keito potato


Greek Deviled Eggs Stuffed with Feta and Capers
March 25, 2012, 8:10 pm
Filed under: recipes, starters | Tags: , ,

We don’t need mayo to make deviled eggs!  Why didn’t we think of this before?  Instead, feta makes the filling more vibrant and zesty than the standard mayo and pickles.  I’m sold.  This is going to be my new family Easter tradition.

I discovered this Greek recipe in Diane Kochilas‘ cookbook The Greek Vegetarian.  Everything I’ve made from this cookbook has been absolutely wonderful.  I used this cookbook to make a huge Greek dinner for my mom’s birthday this week, complete with about 8 mezze (appetizer) dishes.

I’ve doubled the original recipe here, because if you’re making these for a party or for Easter, don’t you want a whole plate-full to share?  If you want fewer, then simply cut the recipe in half.

 

GREEK DEVILED EGGS STUFFED WITH FETA AND CAPERS

8 large eggs (look for better-quality eggs with dark yolks)

1/2 cup crumbled feta

2 tablespoons capers, drained

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

cayenne for garnish

fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

 

METHOD

Place the eggs in a small pan and cover with warm water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 12 minutes.  Immediately run the eggs under cold water to cool.  Drain and peel.

While the eggs are cooking, whip together the feta and capers in a food processor or blender.

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop the yolks into a bowl.  Using a fork, mash the yolks with half of the olive oil.  Add the feta and caper mixture, the oregano, and the remaining olive oil.  This mixture should be salty enough  with the feta and capers, but you can salt to taste.  Place a little of the filling into each of the whites, mounding it slightly.  

Sprinkle lightly with cayenne and garnish each stuffed white with a parsley leaf.



Shirred Lemon Eggs
January 9, 2011, 3:36 pm
Filed under: breakfast, recipes | Tags: , , , ,

My friends Deborah and David are raising a variety of 8 colorful chickens in their backyard.  The colorful chickens lay colorful eggs, some of which are a pale turquoise.  At the end of a dinner party last night, they sent each guest home with 6 eggs as a sending gift.

This morning I wanted to make something special to show off the lovely flavor of good eggs, so I used a new favorite recipe from Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book.  Shirred eggs are eggs that are baked gently in a buttered ramekin.  This recipe of shirred lemon eggs takes the simple concept over the top with lemon zest and a touch of cream and parsley.  Lemon naturally pairs well with eggs, as we know from Euro Pane’s famous egg salad sandwiches with lemon.

This recipe is dead-easy, but delicate and pretty enough to serve for special occasions.  My family made these lemon shirred eggs for our Christmas breakfast this year, but they tasted better today with the fresh eggs.  They had a deeper, lovely egg flavor.

I have written this recipe for one person, since the ramekins are assembled individually.  Multiply the recipe per number of people.

SHIRRED LEMON EGGS

butter for the ramekin
2 tablespoons heavy cream (separated)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1  1/2 tablespoons grated Gouda, Gruyere, or jack cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
roughly 3/4 teaspoon minced parsley

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 325F.  Liberally butter the ramekin.

Pour 1 tablespoon cream into the bottom of the ramekin.  Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest over the cream.

Sprinkle the cheese over the cream.

Gently drop an egg into each ramekin.

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Measure 1 tablespoon cream and gently spread it over the egg.  Scatter the minced parsley over the top.

Bake at 325F for 12-16 minutes, depending on how soft you want your yolk.  I prefer a set yolk, so I lean toward 16 minutes.  Marion Cunningham serves her’s at 12.

The yolks have a lovely bright orange hue.

Serve them with good toast for breakfast, or alongside a green salad for lunch.



Hello Kitty Sandwiches
November 27, 2010, 10:44 pm
Filed under: recipes, starters | Tags: ,

 

A Hello Kitty Tea Party with Cute Nieces

You may or may not know that Hello Kitty’s birthday is November 1st.  I happen to know some geeky Kitty trivia because I used to be a Hello Kitty buyer for a store.  Hello Kitty is always 8 years old, but still has a birthday every November 1st.  One year I visited the fantastic Sanrio store in San Francisco on her birthday, (where I met Hello Kitty, was served a piece of birthday cake, and played games with other customers).  Otherwise, it’s not a day I would normally celebrate — until I had nieces who love Hello Kitty too.

Now I invite my little nieces over on November 1st to do something creative and fun together that celebrates the cuteness of Hello Kitty.  Last year I made a batch of buttermilk pancakes in the shape of Kitty’s face, with blueberries dropped into the batter for her eyes and nose.

This year I was inspired by my Japanese cookbook  Cute Yummy Time which teaches techniques for designing amazingly cute food, all carefully crafted out of healthful ingredients.  This cookbook doesn’t feature any official animals characters like Hello Kitty, but its techniques for making a variety of animals can be adapted limitlessly.  I decided to design Hello Kitty open-face sandwiches using oval-shaped slices of hard-boiled eggs for her white face.  Then I invited my nieces to a Kitty-themed tea party.

To assemble the Hello Kitty sandwich, I started by slicing a rosemary roll and topping it with a slice of cheddar cheese.  The orange of the cheese visually sets off the white egg slice from the white roll.  The eggs were easy to hardboil, peel and slice.  I cut little triangles for the ears.  Cute Yummy Time inspired me to use mustard seeds for the eyes and a cumin seed for the nose.  Now for the bow.  I slowly poked around the kitchen looking for something red to cut into a bow-shape.  Chilies were the right color, but not the best flavor-choice for little girls.  Aha!  I spied the giant bowl of pomegranates on the counter, fresh from the yard of my grandparents’ neighbor.  I cracked open a pomegranate and used 2 of the seeds to fashion a bow for each kitty.  Too perfect.

I garnished each plate with blossoms cut from a carrot.  I took vegetable-carving lessons from a chef when I lived in China, so carving a single carrot into 10 blossoms is a party trick I keep up my sleeve (and usually gets kids to eat vegetables without thinking twice).  Three carrot blossoms created a starburst shape to decorate the plate, and 5 tangerine slices made a little star or flower shape.

When my nieces arrived in the afternoon for the tea party, we started by designing our own Hello Kitty placemats using crayons.

Because it was a special occasion, we used pretty china cups and saucers.  We each picked our own cup and saucer from the collection in the china cabinet.  Liza and Nadia played rock-paper-scissors to decide on the teapot.

When healthy food is cute, little girls are more likely to eat it.  The philosophy of Cute Yummy Time works.  Nadia wouldn’t normally eat hardboiled eggs, but she ate Hello Kitty’s face.

After the Kitty sandwiches, we enjoyed delicate slices of pear tart with the rest of our tea, then played a few rounds of “Hello Kitty Uno.”