Tea and soy infused eggs
Although the snow outside makes it look more like Christmas, it is Easter again. To go with the non-traditional weather we are making some unconventional Easter eggs: Marbled Chinese Tea Eggs. They take little effort and look absolutely stunning. You can use regular eggs or try quail eggs for an even cuter result.
These eggs are super tasty and not only for Easter. They make a great snack or little side dish for a dim sum style dinner; or add them to a salads and stir fries.
6 regular eggs (or 18 quail eggs)
6 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp dark sweet soya sauce
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 pieces of whole star anise
8 black peppercorns, left whole
1 long cinnamon stick
1 tea bag or 2 tbsp loose black tea leaves
- Place the eggs in a large saucepan or pot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. (Place quail eggs in boiling water for 4 minutes)
- Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice bath for a few minutes. Leaving the hot water in the pot.
- Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, tap and roll them to break the shells all over.
- Add the soy sauces, salt, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, pepper corns to the hot water.
- Hang the tea bag into the water (or sprinkle in the tea leaves.)
- Return the cracked eggs to the pot.
- Cover and bring to the boil. Cook at a low simmer for 2 hours. Ensure that the eggs are covered in liquid, adding water if necessary.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate the eggs in the liquid over night.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- Chinese five spice powder
- mandarin rind or juice
Other Easter egg recipes
Make the ordinary extraordinary
The other day I came home from my grocery shopping trip with some lovely cheeses and sausage only to discover that I had forgotten the crackers. Then it suddenly hit me: throwing together a batch of crackers actually takes less time (and effort) than going back out to the supermarket.
As with all pure and simple foods the key is to use good ingredients. So do not skimp on the quality of your flour or oil. Then the humble cracker, that usually is only there to carry something delicious to your mouth, suddenly becomes a treat in itself.
Cracking good: easy, tasty and without all those funky preservatives the standard store-bought kind has.
(found on the blog ‘Choosy Beggars‘)
125g (1cup) all purpose flour
125g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp fine salt
120ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
120ml (1/2 cup) warm water
Coarse salt for sprinkling
- Heat oven to 190C 375F.
- Combine both types of flour, rosemary and salt in a bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add oil and water.
- Working from the center combine the dough. It will seem sticky at first, but should turn into a supple dough. Knead for 3 min.
- Allow to rest 5 min.
- Cut out two sheets of parchment the size of your baking trays.
- Divide the dough into two pieces and roll them out on the two sheets of paper. (A few drops of water under the paper will help it stick to the counter.) Roll the dough out as thin as you can.
- Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into little squares (about 4×4 cm).
- Slide the paper onto two separate baking sheets.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake 12-14 min until they are a rich golden.
Enjoy gravlax with ease
Why are we so ready to believe that great results require great effort?
We live in a culture that tells us that to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to work hard, to struggle and to fight. But I am beginning to feel that quite the opposite is true. There is no proof that struggle leads us to success. Actually the focus on battling through life seems to undermine any goals of peace and happiness.
The key seems to be to look at life through different eyes; to let go of fear and strife, and to replace them with effortless and creative living.
So with this in mind, this post is not just a recipe for wonderfully tasty cured salmon, but my proof that effortless living is the secret to joy
For this dish you need to do nothing more than wrap some fish in salt, sugar and dill. Let some days pass (they will do that all on their own) and then enjoy the experience of a beautifully, clean tasting, tender piece of cured salmon.
(And just to prove that ease and adventure go together hand in hand, see “tips and variations” below for a truly wild way of making gravlax.)
400g fresh salmon skin on
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
a large bunch of dill
- Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Place a double layer of cling film on your counter top. Place half the dill on the cling film.
- Combine salt and sugar. And rub all over the fish.
- Place fish on cling film and dill. Top with remaining dill.
- Wrap fish tightly in cling film and place into a (zip lock) bag.
- Put the parcel in a Tupperware container or oven dish.
- Place a plate or chopping board on the fish and weigh it down with heavy objects. (Or completely forget about this step as I sometimes seem to do.)
- Keep the salmon in the fridge for 3-5 days. It is best to turn the fish once a day to ensure even curing.
- Unwrap the fish and discard the dill.
- Rinse, pat dry and remove the skin.
- Cutting against the grain, serve in thin slices.
- The cured fish keeps for at least one week in the refrigerator.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- add a little crushed black pepper to the salt and sugar
- drizzle the fish with a tablespoon of vodka or aquavit
- Add lemon zest
Adventurous Gravad Lax
A friend of mine shared his way of making Gravlax with me. It is so much more exciting & wild than my “domesticated” recipe. Unfortunately it is a true winter recipe that requires frost. So although winter is hardly gone I am already looking forward to its return to try this myself.
- Rub the salmon generously with Cognac (he uses Osborne)
- Wrap the fish in aluminum foil and then in cling film.
- Bury the fish in the garden about 40cm deep (this is where the name originates from: gravad lax.)
- Dig up three weeks later and enjoy.
Thank you GdB for this amazing recipe!
Healthy no-fuss dessert: pineapple sorbet
Lately I have not been posting very much. Why? Because I have been eating.
The last few weeks I came out of hibernation and spent most evenings eating out with friends. I almost feel like I have been on a trip around the world: enjoying Asian lounge restaurants, clattering dim sum eateries, pure Italian hospitality, French Michelin starred luxury – just to name a few of the experiences I had.
On my couple evenings at home I balanced things out by eating healthy steamed fish and vegetables. But the contrast proved slightly too much of a shock.
Enter ….. my favourite healthy “emergency dessert”: pineapple sorbet.
This recipe really only has three steps: freeze tinned pineapple, allow to defrost a few minutes, blend. See below for the long version and maybe from now on you will also keep some pineapple in your freezer. Just for emergency purposes only of course
(recipe found on the blog ‘Fat Free Vegan‘)
1 can of pineapple slices in their own juice (do not take the ones that are canned with syrup)
- Place the pineapple and juice into a zip-lock freezer bag or -container.
- Freeze until solid, overnight (or just keep some in your freezer at all times- for emergencies).
- When ready to eat. Allow to defrost at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Place in food processor and process until smooth.
- Serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in the freezer. Just briefly process again before serving.
These muffins make a fabulously healthy snack
It was on a cold and dismal day that I came across this recipe. I wanted to curl up on the couch with a good book, a hot cup of tea and something sweet. Books and tea I have plenty, but sweets I really never have in the house. So I started looking for a little treat that was both healthy and could be made without having to head into the cold outdoors for ingredients.
This muffin was a fabulous find: the recipe could not be simpler. It is incredibly tasty and ever so good for you. Did you know that oats have been found to improve the immune system and lower bad cholesterol amongst other things.
Make plenty ( I would double the portion) and keep the rest in the fridge for a quick breakfast on-the-go.
(found on the blog ‘my baking heart’)
Makes about 6 muffins
90g (1 cup) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
1 small egg
60ml (1/3 cup) rice milk (alternatively almond or soy)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
20ml (1/9 cup) agave nectar
50g (1/4 cup) blueberries (no need to defrost if frozen)
- Preheat oven to 175C (350 degrees).
- In a bowl combine oats, baking powder, oats.
- In a second bowl mash the banana with a fork.
- Whisk in the egg.
- Add almond milk, vanilla and agave.
- Add the oats to the banana and mix until just combined.
- Carefully fold in the blueberries.
- Scoop into a 6 whole silicon muffin tray (alternatively place cupcake liners in a regular muffin tin).
- Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and set.