Showing posts with label Mediterranean cuisine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mediterranean cuisine. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dress up Deviled Eggs With a Fresh Take On a Classic






Quarter-sized deviled eggs made with Italian parsley, anchovies and capers. Credit: Copyright 2015 David Latt
Quarter-sized deviled eggs made with Italian parsley, anchovies and capers. Credit: Copyright 2015 David Latt
What’s Easter without Easter eggs? Hide them. Roll them. And, best of all, eat them. Of the many dishes associated with Easter, deviled eggs have always been high on the list. Traditional deviled eggs are delicious but with some adventuresome spices, all those left-over hardboiled Easter eggs become devilishly delicious.
Our fingers stained blue, red and yellow, my sister and I loved dyeing and decorating Easter eggs. Ultimately our mother turned our colored eggs into deviled eggs with a simple recipe: peel and slice open the eggs, chop up the yolks, add a bit of mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper, then spoon the mixture back onto the egg white halves.
When we were kids that seemed good enough. But for my adult palate, deviled eggs needed spicing up. With experimentation, I discovered that hard-boiled eggs are a great flavor delivery system because they provide a solid, neutral base of flavor to which exciting flavors can be added.
Doing something as simple as adding cayenne or Mexican chili ancho powder gives the mild-mannered eggs a mouth-pleasing heat. Sweeten the flavor up a notch by stirring in finely chopped currants or borrow from Indian cuisine and mix in curry powder that has first been dry roasted in a sauté pan.
Turn the eggs into an entrée by mixing in freshly cooked shellfish. Grill shrimp or steam a few Dungeness crab legs, finely chop the savory meat and add to the yolk mixture. The result is elegantly flavorful.
This year I’m using a Mediterranean approach. Capers add saltiness and Italian parsley adds freshness. Finely chopped and sautéed anchovy filets are the secret ingredient that takes deviled eggs to another level.
Cut into quarters or halves, the deviled eggs make a visually arresting presentation. 
Caper and Anchovy Deviled Eggs
Always worth mentioning, using quality ingredients improves any dish. Nowhere is that more true than with deviled eggs. Use farmers market fresh eggs, quality capers preserved in brine and good anchovy filets. 
The easiest way to fill the egg white sections is with a disposable pastry bag. If one is not available, use a spoon to scoop up filling and a fork to distribute it into each egg white half.
The eggs and filling can be prepared the day before or in the morning. To keep them fresh, the eggs should not be filled until just before serving.
If desired, add a touch of heat with a pinch of cayenne. 
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Assembly time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
6 farm fresh eggs, large or extra large, washed
4 anchovy filets, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, washed, pat dried, finely chopped
1 teaspoon capers, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch cayenne (optional)
Directions
1. Submerge the eggs in an uncovered saucepan of cold water. Heat the uncovered pot on a medium-high flame. Bring to a simmer and boil five minutes. Turn off the flame, cover and leave the eggs in the hot water 10 minutes. Drain the hot water. Add cold water to cool the eggs.
2. While the eggs are cooking, heat a small sauté or nonstick frying pan over a medium flame. No need to add oil. Sauté the anchovy filets until lightly brown. Set aside.
3. Peel the eggs. Discard the shells. Wash and dry the eggs to remove any bits of shell. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully slice the eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place into a bowl. Set aside the egg white halves.
4. Using a fork, finely crumble the yolks. Add the Italian parsley, capers and sautéed anchovy bits. Stir together all the ingredients. Add mayonnaise and mix well until creamy.
5. Spoon the filling into a disposable pastry bag. If serving the next day or later in the morning, place the egg white halves into an air-tight container and the filled pastry bag into the refrigerator.
6. Prepare a serving dish. The deviled eggs can be served as quarters, halves or reformed as whole. If quarters, cut each halve in two lengthwise. Just before serving the eggs, cut off the tip of the pastry bag. Have a paring knife or fork in hand. Carefully squeeze a generous amount of the filling into each egg white piece. If needed, use the knife or fork to tidy up the filling on each egg. Any leftover filling should be eaten on crackers as a chef’s treat.
7. As the eggs are filled, place them on the serving dish and garnish with Italian parsley or arugula. Serve cold.

 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Sunday Deviled Eggs & Sunday in New York City

New York has had some pretty difficult weather during the winter. Yesterday and today feels like spring has come back. Bright and sunny, I walked around the upper west side. Ate $1/each raw oysters at Cafe Tallulah (corner of Broadway & 70th). Sweet and briny. Really delicious.

Then later in the evening and a quick train ride up to 103rd Street to Buchetta Brick Oven Pizza between Amsterdam and Broadway for a Salsiccia e friarelli (sausage and broccoli rabe, mozzarella & parmigiano) pizza. Also really delicious.
For Sunday we'll have bunch in the city with friends and enjoy what is predicted to be another beautiful, sunny spring day. Yay for beautiful, sunny days!

Just before I left for New York I finished writing an article/recipe about making a very cool riff on deviled eggs by adding capers and sautéed anchovies. The recipe posted on Zester Daily. Take a look. It's easy to make and really yummy.

http://zesterdaily.com/cooking/dress-deviled-eggs-fresh-take-classic/

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Barbrix Opens in Silver Lake

The front wall of Barbrix (242 Hyperion Avenue, Silver Lake 90027; 323/662-2442) is no wall at all.

On hot summer nights, crowds will no doubt start inside at the bar, then, drink in hand, move outside to claim one of the half dozen tables and settle in for an evening sampling the appetizers that include marinated olives, burrata with tapenade, shrimp & chikpea flour tortillas (a favorite), and crostini topped with soft and sweet crescenza, fig relish & prosciutto.

Go deeper into the restaurant and you'll discover intimate groupings of tables, some against the side wall under the picture windows, others tucked into semi-private alcoves.


The stylish restaurant was recently opened by a husband and wife team, Claudio Blotta and Adria Tennor Blotta who met when they worked at Campanile.

They designed Barbrix so it would feel as inviting for couples out for an intimate meal as for groups of friends who want to spend an evening hanging out. The bar offers wines and beers from around the world to pair with the savory offerings on the affordable, tapas-style menu.


At the back of the restaurant there is an open kitchen designed around an L-shaped counter. Chef Don Dickman keeps a watchful eye over his chefs as they plate--to the left--the appetizers, salads, cheese plates, and charcuterie while on the right he directs the finishing of meat and fish courses--the wild boar sausage with a bean ragu, Niman Ranch porchetta style pork belly, and grilled skirt steak on a wild arugula salad.

For those who prefer seafood, the menu offers plates of pesto manila clams, grilled sardines with preserved Meyer lemon & mint aioli, monk fish swimming in a spicy chorizo sauce with chickpeas, and roasted Alaskan halibut resting on a funeral pyre of sunchokes, chard & alba mushrooms with gremolata.

Mediterranean ingredients give Barbrix its flavor edge. The take-away for me--unfortunately we took home no doggie bags that night because we ate everything we ordered--was the memory of a very pleasant evening and a new love for chermoula.

Served on the Roasted Cauliflower Salad, the charmoula added multiple levels of flavor to the caramelized vegetables.

When we came home I was determined to make my own version of the classic North African sauce. I experimented over several nights and discovered its versatility. I used it with fish, grilled meat, roasted vegetables, salt-crusted potatoes, and as a dipping sauce for a vegetable crudite.

Chermoula Sauce

Yield 4 servings
Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

3 garlic cloves, skins on
1/4 cup cilantro, mostly leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, mostly leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of Cayenne
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

Char the cloves on an open flame. Clean off the blackened skin, mash, and finely chop. Use a mini-grinder and puree the garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Season with sea salt, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Refrigerated in a sealed container, the sauce will keep 3-4 days. Serve at room temperature.

Variations

Add 1/2 teaspoon chopped preserved lemon
Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Use dried parsley instead of fresh

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