HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I celebrated yesterday with the handing in of the first cookbook drafts (see post before for a sneak peek of my cluttered desktop) and a party complete with a whole leg of, er, unicorn (babs does not eat pork, or rather, his mum would not like to know that he does). It felt good today to finally not be hunched over my laptop with tired eyes and a aching back, going through folders and folders of photos and stories, and having multiple Adobe windows running at the same time.
I didn't have anything new that was complete enough to blog about without launching into another few hours spent in front of the screen, so I thought I would bring up an older recipe. I say old, but it's not really up on this blog before; it was a short guest recipe for plusixfive, the very first thing I cooked for the supperclub: sambal eggs. I complain each time people request these eggs, but they really aren't that much of a pain to prepare (if for less than 50 and/or if you do not hate peeling eggs ).
Because the elements of this recipe are so simple (basically, EGG. and sambal), I do request that you start with good eggs. I love eggs; fried, scrambled, poached, steamed, omelette-d or whipped beyond recognition in a batter. But when you have a good egg, even the simplest hard boiled egg tastes amazing. And for all the fancy egg-y things possible in the kitchen, I remember starting with the basic boiled egg. It was one of the first few things I could cook, and really, how difficult can it get? Plonk egg in water, boil. I couldn't understand the rubbery whites and powdery yolks with grey sulphurous rings then. I've since improved my egg-boiling skills, and indeed, there's still nothing better than cutting into a hardboiled egg from a happy hen to reveal orange yolks that are still slightly creamy.
Or at least, nothing better except that same egg, deep-fried to create a crisp golden surface, and then smothered with sambal.
6 large free-range eggs
1/2 cup sambal belachan tumis sauce
(See here for the full post with photos, tips, blood, sweat and tears)
groundnut oil or lard, for frying
1. First, to get perfectly cooked eggs:
Put room temperaure eggs in a single layer in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and once boiling, take the pan off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for exactly 6 min.
Immediately remove to a bowl of ice water, and peel when cool enough to handle, then pat dry. The whites will be firm but the yolks will not be fully cooked yet.
2. Heat oil in wok or fryer and deep fry the eggs until golden on the outside. Drain and set aside on kitchen towels.
3. Fry sambal, and when hot, add the eggs to gently warm up and toss them in the hot sambal to coat.
*Using old eggs will make it easier to peel. But don't worry about ugly pockmarked eggs; these only create more crispy edges when you fry them later. Think roast potatoes.
*That crispy jacket isn't just for show. Besides adding a wonderful 'fried' fragrance, it makes sure that yummy chilli sauce doesn't just slide off the smooth surface of the boiled egg.