Egg-stravaganza!

Pin It

image

Eggs: they’re pretty magical. They’re amazingly portable, wonderfully versatile, and my favorite emergency protein by a mile. Like me, Henry loves eggs, no matter how they’re prepared: scrambled, poached, soft-boiled, over-hard, you name it. (My pun-loving husband might even describe them as eggceptional, but that’s going a yolk too far.) Plus, eggs are quite possibly the most nutrient-dense super-food around.

image

[Photo: Bacon-Topped Deviled Eggs from my iPad® app]

Yes, we’ve all heard about eggs and cholesterol. But as Liz Wolfe writes in Eat the Yolks, “[t]he notion that cholesterol causes heart disease has been abandoned by many physicians and scientists. Why? Because after decades of studies and spin, there’s still no hard evidence to prove the hypothesis.” In fact, lowering dietary or blood cholesterol hasn’t been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease at all.

image

I love how the late, great Nora Ephron put it

I have friends who eat egg-white omelettes. Every time I’m forced to watch them eat egg-white omelettes, I feel bad for them. In the first place, egg-white omelettes are tasteless. In the second place, the people who eat them think they are doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed. Sometimes I try to explain that what they’re doing makes no sense, but they pay no attention to me because they have all been told to avoid dietary cholesterol by their doctors.

According to yesterday’s New York Times, the doctors are not deliberately misinforming their patients; instead, they’re participants in something known as an informational cascade, which turns out to be a fabulous expression for something that everyone thinks must be true because so many reputable people say it is. In this case, of course, it’s not an informational cascade but a misinformational cascade, and as a result, way too many people I know have been brainwashed into thinking that whole-egg omelettes are bad for you.

Seriously: most folks need not fret about limiting their egg intake. So listen to Liz: “Eat egg yolks with abandon—they are a health food. Why? Because the cholesterol in real food, like egg yolks, is not just a powerful antioxidant. It’s also packaged with other nutrients we need.”

Yolks aren’t just chock full of awesomeness—they’re the tastiest part of the egg, too.

image

On average, our family of four goes through about four dozen pastured eggs each week—and we never get bored with ‘em. Want to be an eggspert in eggceptional egg cookery? Here are a bunch of ways to keep your palate eggcited and eggstatic! (I promise to stop with the egg puns now.)

image

Read more

Paleo Sausage Egg “McMuffin”

Pin It

Paleo Sausage Egg "McMuffin" By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In honor of Father’s Day, I created this recipe for my Pop. He’s a lifelong fan of breakfast sausage and eggs…and, um, English muffins. But who needs bread when the filling’s the best part?

To make this breakfast sandwich resemble those from a certain fast-food joint (you know: the one with the freaky clown mascot), you’ll need some special equipment—namely, stainless steel biscuit cutters—but if you’ve got ’em, this recipe’s a snap. Plus, you can totally eat these sammies with your hands.

Paleo Sausage Egg "McMuffin" By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Here’s what you’ll need to make one “McMuffin”:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, divided (plus more for greasing the biscuit cutters)
  • ¼ pound bulk raw pork breakfast sausage
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon guacamole (optional)
Here’s what to do:
Grab two stainless steel 3½-inch biscuit cutters, and grease the insides well with melted ghee. Place one cutter on a plate and fill it with the sausage meat. (You can also easily make your own bulk breakfast sausage. Here’s Jen Cereghino’s recipe. I also have a Maple Breakfast Sausage recipe in my forthcoming cookbook.)

Paleo Sausage Egg "McMuffin" By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(If you don’t have bulk sausage handy, just cook up some bacon. I just Instagrammed a photo of a Bacon Egg “McMuffin” this morning—and if you’re not already food-stalking me on Instagram, you really should.)

Read more

Paleo Chawanmushi (Savory Egg Custard)

Pin It

image

Poke a spoon through the delicate, quivering surface of these savory Japanese steamed egg custards, and you’ll find a treasure trove of ingredients inside: diced seafood, poultry, and veggies. With just a few adjustments, I’ve come up with a flavor-packed Paleo version of chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) that you can steam on the stove, bake in a water bath, or pop into a sous vide cooker.

Read more

Julia Child’s Rolled Omelet - Thai Style

Pin It

Julia Child's Rolled Omelet - Thai Style By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I was recently asked to participate in JC100, a national campaign involving restaurants, chefs, bookstores, and bloggers, all celebrating Julia Child and her legacy. Each week from May 7th through August 15th (Julia’s 100th birthday), we’ll receive a recipe of Julia’s to cook (or adapt) and share. I couldn’t wait to participate. After all, Julia has been one of my culinary idols ever since I spied her on my parents’ grainy television screen three decades ago. 

image

She fascinated me: A towering, warbly-voiced, grandmotherly figure who could quickly and casually whip up dishes that I’d never seen before in my mother’s Chinese kitchen. Julia was so relaxed in the kitchen — dropping food and picking it up, tasting dishes-in-progress with her fingers, adding butter when in doubt. She was so real (something I can’t say about most television chefs these days), and made even the most difficult recipes look effortless and goofily fun.

Julia inspires me to lighten up (not literally — fat rules!), chill out, and have a blast in the kitchen — regardless of the results. It’s just food, and if you make it with love, it’ll turn out wonderfully.

The inaugural JC100 recipe is Omelette Roulée or rolled omelet from Julia’s classic “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Because I’ve been crushing on Thai omelets (Kai Jeow) as of late, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to combine Julia’s omelet technique and my own Asian pantry ingredients — and ghee instead of butter to make it perfectly Whole30®-friendly. Win-win!

Here’s what to gather to feed one person:

  • 2 large pastured eggs
  • ½ teaspoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions
  • ⅛ of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon ghee

Here’s what to do:

Grab a couple of pastured eggs… 

image

image

…and crack ‘em in a bowl.

image

Then, measure out the fish sauce

image

image

…and add it to your eggs.

Chop the cilantro…

image

…scallions…

image

image

…and lime wedge. Look! There’s your mise en place!

image

Puncture the yolks with a pair of chopsticks (or a plain old fork if you’re not down with the Asian theme)…

image

…before whisking the eggs and fish sauce thoroughly.

image

Add the herbs…

image

…squeeze the juice from the lime wedge…

image

….and mix until blended.

image

Heat the ghee in a seasoned 8-inch cast iron skillet over high heat.

image

Swirl it around to cover the sides of the pan, and add the eggs.

image

Let the eggs sit undisturbed for a few seconds…

image

…and then start jerking the pan back towards you at a 20 degree angle so the omelet begins to roll over itself at the bottom of the pan.

image

image

image

Once it’s mostly cooked through, grab a plate…

image

…and tip the omelet out of the pan.

image

image

Garnish with additional cilantro and scallions, and dig in!

image

Thank you, Julia!

Sous Vide Scrambled Eggs

Pin It

Scrambled eggs are so fast and easy to fry up, it never occurred to me to cook them in my SousVide Supreme. Who wants to wait twenty minutes for eggs to cook – not to mention the additional time it takes for the water oven to preheat? Not this lazy ass!

I finally made a batch today to test out our new reusable silicone cooking bag and I have to tell you, scrambled eggs cooked sous vide are fantastic! The eggs are a revelation – so tender, creamy, and custardy. Patience does pay off!

Here’s what I gathered to feed 2 people:

  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Aleppo pepper (optional)

Here’s how I made enough eggs for 2 people:

I filled the water oven with hot water and preheated it to 165 F. In a medium-sized bowl, I beat the eggs with a large pinch of salt and four grinds of black pepper.

I poured the beaten eggs and butter into the silicone bag.

Using the water displacement method, I removed the air from the bag and sealed it tight.

Once the water oven reached 165 F, I dropped in the sealed bag…

…and set the timer for 10 minutes. After the buzzer went off, I removed the bag from the water and squished it around so the eggs wouldn’t form a brick.

I put the bag back in the water and let it cook for 12 more minutes. (In many recipes using plastic bags, the cooking time is only 10 minutes + 6 minutes but since the silicone is thicker, I soaked the eggs for five more minutes).

I removed the eggs from the SousVide Supreme…

…spooned it on a plate, and sprinkled on Aleppo pepper flakes.

My mind is bursting with ideas on how to incorporate these silky eggs into different recipes!

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Pin It

The default emergency protein in my fridge? Hard-boiled eggs. They’re tasty, portable, and packed with great nutrition — what’s not to love?

Here’s how to make perfectly-cooked hard-boiled eggs that are never overcooked (I hate the gray-green sulfur ring around overdone yolks) and are easily peeled:

Grab a bunch of large, pastured eggs, and use a pin or thumbtack to poke a hole in the fat “bottom” end of each of the eggs.

(By the way, you may have heard that super-fresh eggs aren’t the best for hard-boiling ‘cause they’re more difficult to peel; from my experience, that’s true. Try to use eggs that are at least a week old. But if you’re “stuck” with really fresh eggs — poor you! — the techniques I use will still help maximize the peel-ability of your oeufs.)

Make sure the needle goes just far enough to piece the shell. (Quick tip: It’s easiest to keep the eggs upright by leaving them in the carton while you poke ‘em.)

image

Gently place the eggs in a deep, medium saucepan and fill it with cold water. Make sure the eggs are in a single layer, and at least 1 inch below the surface of the water.

image

For every 3 cups of water or so, add ½ teaspoon of baking soda. (The sodium bicarbonate’ll help the eggs separate from their shells, making them easier to peel.)

Place the uncovered pot on the stove and crank the heat to high. Once the water comes to a roiling boil, set a kitchen timer for 1 minute.

image

When the minute’s up, take the pot off the heat, cover it with a lid, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Set a timer — we want to be precise about this!

image

While you’re waiting, fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Then, once the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the pot and transfer them to the bowl of ice water.Completely submerge the eggs in the ice water for 5 minutes.

image

Then, fish the eggs out of the icy water, gently rap them against a hard surface to crack the shells, and peel each egg starting from the bottom end (where you poked the pinhole). Don’t wait until the eggs are completely cool — they should still be warm to the touch.

image

The shells should come right off, with no fuss or muss.

image

The result: Perfectly cooked eggs, with no ugly gray-green rings around the yolks, no foul odor, and no telltale divots in the whites. 

image

If you aren’t eating these eggs right away, store them in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week.

What are you waiting for? Boil some eggs!

(Update on 6/13/14: Serious Eats just posted The Food Lab’s definitive method to boil eggs. Mind blown.)

Egg Foo Young-ish (Spinach, Egg, Ham, & Coconut Pancakes)

Pin It

image

After gobbling up Fitbomb’s quick and easy savory coconut pancakes yesterday, I was inspired to come up with a version filled with veggies and meat. After eating one of my portable egg-y pucks, hubby exclaimed that they tasted like Egg Foo Young.

image

Melissa Joulwan’s awesome site has a great recipe for Paleo Egg Foo Young but, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like. No self-respecting Chinese person EVER orders this dish at an authentic Chinese restaurant. (In hubby’s defense, his parents opened an Americanized Chinese joint in the late 1960s and served Egg Foo Young to the masses). But maybe I shouldn’t have been such a food snob because these pancakes were delicious.

Check out the recipe after the jump!

Read more

Savory Coconut Pancakes

Pin It

Hubby was experimenting in the kitchen and he came up with a recipe for super simple savory coconut flour and egg pancakes. I have to admit that I was pretty dubious when he started throwing everything together, but the pancakes ended up tender and tasty!

Here’s what he gathered to make two 8-inch pancakes:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour (amount varies by brand & how dense you want the pancake)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Here’s how he made them:

He grabbed three pastured eggs out of the fridge…

image

…measured out the flour…

image

…and beat them together with a pinch of salt.

image

Then, he melted ½ tablespoon of butter over medium heat and poured in half the batter.

image

After about 2 minutes, he flipped it over…

image

…and cooked it for another minute or so to finish it off.

image

He repeated the same steps with the rest of the batter to make another flapjack.

The pancakes tasted pretty good plain, with a springy texture and just a hint of coconut…

image

…but he opted to top it with leftover slow cooker pork pot roast and sliced avocado.

image

Super-simple and tasty. Next time, I might add a little baking powder to lighten them up a bit more, but they were yummy without it.

Curried Beef, Broccoli Slaw, & Mushroom Frittata Muffins

Pin It

It’s no secret that I love frittatas. They’re even better in mini form ‘cause you can serve them as finger food at a party or store them in the fridge for a quick snack or breakfast on the go. I threw this recipe together this morning for the inaugural CrossFit Palo Alto Whole9 Nutrition Guide Orientation. Luckily, they turned out okay or I would’ve had egg on my face. (Ha!)

Mini frittata muffins can be made with whatever you have lying around, just like regular sized frittatas. Just fill up the muffin tins with filling and you can estimate the amount of eggs you need to make the batter with this ratio: for every two muffins, you need one egg in the batter (e.g. 12 muffins = 6 eggs). If you don’t want your mini frittatas to be too moist (i.e. soggy), add a few tablespoons of coconut flour. (For 15 muffins, I’ll put in 3 level tablespoons of coconut flour).

Here’s what I assembled to make 36 muffins:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 pound of grass fed ground beef
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of curry powder 
  • coconut oil spray
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 20 large eggs
  • 5-6 tablespoons of coconut flour (optional, see note above)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to 375 F and I started chopping and slicing my veggies.

image

I heated up the coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan was hot, I threw in the onions with some salt and pepper and sauteed them until they were soft and translucent.

image

Next, I added the mushrooms (with some more S&P) and cooked them until the liquid had evaporated.

image

I tossed in the ground beef and cooked it until it was no longer pink. I seasoned the meat mixture with the curry powder and added more salt and pepper to taste. Then, I added the bag of broccoli slaw…

image

…and stirred that around until the slaw was softened.

image

In the meantime, I had my two boys help me put cupcake liners in my cupcake tins.

image

image

Once the liners were in the tins, I sprayed them with coconut oil spray. If you coat the liners with oil, the muffins won’t stick as much to the paper. (Or you can skip this part and use silicone baking cups.)

Next, I divided the filling into each muffin liner.

image

I cracked the eggs into a large bowl and whisked in the coconut milk and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper.

image

I know this might sound gross, but I tasted the raw egg mixture to make sure there was enough seasoning. Yes, CrossFit Palo Alto members, I risked salmonella poisoning for you guys.

I ladled the egg mixture into the muffin tins, making sure the liquid only reached 3/4 of the way to the top. The muffins puff up during cooking so you don’t want to fill them to the brim.

image

I popped the trays into the oven for 15 minutes and then I rotated the trays and baked them for 6 additional minutes. You know the muffins are done when they rise up to the top and they are springy to the touch when you pat the surface. I let the muffins sit in the pan for a few minutes and then I cooled them on a wire rack.

These muffins can be served warm, room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but frittatas really are awesome.

[UPDATED: I’ve since made these frittatas using silicone baking cups, and it’s a GAME-CHANGER — I’m not going back to paper cupcake liners!]

Paleo Eats: 2/18/11

Pin It

Today was insanely busy, and I’m glad I had some hearty Paleo eats to power me through to the end.

The first activity on my morning docket was the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto, so about an hour before my workout, I made myself a quick and easy scramble with three eggs and leftover stir-fried kale and bacon.

See? I don’t always make myself a frittata. Scrambles are a lot quicker when I’m short on time.

After class, I came home and snacked on macadamia nuts and coconut flakes. Then, I accompanied my mother-in-law to her pre-op anesthesia appointment at the hospital. On our way home, we stopped by Calafia and picked up a rotisserie free-range chicken, which I shredded up to make salads with greens, carrots, and sugar snap peas. I dressed our salads with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

At dinnertime, I stir-fried some ground pork with a diced onion, four minced garlic cloves, ½ a pound of sliced cremini mushrooms, Arizona Dreaming seasoning, salt, and pepper.

I served the seasoned swine with roasted bell peppers and roasted curried cauliflower.

That’s all, folks! I gotta catch some zzz’s so I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the Whole9 Nutrition Seminar at CrossFit Palo Alto tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to meet more members of the gym and share some Paleo treats!