Posts Tagged With: Egg white

306/365: National Deviled Egg Day

Today’s one hell of a good day if you happen to be a fan of hard boiled eggs. November 2 is National Deviled Egg Day!

Deviled eggs consist of hard-boiled eggs that have been split in half and filled with a mixture of egg yolk and other ingredients, typically mayonnaise and mustard (but never Miracle Whip, unless you’re my mom – blech). There are many other additions that can be mixed in, ranging from pickle relish and worcestershire sauce to onion, capers, and paprika. The “deviled” in the name refers to the spices that are added to the mixture. Deviled eggs date back to ancient Rome. When they weren’t busy feeding gladiators to the lions, the Romans domesticated fowl, and began making egg dishes of all sorts. Boiled eggs served with spicy sauces poured on top were the precursor to modern deviled eggs. A recipe from a 15th century Italian cookbook says, “Make fresh eggs hard by cooking for a long time. Then, when the shells are removed, cut the eggs through the middle so that the white is not damaged. When the yolks are removed, pound part with raisins and good cheese, some fresh and some aged. Reserve part to color the mixture, and also add a little finely cut parsley, marjoram, and mint. Some put in two or more egg whites with spices. When the whites of the eggs have been stuffed with this mixture and closed, fry them over slow fire in oil. When they have been fried, add a sauce made from the rest of the egg yolks pounded with raisins and moistened with verjuice and must. Put in ginger, cloves, and cinnamon and heat them a little while with the eggs themselves. This has more harm than good in it.” I’m a little unclear what “verjuice” and “must” are, let alone why anybody would want to follow a recipe that boasts “more harm than good” right there in the instructions, but who am I to judge life in 15th century Italy?

Tara happens to be renowned for her deviled eggs. Renowned within her immediate family, anyway. We actually made them earlier this year to celebrate National Egg Day. Oops. (We didn’t realize there was a holiday dedicated specifically to deviled eggs later in the year). Tara gave step-by-step directions on making her deviled eggs in that post, so click on the link if you’d like the recipe. They’re so good, we enjoyed them just as much in November as we did back in June!

National Deviled Egg Day

Categories: Appetizers | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

227/365: National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

Some of these food holidays are full of fluff, and today is no exception. August 15 is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day!

It is also Julia Childs’ birthday. She passed away in 2004, but would have been 101 today if she were still living. What an inspiration Julia was to many – both professional chefs and home cooks. Her passion for cooking was contagious. Even as a child, I enjoyed watching her build terrific-looking meals from scratch on TV. Julia was the inspiration for Julie & Julia, the blog and movie, which in turn were an inspiration for Eat My Words. It’s only fitting to mention her today as we honor her legacy in our own humble fashion. julia-child-300

Lemon meringue pie is recognizable as one of the tallest pies out there. It achieves its height thanks to that meringue topping consisting of whipped egg whites and sugar. If lemon meringue pie were a person it could never live in Beverly Hills, because it’s got no upper crust.

Get it? Upper crust? Yeaaah…moving right along…

Lemon-filled pies and pastries date back to Medieval times, but it’s unsure where meringue originated. Some claim it was invented in the Swiss village of Meiringen and perfected by an Italian chef named Gasparini, but this claim cannot be substantiated. The word first appeared in a cookbook written by François Massialot’s in 1692. Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, a pastry chef and teacher from Philadelphia, is credited with introducing the dessert to America in the 19th century, where it became a staple of her cooking classes. Recipes began appearing in cookbooks during the latter half of the century, including the 1882 edition of Marion Harland’s Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery. Gotta love the name. It’s not at all sexist!

The chemistry behind meringue is pretty interesting: when egg whites are beaten, their hydrogen bonds break, causing their proteins to unfold and stiffen. Cream of tartar (WARNING: THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS TARTAR SAUCE, YOU FISH STICK LOVERS!) helps the whites to form stiff peaks. Sugar is a necessary part of the process, so put away the Splenda – it won’t turn out at all splendid.

We didn’t feel like whipping it ourselves, nor did we want a whole pie – especially when we are hitting the road tomorrow for a last-minute trip to Nevada – so we got a slice of lemon meringue pie to go from Shari’s. We’ve stopped there several times for other pie challenges. It’s pretty having a pie place/casual dining restaurant so close by!

National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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