Hard and Soft Boiled eggs

I've noticed that hard and soft boiled eggs are sometimes more difficult to peel than they are to cook. But I've also noticed that the peeling process can be made a little easier by incorporating a few tricks.  For example, fresher eggs are harder to peel, so you may want to leave your eggs out at room temperature for 12-24 hours before cooking them.  But most importantly, steamed eggs are easier to peel than boiled eggs.  Read more.

Garlic Oil

A favorite application of garlic is as an oil.  Wonderful when mixed with sauces and sautéed vegetables, garlic oil has a rich garlic-y flavor that lacks the sharpness of raw garlic or the bitterness of overcooked garlic.  The soft cloves take on a luscious quality, making them a fine addition to caramelized onions. 

When it comes to garlic, storage and preparation is especially important.  Raw garlic should always be stored in a dark place with good air circulation.  The root in the center of each clove grows and becomes bitter as the garlic ages, so it is particularly important in raw applications to remove the root beforehand.  Read more.

 

Poached Eggs

Poached eggs serve two distinct functions for me.  Most obviously, I like to serve them on top of other food items, from a piece of toast to a salad.  But in recipes that traditionally call for raw egg yolks (i.e. Caesar salad dressing, mayonnaise, and chocolate frosting), poached eggs are also useful.   Read more.

Sautéed or Caramelized Onions

A large batch of onions is easier to roast than a small batch, so I like to cook two large onions in a 12'' cast iron pan, then refrigerate the leftovers in a jar for later use.  They should stay fresh for at least one week in the fridge.

  • 2 large or 3 medium yellow onions (approximately 2 lbs.)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Halve, peel, and then—depending on how large you want them—chop or slice the onions.  In order to hold the onion together, keep the root end intact while cutting.  Place onions and oil in a 12" pan and cook over low heat, adding salt when the onions begin to cook.  It's important to keep the heat low because the onions need time to sweeten and become translucent before browning.  Stir the onions periodically while cooking.  If you want translucent onions, cook for 30 minutes; if you want browner onions, cook for ~50 minutes.

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

I like to roast my grape tomatoes with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of sugar because they aid the browning process, but you can omit them if you want.

  • 1 lb. grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (omit if vegan)
  • pinch sugar (optional)
  • kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Pour olive oil onto a half sheet pan, and heat in oven for a few minutes (don't allow it to smoke).  Slice tomatoes in half.  Place butter in pan and swirl to melt.  Spread tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, and salt in pan, stirring to coat.  Place in top rack of oven, stirring every 5-10 minutes.  Roast until soft and beginning to brown around the edges (~25 minutes).