student teacher

food detective

Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Posted on December 28, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten

How wonderful when a student teaches you a new trick. One of the fun things about teaching at Dorothy Lane Market’s Culinary Center is when I run into my “students” and they share not only what they enjoyed learning from my class but divulge their own secrets to making a dish work.

This happened just the other day. I was visiting my dear friend Pokey and she told me what a fabulous time she had at my last Girls Night Out cooking class, then she shared how she makes her mother-in-law’s caviar egg dip. The trick it turns out is using a potato ricer to mince the eggs. How ingenious!

Being on a learning curve I dove head first into a gem of a cookbook my daughter’s boyfriend gave me for Christmas. He’s from Virginia and thought I’d appreciate “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by the legendary Edna Lewis and innovative chef Scott Peacock. He was right! For Christmas Eve dinner I decided to go out on a limb and make salmon croquettes. Well my Nordic roots didn’t quite make the stretch. The grit soufflé was sublime but the first batch of croquettes pretty much fell apart when I attempted to pan fry them and the second batch was… a little crispy. I will say the crumbles made for a tremendous salmon hash on Christmas morning that I topped with perfectly poached eggs.

If you don’t have one of Michael Ruhlman’s Bad Ass Egg Spoons- don’t wait until next Christmas for Santa to put one in your stocking! This spoon will completely perfect your ability to poach an egg, be sure to click on the link above and watch the video.

And speaking of eggs I thought I’d get back in the cookbook saddle and give Peacock’s hard-cooked egg recipe a swirl. Turns out they were flawless. So I combined the two things I recently learned and revamped my recipe for caviar egg toasts just in time to ring in the New Year!

Place the eggs in a saucepan, and pour in enough water to cover by two inches. Add one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of cider vinegar. Bring the water and eggs to a rolling boil over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat, cover and let sit for exactly ten minutes.

When the time is up immediately pour out the hot water and run cold tap water over the eggs until they are cool to the touch.

Carefully peel the eggs (this can be easily done under water) and set aside.

Place the eggs one at a time in a ricer fitted with the larger perforated disk.

Press down.

The result is perfectly minced eggs just this side of hardboiled.

Add a little minced onion, a dollop of mayonnaise and just a bit of Dijon mustard. Mix until just combined and season with salt and pepper, but remember the egg salad will be topped with salty caviar.

Place the egg salad in a small Ziploc bag and when it is time to pipe it onto the bread rounds snip a corner of the bag to fashion a pastry bag. The egg salad can be a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Make the toasts using a one inch round cutter on sliced bakery-fresh rustic white bread.

Place on a heavy baking sheet and brush with melted butter.

Bake until just toasted, 350 degrees for about five minutes.

Let cool completely. The toasts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two.

For the caviar I love Cavi-Art. You’ll have to try it to believe it but it is a seaweed-based product that perfectly resembles caviar. The best part it doesn’t bleed at all and a 3.5 ounce jars runs about $8. You can find it in the tuna aisle at high-end markets.

To assemble pipe a dollop of egg salad on top of each toast.

Carefully place a small spoonful of caviar on top of the egg mixture.

Serve immediately. And watch them immediately disappear! 

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