Happy January, everyone! Okay, I know it’s the end of January and all, so i’m super late, but I’m sharing what my New Year’s resolution for 2014 is! It’s to cook more… I genuinely love cooking but nowadays don’t have so much time to do so, because when I get off work, the rest of my evening is usually a whirlwind of either seeing the people who are important to me in life, or keeping up with the local dining scene (which is good for my job), or both! This year, I’ve decided to cook at least twice a week, but the idea of compromising my lifestyle is unappealing to me, so I decided to just cook things that I can gift (like this recipe!!) or to host dinner parties, which i LOVE doing. Actually my idea for my next dinner party is Greek food, togas mandatory! You know what they say in evolutionary biology… Adapt or die! What were your New Year’s resolutions? Every New Year, i like looking back and seeing how I’ve developed as a person that year. On the plus side, I think that I amassed quite a few skills (the ones that come to mind are: publishing in scientific journals, wine classes, history of humankind course, scientific research on radiation, organizing events and managing volunteers) met and befriended fantastic people that I am honoured to call my friends now, networked like it was my job (it kinda is), FINALLY found the night scene in Vancouver that i’ve been waiting for forever, and visited a few new places I’ve never been. On the minus side, I stopped cooking as much, didn’t get to go home that year, and had to confront the reality of the awful traffic in downtown Vancouver (I never had to drive before). But on the whole, I think last year was definitely more good than bad, if the worst thing i can find to complain about is traffic!
So about these muffins. I made these muffins a few months ago but never got around to posting it (story of my life). I think it’s important to keep learning new things, and one weekend, i made it my mission to learn how to get a boiled egg inside a savoury cheese muffin, without overcooking the egg. I followed a very useful tutorial online, and the key is to barely, just BARELY cook the egg so that it’s solid enough to handle delicately, but won’t overcook by the time the muffin batter is done. It is very difficult to peel a super soft egg btw. I asked a few chefs for advice, and here’s what i learnt: Use old eggs, add baking soda to the water, immediately dunk the cooked eggs in ice water to create steam which will separate the egg from the shell, and make as many cracks as possible before peeling since large chunks of shell tend to take off a lot of meat with them. I made these egg-stuffed muffins because I wanted to give a few special friends a gift, and everyone knows that boys love food. They were a hit 🙂
- 6 large eggs (old ones!)
- 1tsp baking soda
- Ice water
- 1 cup Parmesan, grated
- 3/4 cup aged white cheddar, grated
- 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1 cup bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1.25 cups buttermilk, slightly warmed
- 11/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
- 1/3 cup chopped green onion
- 2tsp cayenne powder
I know what you’re thinking. Why do i need instructions for boiling freaking eggs? Well, if you want your egg so ridiculously hard-boiled that the only analogy i can think of is inappropriate for a public blog, or so gooey it oozes steaming hot albumen all over your fingers, then feel free to ignore this section.
SO, with that being said, what you want to do is get your water boiling, till there are small lazy bubbles breaking the surface of the water, not a rolling boil. We’re gently cooking the eggs, not hot tubbing them. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water to up the pH a bit. This will help with peeling later. Place all 6 eggs in the water (there should be enough to just cover them), and let them cook for EXACTLY 4 minutes, uncovered. In the meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water. As soon as 4min have passed, strain, and immediately dump all eggs in the ice water to stop the cooking. As a sidenote, my daily breakfast is a medium-boiled egg (yolk is gel-like and gooey) with truffle oil and pepper. This takes exactly 7min to make, 9min for completely solid yolks, 5-6min for soft yolks, and 4min for this recipe as we want them barely cooked. Thank you 1st year chem class, for making me overly OCD and vigilant regarding cook times. Walter White and Jesse have serious competition, i’m telling ya.
When eggs are cool, crack and peel gently. Harness all the advantage of your Homeo sapiens’s opposable thumbs, and peel them with the knowledge that millions of years of evolution are allowing you to shed the shell from this precipitously wobbly chicken egg with unrivaled dexterity previously unseen in the entire animal kingdom, just so that you can make these freaking awesome egg muffins. Refrigerate for a few hours at least. Then congratulate yourself. Onto the next step!
Set aside 25% of each type of cheese which we’ll use for the topping.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Fry bacon till done, set aside. Remove most of the bacon fat, but keep some, and cook the onion in it. Set aside.
Grease your muffin pan. I had to go buy one that was for oversized muffins. A regular muffin in might work, but the egg will probably be squished in there.
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, baking soda and cayenne.
Microwave the buttermilk so that it’s more or less at room temperature. Whisk together with the two raw eggs and melted butter. Pour the liquid into the dry, and stir till well combined. Add 3/4 of all the cheese, along with the green onions, cooked onions, and bacon.
Place a small amount of batter in the tin, add the soft-boiled egg, and cover with more batter. You could try piping the batter around the egg, but i found it easier just to scoop it on top of the egg. Add the reserved 1/4 cheese on top of the muffins and bake for 15-17 minutes.
Cut apart, and amaze everyone!