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Hard Core





Hard-cooked eggs are a staple in our fridge as a convenient, high-protein snack. Around the Easter and Passover holidays, they are a more high-profile item—but eating them plain can be a bit boring. These recipes elevate the egg in it's hard-cooked form to a simple ingredient in tasty main-course dishes.


 


Kedgeree (pictured above)
Serves 4

For years, I’ve wanted to make this Indian dish that was transported to Britain—and when I made it recently and discovered how good it is, I wish I hadn’t wasted time! It originated as a breakfast dish, but I think it makes a terrific lunch or dinner. Originally the recipe asked for smoked haddock, but for American tastes and availability, grilled salmon works perfectly (I seasoned it with smoked salt before grilling). Make extra, as it reheats well.

2/3 cup raisins
1 cup long-grain rice (jasmine or basmati)
4 tbsp. butter
2 small onions, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup green peas
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. curry powder
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
4 generous slices of grilled salmon
salt and pepper, to taste
lime, quartered
chopped cilantro, to serve

Soak the raisins in warm water. Let them soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cook the rice in 1 cup water, cover after it comes to a boil and simmer on low for 20 minutes. When done, set aside, covered.

Heat the butter in a pan. Over medium heat, gently cook the onion until translucent, then add peas, garlic, ginger and curry powder and heat through until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and raisins and heat through, tossing, until coloring appears uniform. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Pile the rice mixture onto plates or shallow bowls and arrange quartered eggs and salmon on each bowl. Garnish with lime wedge and chopped cilantro.

Salad Nicoise

I first enjoyed this classic salad at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. This was years ago when the restaurant was under the museum’s huge clock face, and it was a real treat to be there and to eat this fresh and classic salad. My husband had the worst case of order envy I have ever seen.

1/2 pound small red new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
sprig of fresh rosemary
4 large eggs
1/2 pound haricots verts or asparagus, trimmed
good balsamic vinegar
1 generous pound fresh salmon filet
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup nicoise olives
16 good anchovy fillets (I like the ones rolled around a caper)
4 tsp. capers

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, add water to cover and a nice pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer the potatoes for 12 minutes to give them a head start, and then add the eggs. Place a steamer basket or colander on top of the simmering water. Put the green beans or asparagus in the steamer and cover with a lid. Steam the beans or asparagus for 5 minutes until crisp-tender while continuing to cook the potatoes until fork tender. Drain the water and put the hot potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Toss to coat. Place hot beans or asparagus into a shallow rimmed dish and drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top. Leave eggs in pan and cover with cold water for 5 minutes. Drain the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise.

Season salmon with tamari or soy sauce and a drizzle of honey and grill over hot coals until just done, turning once. This will take about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Keep an eye on it—you don’t want it to overcook! Let salmon rest for 10 minutes and divide into 4 pieces.

To assemble the salad: Mound the potatoes and beans or asparagus side by side. Arrange tomatoes, olives, eggs and salmon and garnish with anchovies and capers. Drizzle some of the anchovy oil onto the eggs and dust with black pepper. The important thing about salad nicoise is that the elements are arranged nicely on a plate, with each maintaining its individual integrity. You can also dress the salmon with mayonnaise thinned with a bit of lemon juice and mixed with some chopped capers. Best served at room temperature.

Dinner in a Flash

These simple combos take advantage of the great prepared sauces that are available in your neighborhood grocery.

Chicken and the Egg

At least one hard-cooked egg per person, peeled and chopped into large chunks
¼ cup per serving of leftover roast chicken or prepared roast chicken from the grocery, shredded or chopped
Prepared Alfredo sauce
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: ¼ cup per serving cooked asparagus, cut into 1” pieces

Heat Alfredo sauce in saucepan and add chicken and optional asparagus. Heat through. Add eggs and tarragon carefully stir until coated. Cover and simmer on lowest heat for 2 minutes. Serve over pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Green Eggs

Prepared basil pesto sauce
At least one hard-cooked egg per person, peeled and chopped into large chunks
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook and drain pasta. Return to pan and stir in pesto, then add eggs and carefully stir until coated. Cover and simmer on lowest heat for 2 minutes. Serve over pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Eggs Curry

One can Korma Curry sauce
2 hard-cooked eggs per serving, peeled
cilantro
green onion

Heat curry sauce according to instructions on label. Add eggs and heat through. Serve over cooked basmati rice and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.

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