Category Archives: General
Eggs symbolize birth, rebirth, fresh starts, spring, so it’s fitting that this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, the Extra Edition for the fifth Friday in March, is eggy: Hard-cooked eggs with herb mayonnaise, which is better described as a simple salad topped with hard-boiled eggs.
I’ve spent a long time figuring out the best way to cook hard-boiled eggs. As simple as it seems, there are many different methods out there. While David adds eggs to boiling water and simmers them, I find the cooking time varies widely depending on the temperature of the eggs. Are they cold, coming straight from the refrigerator? Are they room temperature? How long have they been sitting out? I find the most reliable method for me is to place eggs in a pot, cover them with water, and start heating. When the water comes to a boil, cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and let the eggs cook in the residual heat (14-15 minutes for large eggs). That’s how I cooked my eggs.
The component of this recipe that makes it special is the mayonnaise. Some people are intimidated by making their own mayonnaise. I usually use it from the jar, but for special occasions, it’s simple to make in the food processor. David’s recipe was just the right balance. And then, to gild the lily, minced shallots and herbs are added for maximum deliciousness. I couldn’t find chervil but used tarragon. Making the mayo the day before allows the flavors to mellow.
Everything comes together as a salad. A bed of lettuce topped with halved grape tomatoes and hard-cooked eggs are dolloped with the mayonnaise. I also sprinkled extra minced shallots and tarragon over the top. The salad makes a perfect lunch. I really enjoyed the flavors, but… I really prefer a salad that’s tossed with dressing for an even coating. When dolloped, or when dressing is served on the side, it’s not ideal for me. So… I would make this again, but I would toss the lettuce with the mayonnaise first, then top with the tomatoes and eggs.
I made extra hard-boiled eggs, and I’ll use the leftover mayonnaise to make some deviled eggs this weekend.
Happy Passover or Happy Easter to whoever is celebrating! Spring is here!
Hearty salads for dinner are a house favorite. I don’t usually follow a recipe, using the bits and pieces leftover in the refrigerator, but for this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, a French bistro classic, I followed the rules.
Salade Lyonnaise is bacon-and-eggs in salad form with a heavy dose of garlic thrown in. There are many components, but many of them can be prepared ahead, making it easy to pull together for a weeknight meal.
The base of the salad is frisée, AKA curly endive. At first I couldn’t find any, just green heads labelled “chicory” which resembled a coarser form of frisée. Doing a Google search in the market, I learned that the chicory I found along with frisée and escarole are all in the same botanical genus, but curly endive and escarole are more closely related, being the same species, Cichorium endivia, with different leafing habits: one with lacy leaves and the other broad leaves. I decided to go with the escarole, but then came across curly endive in another section of the store. In the end, I bought both and made the salad with a mix of the two.
My favorite part of the salad was the garlicky croutons. A crushed clove of garlic is cooked in a generous amount of olive oil to flavor it. Then the bread cubes are sautéed in the resulting garlic oil until they are golden brown and fragrant. I often make croutons to have on hand for Caesar salads, but compared to these croutons, I’d have to dub my usual technique as spartan croutons because they are simply cubes of bread toasted in the oven with no oil or seasoning.
Boiled baby potatoes, bacon, and dressing round out the ingredients that can be prepared ahead.
When it’s time for dinner, the salad can be assembled: endive, sliced potatoes, bacon, croutons, and that garlicky dressing. In the meantime, it’s time to poach the eggs. At my house, that’s Howard’s job because he’s an expert, making dinner is a team effort. I toss the salad and fill individual salad bowls so that they’re ready to be topped with the eggs after they are cooked and dried off.
We had it two nights in a row, adding some leftover grilled asparagus for the encore appearance. The final verdict was two thumbs up. We both really enjoyed this one. You should try it too.
Enjoy! Bon Appetit!