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    Entries in egg-cellent (9)

    Tuesday
    Jan292013

    One Handed Meals

    I have 3 assignments and 2 lab reports due on Thursday. I am doing homework no matter what I'm doing or where I am. Including eating dinner. So, I needed something I could eat with one hand.

    Breakfast Burrito

    • a handfull of small potatoes
    • 1 egg
    • a bit of onion
    • some jalapeno
    • cheese
    • bacon!
    • bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon
    • bacon fat
    • a tortilla
    • some salsa

    So, there are 2 eggs in the picture, but I cooked only one. The key to being able to roll a burrito is the filling. Don't use too much filling.

    Preheat the oven to 425.

    Chop the little taters into tiny bits. Put them on a baking sheet and rub peanut oil all over them. You want barely enough oil to cover them in a thin layer. Pour about a teaspoon in the palm of your hand and start with that.

    That weird line on the left of the picture is actually peanut oil. Action shots are not always ftw.

    Pop the tiny taters in the oven. They take about 10 minutes when they're this size and they'll come out lovely and golden because of the peanut oil.

    Chop the onion, the bacon, and the jalapeno, and grate the cheese.

    If you don't have bacon in the freezer already cooked... dude, seriously, cook bacon on the weekend just for fun and put it in the freezer; your house will smell like bacon.

    Heat a bit of bacon fat (see, this is what precooking gets you, bacon fat to use at your leisure) in a pan and sautee the onions and jalapenos for a couple minutes.

    Crack in the egg, and give it a stir. No, you don't need to beat it in a bowl first. Sure, you could, but then you'd have a dirty bowl.

    Stir the egg, onion and jalapeno around for a few minutes until the eggs are set. Sprinkle on the bacon and cheese, and cover the pan with the tortilla.

    This does two things: it steams the tortilla to soften it a bit, and it keeps the heat in to melt the cheese. Clever, no?

    Your tiny taters should be just done by now.

    Slide the bacon and cheese covered eggs onto the softened tortilla and top them with the taters. A tablespoon of spicy salsa removes the need for additional hot sauce.

    Roll the side of the tortilla closest to you over the innards,

    Fold in the sides,

    And roll it into a one handed meal.

    What's your eat-as-you-work meal?

    Friday
    Nov232012

    Homemade Eggnog

    To me, nothing reminds me of the holiday season than eggnog.  I’ve always loved the stuff.  As a kid, I wasn’t picky.  I even liked the instant eggnog mix that you just stirred into milk.  These days I find it difficult to find a brand of eggnog that I like.  The expensive ones with the best spices tend to have a really thick consistency that is way too snot like for me.  The ‘light’ ones have a better consistency, but they tend to also be light on spice.  Well, if you can’t find a suitable version in the store, it’s time to make your own. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 4 cups milk
    • 1 cup cream
    • โ…“ - ½  cup sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • Piece of a vanilla bean
    • 1 whole nutmeg

    A lot of the recipes I’ve seen online just say to throw everything into a blender.  For some reason the thought of drinking raw eggs makes me want to hurl, though, so I made a cooked version.  So, pour your milk and cream into a pan over low heat. 

    Very carefully cut your nutmeg in half.  I’ll be honest, I don’t have any brilliant tips on how to do it safely. 

    Actually, scratch that, I’ve just had an epiphany.  You’re going to need to grate the other half of the nutmeg later, so just grate that half off now, and set it aside.

    Then drop the intact half into the milk. 

    I can’t believe I didn’t figure that plan out before now.  It addresses two safety problems you see.  Not only the dangerous act of cutting a small, round, hard object in half, but also, grating the nutmeg while it’s whole will hopefully prevent you from accidentally grating your finger. 

    Next up is the vanilla bean.  Cut a third-ish of it off. 

    Carefully split it down the middle. 

    Then just run the back of your knife along the inside scraping out the seeds. 

    Plop them into the milk and whisk to get them to separate and distribute themselves throughout.     

    Now it’s time to move to the eggs.  Drop your yolks into a mixing bowl along with the sugar.  I used ½ cup, which made it pretty sweet.  Next time I think I’ll use โ…“ cup instead.  I’d say, if you’re unsure, start with โ…“ cup and you can taste it when it’s finished but still hot, and add more if you need to.

    Mix on medium speed until it all comes together.  You probably noticed that my yolks are a dark orange color.  That’s because they come from local, pasture raised hens.  They are seriously amazing. At this stage, go ahead and scrape everything down, then turn the mixer back on and allow it to run for a minute or two. 

    (Don’t forget to stir your milk.)  This is pretty close here.  Just one more scrape down and another quick whirl.  

    Now you can step away from that and put your full attention on the milk mixture.  Go ahead and bump the heat up a little.  Stir constantly until it comes just to a simmer.  My nutmeg conveniently lodged itself in my whisk, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll want to fish it out now. 

    This next part is another do as I say not as I do moment.  With the mixer running on medium low speed, slowly pour in the hot milk.  As you can see from the picture, there was nothing slow about my pouring.  Perhaps trying to take pictures while pouring a full pan of hot liquid into a running mixer isn’t the brightest idea.  Fortunately, I didn’t burn myself, but I did get milk all over the bar, and was afraid I could have curdled the eggs the hot liquid in that fast. 

    Allow the mixer to run while you give the pan a quick wash.  The mixture should be nice and frothy. 

    Now, if you had a pouring mishap like I did (or even if you didn’t) you might want to pour the mixture through a sieve as you return it back to the pan, just to make sure it’s nice and smooth. 

    It should look something like this:

    Sprinkle on your reserved nutmeg.  I know it looks like a lot, but this is eggnog we’re talking about.  Nutmeg is what makes it special. 

    Stirring constantly, bring the mixture up to a boil. 

    Then turn off the heat, but continue to stir for a couple minutes just to make sure it doesn’t scorch on the bottom. 

    You’ve done it!  You’ve made homemade eggnog!  And I’m going to bet it’s the best you’ve ever had.  You have a couple of options at this point.  Go ahead and taste it to see if it needs anymore sugar or nutmeg.  First thing you have to decide is do you want nog in your eggnog.  I don’t drink alcohol, but if you do, go ahead and add some good rum, or whatever your heart desires.  Next, you have to decided if you want to drink it hot or cold.  If you like it hot, go ahead and ladle it into mugs.  Personally, I prefer eggnog cold.  For that, go ahead and put a lid on the pan and allow it to cool.  Once it has, pour it into a vessel and refrigerate for several hours. 

    When serving, simply grate a bit more nutmeg over the top to make it fragrant and pretty, and enjoy! 

    How do you like your eggnog?