to stave off overcooking.
    offers more rich-flavored fat than milk but also contains enough water to generate the steam necessary to make the eggs puff up.
    Trading the usual 12-inch pan for a smaller 10-inch one keeps the eggs in a thicker layer, thereby trapping more steam and producing heartier curds.
    starting the egg mixture over medium-high heat creates puffy curds; turning the heat to low once the eggs coagulate ensures that they won’t overcook.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beautiful Chinese Tea Eggs

Found this recipe at
If you've never had this classic Chinese street snack, you're missing out on an incredibly flavorful way to eat hard boiled eggs. They're perfect for a picnic or a hike, and while a humble boiled egg, the intricate marbled design gives them a certain "wow" factor, good if you want to mix it up with a different hors d'oeuvres for a party.

While it doesn't take too much work to make tea eggs, it does take time, so you might as well make a batch of them instead of just a few. I typically make 6-8 eggs with the recipe below. If you'd like to make a lot more, you should adjust the spices & water up.


  • 6-8 eggs (you can make more or less, it's up to you)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chinese five-spice (if you don't have this, you can substitute 2 star anise & 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 black teabags or 3-4 tsp black tea


  • Bring eggs to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Cool the eggs by rinsing in cold water. Let them rest in cool water for a minute or two.
  • Using the back of a spoon, lightly tap the egg shells all over to create a pattern of fine spider-like cracks. Set them back into your pot and cover them again with cool water.
  • Add the soy sauce, five-spice, salt and black tea to your pot. Simmer, covered, for at least an hour, better yet two hours.
  • You can eat the eggs immediately, or you can let them steep longer in the refrigerator. To steep them in the refrigerator, transfer the eggs into a container with enough liquid to cover them.

Serving Size: 3-5
Preparation Time: 20 minutes