I doubt that you will find anything like this in “One Hundred Ways of Cooking Eggs“, a book originally published in 1892 by a chef with 25 years of experience, but I came across this gem of an idea in a magazine, Art Culinare about a year ago, and the base of the recipe was salt sugar and black pepper. The first time I made it I added fennel and realized that the egg yolk can pick up flavors very well. The finished product is firm, can be grated with a micro-plane, and it has a nice fatty richness that is full of flavor. I was blown away the first time that I made it, so much, that I had to make another batch. It is very simple and quick to assemble but it does take five weeks to cure, after it has been cured it can be held for a few weeks and used when needed. Cured egg yolk is best when shaved on salads or on top of fish, it is rich and heavy but the flavor is delicate.
Cured Egg Yolk
2C Kosher Salt
1/2C Black Pepper
1/8C Crushed Red Pepper
1/4C Fennel Seed
Combine sugar and salt and mix well.
Combine remaining spice and grind into a coarse powder.
Add the ground spices to the salt and sugar mixture and blend well.
Place 1/4 of the mix in a pan, you want to have about a quarter-inch of mix in the bottom of your pan.
Make an indent in your mix so your egg yolk has a place to land and not shift around.
Crack and separate the white from the yolk and place the yolk in the mix. Once all the yolks have been place in the curing mix, sprinkle the remaining curing mix carefully over the top.
As you can see, there is one yolk that broke, it actually broke three times, must have been a bad landing spot or there was a piece of fennel sticking up that punctured it, so I left it to cure. Cover the pan with plastic and place in the refrigerator for five weeks, try not to disturb the eggs during the first week or so.
5 Weeks Later….
Dump the mixture out onto some parchment paper and search through the salt for your egg yolks.
Carefully brush off the excess salt and spices, try to get them as clean as possible, most of them will get grated with the rest of the yolk.
Once cleaned you can reserve for at least two weeks under refrigeration. When ready to use, grate using a micro-plane, on top of a salad or fish.
The last time I used the cured egg yolk was on a bone marrow salad. This batch of cured yolks have a nice fennel flavor, the pepper wasn’t as strong in terms of spice but you could taste the flavor of the pepper.
The crew at Black Butte Ranch had a great couple of holiday weeks and as the dust settles it is time to play and create new ideas and recipes for the upcoming summer. Before we jump into some new recipes here is one of the more popular ones from our Christmas buffet last year, roasted yams with caramelized onions and a sweet nutmeg cream. This side dish is very easy to make, in fact the most difficult component to make will be the Nutmeg cream, which is a creme anglaise with nutmeg. When yams are in season they are full of sugars that are ready to create a nice crust and a sweet soft center. The use of fresh grated nutmeg is going to define this dish over anything else. Since the day I started cooking I have bought whole spices and a spice grinder and ground them as needed, they last a lot longer and the flavor is unmatched. If and when I make these again I will add pictures.
Nutmeg Creme Anglaise
1C Heavy Cream
1ea Nut of Nutmeg
2.5ea Egg Yolks
Start by putting your cream on the stove over medium-high heat until it boils.While you wait for it to boil prepare and ice bath and set a clean (preferably metal) container in it, this is where you will strain your anglaise into.
Remove the cream from the heat and grate 1/2 the nutmeg into it with a micro plane.
Let stand while you mix your egg yolks and sugar.
Using a heat proof spatula mix your egg yolks and sugar.
Ladle a small amount of the warm cream into the egg mixture and stir immediately to incorporate. Add another ladle and stir.
Take the egg mixture and dump it into the rest of the cream in the pot and return to the stove.
If you have experience making anglaise you can use medium to high heat, if this is your first time I recommend low heat, if you loose your focus for a second on high you can curdle the eggs in the sauce.
Stir the anglaise with a heat proof spatula until it visually begins to thicken. Pull the spatula out and draw a line using your finger and if it holds then the anglaise is done, if not then cook a little bit more.
Once thickened pour through a chinois or china cap into the chilled pan on ice.
While this cools, you can begin to prepare the yams.
Start by boiling some water and cooking the eggs for 10 minutes, this will give you a nice soft-boiled egg.
After the 10 minutes of boiling s hock the eggs in ice water to stop them from cooking.
Meanwhile, chop the tarragon and chives and set aside. if you have whole pink peppercorns smash them with a meat mallet or roughly chop them in a spice grinder. Zest and juice the Meyer lemon and set aside.
Once the eggs are cooled, peel and remove the yolk, place the yolk in a bowl and set the whites aside.
Chop the whites into small pieces and set aside.
Combine the mustard, herbs, egg yolks, and the pink pepper.
Mix with a fork until smooth then add the rice vinegar, Meyer lemon zest and juice, continue mixing.
Stream in the oil while mixing, you may need someones help so you can hold the bowl and mix while they pour. The goal here is to emulsify the oil with the egg mixture.
Once all of the oil is added, add the egg whites and adjust seasoning with more rice vinegar if needed.
Replace mayo with this gribiche on a sandwich with fresh greens and thin sliced pork, or serve with 72 hour short ribs.