Monthly Archives: November 2015

Put an Egg on It!

To turn leftover roasted cauliflower and a side dish of quinoa mixed with scallions and fresh tomato into a nourishing and delicious lunch, I needed a protein. So I decided to scramble some Egg Beaters as a topping. The result was delicious and reminded me that an egg-especially a real one that’s been poached or fried in butter or olive oil-can take an ordinary dish to new heights.

Now that egg prices are coming back in line after soaring due to the Avian Flu epidemic, it makes sense again to suggest adding an egg. Doing so dresses up simple dishes, making them extra special for company. The commonplace summer appetizer of steamed asparagus becomes something extraordinary when sprinkled with grated parmesan and topped with a fried egg.

A homey hash of finely diced sauteed potatoes, onions and mushrooms or zucchini is glorified by topping it with a sunny-side-up fried egg. What’s especially nice about this idea is that you can prepare the base in advance and rewarm it, if necessary. Then you can fry the eggs just before serving for a stunning presentation.

Have a Hot Pot Party

A Mongolian hot pot party is such fun that, even if you aren’t Mongolian, you might want to purchase the necessary equipment and throw one. For the hostess, there are advantages to this cooking method: Most of the heavy prep work is done in advance; the guests can actually cook their own food, if you like, and there’s undeniable entertainment value to the format.

Everyone sits companionably around a special metal cooking vessel in which a flavorful broth is bubbling, laughing and chatting as they briefly dunk and retrieve tissue-thin slices of beef or lamb, greens and mushrooms, or watch as their host or hostess does the cooking for them. There are condiments on the table so guests can customize.

When everyone has had their fill and the broth is at its most delicious, a pile of rice noodles is added. Everyone gets a satisfying serving to complete the meal.

I was fortunate, since the mother of the host at the party I attended, who was visiting from Inner Mongolia China, made her divinely tender and tasty dumplings as an appetizer. If you don’t want to try making your own, you might order some from a local Asian restaurant or, perhaps, serve salad with an Asian dressing to start.

If you do an Internet search, you’ll find instructions for pulling off a hot pot party plus lots of sources for purchasing the pot itself.

Never Out of Eggs

In the hopes of making meatloaf today using Egg Beaters that had expired more than a month before, I was researching the meaning of “Use By” dates. The results weren’t definitive, so I ended up borrowing an egg from a neighbor rather than risking food borne illness or driving the eight miles to town, but I did come across a valuable tip that may prevent me from being caught again in that situation: You can freeze Egg Beaters and, by the way, you can freeze fresh eggs, too.

According to the manufacturer’s website (www.eggbeaters.com), Egg Beaters may be frozen for a year. They must be left in their original packaging unopened. According to a neighbor, the package offers freezing and defrosting instructions. You can thaw in the refrigerator or in the microwave.

Fresh eggs also can be safely frozen for a year, according to an FDA website (http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm077342.htm).Before freezing, the eggs must be removed from their shells and whisked to combine the whites and yolks.