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Eggs & The Cheese Omelette Fantasy {RECIPE}

Davidson_Eggs-Cracked-Salt-Pepper

There’s something sensual about feeling the weight of an egg in your hand. As I hold it carefully with my fingers, caressing the cool delicate shell, cracking the egg open, I marvel as the gelatinous white spills out along with its yellow yolk. The fragile ball of the yolk settles within the bottom of the mixing bowl and looks completely perfect. It’s fascinating while tempting my palate in a multitude of ways. I love eggs.

I’m sure I could live, per se, without eating eggs, but I cannot imagine going through my life not eating them. In fact, I’m egg obsessed. I’ve loved eggs ever since I could: as a child, soft-boiled and presented in a dainty hand-painted egg cup. Scrambled eggs. Hard-boiled with salt. As an adult, an egg salad sandwich with Dijon and olive tapenade on toasted rosemary bread, so heavenly. Soft, buttery, salty, cheesy eggs scrambled and served with toast. Poached eggs, runny yolks.

And where would we be without cakes, soufflés, quiche?

So it was eight months into eating a raw vegan diet when I began to fantasize about a cheese omelette.

The omelette fantasy began in the afternoon. I had a grueling two-hour morning workout of spinning and barre classes fueled by an almond mylk-chia-maca smoothie, boosted with freeze-dried blue-green algae powder, a whole avocado with dehydrated rosemary flax crackers, and a banana slathered in raw almond butter and cacao nibs. A huge kale avocado salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette followed for my post-workout lunch. Suddenly, with a forkful of dark leafy greens in my mouth, the fantasy of an eggy, cheesy omelette, all fluffy in its buttery pan-cooked splendor, entered my consciousness. I couldn’t stop imagining the crack of each egg, watching the yolks shimmy in the bowl— one, two, three— yellow orbs of pleasing perfection. Such beauty exists within the thin shell of each egg.

I decided I’d had enough of everything cold and raw and gave in to my fantasy of eating, enjoying and savoring a warm, just-cooked-in-real-butter, cheese omelette. Ever since then I’ve eaten eggs (almost) every day. Sometimes twice a day.

After eight months of a clean raw vegan diet I knew that my body needed the nourishment of eggs. I wanted it more than any other food. Perhaps the wisdom of the body tells us something in our strongest leanings to the foods that are the most nutritious. Butter, eggs, salt. Let’s not call them names and exclude them. When taken in small amounts, sea salt and real butter both have their merits. The egg, however, is found to be very beneficial and contains important nutrients. I love the sensual ways it can be transformed by heat and method of preparation: soft-boiled, poached, scrambled, coddled, fried (though for awhile I could not stand fried eggs), hard-boiled, sunny-side up, quiche, fritatta, omelette.

I took a cooking class with my sweetheart last Wednesday night and I was in egg heaven. He knows how very much I love eggs, so it made for a great date night together. It was an Egg Mixer cooking class at The Gourmandise School with egg recipes featuring Davidson’s Eggs. These eggs are “safe eggs” as they are pasteurized for health safety, so making Hollandaise sauce, Caesar salad dressing, soft-boiled and poached eggs are made completely worry-free due to the fact that there’s no concern or risk of salmonella. All of the flavor and nutrition is still contained within the egg.

Top Chef Brooke Williamson led our rather large class through several recipes, all using Davidson’s pasteurized eggs. The recipes were the kind that used eggs either raw or slightly heated. On the class menu: Dungeness Crab and 6 Minute Egg with Old Bay Hollandaise Sauce, Coddled Egg and Whipped Smoked Celery Root with Salmon Roe and Chive Purée, Braised Short Rib with Truffle Pecorino Soft Scrambled Eggs and Carrot Farro, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles, and a Whiskey Flip.

My eyes saw only Coddled Egg and Whipped Smoked Celery Root with Salmon Roe and Chive Purée. So I made my own recipe version at home for breakfast.

Davidsons_Egg-Mise-en-Place

I’m really into Mason jars these days, so the idea of coddling an egg inside of one that’s filled with whipped celery root thrilled me. If you’ve never tried celery root (otherwise known as celeriac) or you didn’t even know that celery had edible roots, imagine a gnarly tuber root bulb topped with celery stalks. Don’t shun this ugly thing, because inside it tastes like creamy mashed potatoes mingled with fresh celery flavor. Celery root is typically cooked much like a potato, and blended up into a purée.

Davidson_Eggs-Mise-en-Place-ChivePuree-Chives-Roe

Now that I have you intrigued and wanting to go off to your local supermarket or farmers’ market for celery root, what took this recipe a step further was chive oil and purée. I’ve seen the celery root in the produce aisles and was familiar where it was displayed, however, the morning I looked for it, the market was completely out. No matter, I used Yukon Gold potatoes and sunchokes instead. In addition, I added leeks to the chives and used smaller roe rather than the salmon roe (ikura) because the Korean supermarket near my house did not have any salmon roe.

Davidsons_Eggs-Cracked-in-Jars

Regardless of the less than perfect findings at the market for this recipe, I managed to make it for breakfast (er, well, closer to brunch time). I’d make it for lunch too. The idea is to coddle the egg within the heat of the sealed jar using a bain-marie method. The result is marvelous: dip your spoon into the creamy root purée, and stir the luscious golden yolk and milky white into the fold as the vibrant green chive oil sinks into it beautifully, and the salty pops of roe give your tongue pleasure.

Davidsons_Eggs-Served-in-Jars

Here are two recipes: the original recipe given by Chef Brooke Williamson, and my adapted recipe using sunchokes rather than celery root. Also, I replaced the heavy cream with tofu sour cream for a lighter version. Either way, it’s delicious.

Coddled Egg & Whipped Smoked Celery Root, Salmon Roe & Chive Purée

(serves 6)

Ingredients:

2 large Idaho potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 large celery root, tough outer parts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes (the celery root can then either be cold smoked in a smoker or with a smoking gun, or if you do not have a smoker simply add 2 small drops of liquid smoke)

2 cups heavy cream

3 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt

6 large Safest Choice™ eggs

1/4 pound chives

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salmon caviar (roe)

1 tbsp minced chives

 

Instructions:

Place potatoes, celery root, heavy cream, and garlic into a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. When the potatoes and celery root are fork tender, remove them from the heat. Purée entire mixture in a food processor until smooth.

Place long chives into simmering water for 10 seconds. Remove from water and shock in an ice bath. Add chives to a blender with olive oil and purée until smooth. Add a bit of water if needed. Season with salt.

Add the celery root mixture to six 8oz Mason jars, dividing into equal portions.

*NOTE– if you don’t want to make 6 servings, fill the jars with the extra celery root mixture and save them for later in the fridge. You can also save any extra chive purée for another dish or to make the coddled egg recipe another time. 

Crack one egg into each jar and cover with lid. Place jars into a large shallow pan filled with simmering water that will come up to at least where the celery root mixture sits in the jar. Let cook in steam bath for 6-8 minutes depending on how runny you like the yolks.

*NOTE– I found that the timing given of 6-8 minutes was not enough time to cook the eggs well enough, though I do like them runny. The whites had not set after 10 minutes, so I increased the flame and simmered the covered jars in a pot with a lid. It took about 15 minutes for my eggs to coddle, with set whites that cooked creamy rather than hard and perfectly runny yolks. Keep your watch on the eggs. You can remove from heat and open their lid to see how the egg is cooking. Seal it back up if it needs more cooking time. This method is very forgiving.

When cooked, remove from steam bath carefully (the jars will be very hot!).

Remove lid and top with chive purée, caviar (salmon roe), and minced fresh chives. Serve immediately with a spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Coddled Egg & Whipped Sunchokes, Leek & Chive Purée, Roe

(serves 4, adapted from the original recipe)

Ingredients:

5 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

10 sunchokes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons Tofutti© “Sour Supreme” sour cream (non-dairy)

3 cloves garlic, caramelized

3 large Safest Choice™ eggs

2 leeks, whites only, chopped fine

6 tbsp Earth Balance butter

2 tbsp Marsala

1/4 pound chives

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salmon caviar (roe)

1 tbsp minced chives

Kosher sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

 

Instructions:

In a medium pan sauté the leeks in a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance butter for about 5 minutes on a medium-low heat or until soft. After the leeks soften, splash in the Marsala and continue to sauté on medium-low heat for about 5 more minutes. Then turn off heat and season with a pinch of sea salt. Set aside.

Place potatoes and sunchokes into a heavy saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. When the potatoes and sunchokes are fork tender, remove them from the heat. Add the garlic, Tofutti sour cream, 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance vegan butter, and half of the sautéed leeks into a food processor and purée entire mixture until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper to taste as you blend.

Place long chives into simmering water for 10 seconds. Remove from water and shock in an ice bath. Add chives to a blender with olive oil and purée until smooth. Season with sea salt.

Add the whipped sunchoke mixture to six 8oz Mason jars, dividing into equal portions. Layer the remaining sautéed leeks on top of the sunchokes.

*NOTE– if you don’t want to make 6 servings, fill the jars with the extra celery root mixture and save them for later in the fridge. You can also save any extra chive purée for another dish or to make the coddled egg recipe another time.

Crack one egg into each jar and cover with lid. Place jars into a large shallow pan filled with simmering water that will come up to at least where the celery root mixture sits in the jar. Let cook in steam bath for 6-8 minutes depending on how runny you like the yolks.

*NOTE– I found that the timing given of 6-8 minutes was not enough time to cook the eggs well enough, though I do like them runny. The whites had not set after 10 minutes, so I increased the flame and simmered the covered jars in a pot with a lid. It took about 15 minutes for my eggs to coddle, with set whites that cooked creamy rather than hard and perfectly runny yolks. Keep your watch on the eggs. You can remove from heat and open their lid to see how the egg is cooking. Seal it back up if it needs more cooking time. This method is very forgiving.

When cooked, remove from steam bath carefully (the jars will be very hot!).

Remove lid and top with chive purée, caviar (salmon roe), and minced fresh chives. Serve immediately with a spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.

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