Eggs have been plentiful at the market the last several weeks, which has made me very happy. I never find more eggs more beautiful than the ones at our market. The deep golden yolks bring to mind the phrase “eat with your eyes.” While a grand majority of the eggs I buy end up in a morning scramble with greens, sometimes I have occasion to make something a bit more impressive with them. Enter the following meal–one which utilizes an entire dozen eggs.
There’s something extremely satisfying about using up a dozen eggs in one meal: the mound of eggshells in the compost bucket, the empty carton that goes into my market bag to take back to the farmer. The following were my contribution to a potluck meal a couple of weeks ago, and while by no means do they represent normal fare in my household, I was very happy with the results.
Pavlova: Since I had volunteered to bring dessert and had gone a little nuts buying eggs at the market that week, I offered to make a couple of pavlova. These are essential giant meringues or, as I described to the children at said potluck meal, “Giant marshmallows with a crispy crust.” It’s one of my favorite desserts to make since it’s suitable for many different dietary restrictions, and can be adjusted to suit whatever growing season you’re in by changing up while you pile on top of it. You can find my recipe here. This time I used some strawberry jam from one of the market farmers and whipped cream. I also used 10 egg whites between two pavlovas instead of 4, as in the recipe I’ve linked.
Handmade pasta: With the remaining ten yolks and two eggs, I made handmade pasta. I’m trying different ratios for pasta making, so I used the one you find here (not my recipe). I found that two cups of flour was a gross underestimate, but the results were a very soft and rich pasta that served six people well. If you don’t have a pasta roller–I have a simple hand crank one–you can certainly use a little bit of elbow grease to achieve the same end result. Need the dough a long time until it feels quite smooth, using flour as needed if it feels sticky, then roll out small pieces at a time and cut into strips or squares for “handkerchief” pasta. Pasta is a bit time consuming to make but very simple, and the fresh stuff cooks in just a couple of minutes.
I absolutely love kimchi. Until last year, I suspected that it was not the kind of thing that could easily be made at home, but inspired by a post on Signal Mountain Farm’s blog, I decided to give it a try. While there are more steps than making sauerkraut, the actual process is not more difficult. The following is what I’ve landed on as my go-to kimchi recipe, with inspiration heavily borrowed from the SMF blog and The Kitchn’s post. I’ve also included a recipe for the simplest fried rice ever which uses kimchi, because it may or may not be what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately.
Let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours (longer is better, especially if the temperature in your house is cooler, but do what you have time for). Rinse the cabbage very well and drain in a colander.
Meanwhile combine the garlic, ginger, water or fish sauce and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. I use a LOT of red pepper, but if you are sensitive to spicy food, start slowly with 1 T.
When the cabbage has drained fully, squeeze out any excess water by dumping it out onto a clean kitchen towel, gathering it up in a bundle and pressing it firmly against the bottom of the colander.
Mix the cabbage, radishes and spring onions together in a bowl, then mix in the garlic paste. Pack into a jar (or more than one, if necessary), pushing down so that the brine covers the vegetables. Allow to sit at room temperature for up to a week. Check the kimchi daily, tasting for doneness and pressing the mixture into the jar so that the vegetables remain submerged in brine. Place the jar in the refrigerator. It will continue to improve in flavor for the next couple of weeks, but you can eat it immediately.
Makes 1 quart-size jar.
Makes breakfast for one or a side dish for two.