Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pickled Eggs

I have been pickling a dozen eggs every few weeks, with some seriously engaging effects. I guess growing up in New Jersey, they weren't one of those things I saw on a regular basis, or ever, but they are quite addictive. The recent batch is flavored with fenugreek, coriander, cinnamon, fresh bay leaves and myrtle. The key is to use whole spices rather than powdered or the whole thing gets cloudy and unappetizing. Pictured here are one of the more gorgeous experiments, with quail eggs. You can see the ingredients below: aged pu-erh, black cardamom, juniper, long pepper, licorice, star anise and grains of paradise.

You basically just boil eggs until barely hard and either crack them up gently for this mottled effect, or peel entirely. Then heat the spices gently in a dry skillet and add to the hot water in which you boiled the eggs. About a quart. Add two tablespoons of salt, a cup of vinegar. And put them in a glass jar on the countertop. Untraditional, I admit, but they still seem to taste better if Flatt and Scruggs are playing while you make them.


Judith Klinger said...

So cool. I love this. I've never thought beyond red beet juice.

Gary Allen said...

The process is exactly like that of Chinese Tea Eggs -- and the finished eggs have exactly the same appearance.

The difference, of course, is in the flavoring. The Chinese version is steeped in black tea, soy, and five-spice powder.

It had never occurred to me to try experimenting with other "pickles" for these eggs-- but I certainly will now!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Mant bars in Eastern Ontario had pickled eggs on the counter. In the 80's they would not have been so exotic, so keep experimenting.

Ken Albala said...

Hey Gary, China, makes perfect sense, which must be where I got the tea idea. My grandmother, from Turkey, made eggs that looked just like these too. But they were cooked for hours and hours. There may have been onion skins in the pot. But dark and flavorful just on their own, brown all the way through, like no other eggs on earth. Hmm, I hadn't even thought of those.

Ken Albala said...

And Bellinissima, What started this whole thing was a friend from Iowa who servd a big jar when a group of guys came to help with demolition. He said in the midwest ir is standard at bars with saltine crackers. Worked great with beer.

Renata said...

So curious Ken.. I've never had pickled eggs, but the idea sounds great to me!

Judith Klinger said...

So, when exactly do you crack the egg?? I must have let mine get too hard, I had exploding egg on my face! I gave it a gentle roll to crack the shell and the egg blew up. It was actually kinda fun, but I'll have to give it another go.

Nicole Peyrafitte said...

Egg Art! I love it...and might do some too! Merci

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