Double Curry Deviled Eggs

I was invited to a potluck along the Krewe of Chewbacchus parade route this evening, and as usual, ended up throwing something together pretty much last minute. I expected people to eat all of my offering, since we were on a parade route, and really, what drunk person doesn’t love free food? What I wasn’t anticipating was getting a ton of compliments on my simple dish. So here’s an easy little recipe for those like me: slightly agoraphobic, completely disinterested in large gatherings, and feeling put on the spot when someone invites you to cook for a thing that’s happening in less than 24 hours.

Double Curry Deviled Eggs

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

Step 1: Boil the eggs. You know how to do this by now, right? If not, don’t feel too bad. People act like boiling eggs is painfully obvious, but if you want to do it without overcooking the eggs and making them rubbery and hard to peel, there’s a trick. I’m not going to waste my time typing this bit, though. Check out what Martha Stewart has to say on the subject. She hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Step 2: Once the eggs are boiled and cool enough to handle, shell them, then cut each in half and empty the yolks into a bowl. Place the whites aside. Save time now by getting them set up on the plate you plan to use to bring them to the potluck. Don’t try to make them on one plate, then transfer them to another – you will end up dropping them and making a mess of your potluck offering, and by extension, your worth as a human being.

Step 3: Mash the egg yolks, and add the mayo, green onion, yellow curry, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. Mix vigorously, until it’s creamy. Take a little taste, and adjust the seasonings as necessary. I always end up adding more mayo than the recipe calls for, so if you think the eggs need more at this point, disregard my original directions. This is all you, babe. What good is life if you can’t add more mayo when the mood strikes?

Step 4: Don’t try to just spoon the filling into the eggs. First off, it’s messy, but secondly, did you know it’s actually a waste of your time? Seriously, I’m not kidding. Go get a Ziplock bag. Fill it with the egg yolk mixture, then cut off the bottom corner of the bag and squeeze. It’s a poor woman’s pastry bag! Now you can use this to pipe the egg yolk mixture into the waiting egg whites. It looks like you care a lot more than we both know you do, and has the added benefit of taking less than half the time of using a spoon to do the same job. (Note: pastry bags with fancy icing tips aren’t that expensive, so if you have access to a grocery or craft store, it’s a great choice to get deviled eggs that look top-notch.)

Step 5: Once you’ve evenly distributed all of the egg yolk mixture, drop a tiny dollop of the Thai red curry paste on top of each egg as a delicious final decoration. I used a chopstick to scoop up the tiniest bit of curry paste, then dab it on top of each egg, but I’m sure you could do the same with a toothpick or a even a fork.

And Voila! Double Curry Deviled Eggs. Now take them to a party. It’s up to you if you decide to hover near the food table and let people in on the “secret” of what makes these eggs so good every time you hear an ecstatic “Mmmmm!” There’s no end of excitement in waxing poetic on the joy of two curries in one deviled egg, especially if you’re an introvert who would have been much happier staying in and chatting with the cats than sharing recipes with strangers. It almost makes me happy that I decided to leave the house tonight.

OK, not really, but close enough.

 

Whole30 Wild Boar Cabbage Rolls

I’m on Day 9 of the Whole30, and it’s been surprisingly easy (plus cost-effective – I’m saving so much money that I would have spent on pizza and wine). The hardest part for me has been, not completely unexpectedly, cooking more than I typically do. If you’re not familiar with the Whole30 reset, there’s tons of great information on the website. Without going into too much boring detail, it’s basically paleo’s stricter older brother: no alcohol, dairy, grains, soy, legumes, corn, sweeteners other than fruit juice (yes, this includes honey), and some other things that I’m forgetting because I never ate them to begin with. It’s a great way to get out of the habit of eating processed crap all of the time, and it’s been OK so far.

As I said, I’m no chef. I’m barely a cook. In the kitchen of life, I would be better doing salad prep. But making sure not to ingest any bad foods means that you need to have the good foods prepared and waiting for your hangry moments, so recipes were necessary. Last Sunday night, I made a decent batch of cabbage rolls that were not disgusting, and have allowed me to stay on target for the past week. The rest of the time I’m being boring and eating things like eggs, sausages, sauteed veggies, avocados, sweet potatoes – really, really basic food. Anyway, this recipe is being written for me, so I don’t lose it. It’s not the best recipe for cabbage rolls that has ever existed, but it’s done its job, and I think that with time, I can improve upon it. Please feel free to use this as a base recipe for creating your own edible concoction. Let me know what you do in the comments!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 lb. of ground meat (I used wild boar, since that’s the cheapest thing they had at the food co-op)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1-2 jalapeno
  • 5-10 Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 5-10 baby carrots
  • small can of sliced black olives
  • 1 14-oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (make sure there’s no added sugar on the ingredients list)
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Boil the cabbage. I’ve read various instructions on how to do this, and I still didn’t do it quite right. The aim is to boil it for long enough for all of the leaves to get soft, so you can gently pull them back and remove them, one by one. I just boiled it, pulled off all of the leaves that I could pull off, then put it back in the water and did it over again, etc. It took three full boils to get the whole thing apart. I’ve heard that you can cut out the core and boil it, and that’s a lot easier. I only have one giant knife, so I wasn’t really open to the idea of trying that technique without adult supervision. Whatever, it worked fine. Peel off the leaves and set them aside.
  2. Open the can of diced tomatoes, dump it in the blender, and add a lot of hot sauce, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Feel free to experiment. Regular cabbage rolls normally use some sort of flavorful tomato soup-like substance to cover the cabbage rolls while they’re baking or slow-cooking, and a lot of people just use Campbell’s tomato soup. Next time, I’d work on making this mixture a bit thicker, creamier, and more flavorful, but it tasted perfectly fine (and I like my food spicy, so the more peppers, the better).
  3. Dice up the onion, jalapeno, mushrooms, and carrots, and saute everything in olive oil.
  4. Dice up the black olives.
  5. Combine the raw meat with all of the sauteed veggies and diced black olives. I put it all in a big bowl and mixed thoroughly, until the entire mixture was consistent. Add
  6. Scoop out individual portions of the meat/veggie mixture into individual cabbage leaves. You’re going to just have to eyeball this one. Keep in mind how many cabbage leaves you have to fill, and portion out the mixture accordingly. I would estimate that each roll took about two to three heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture, but this isn’t written in stone.
  7. Roll up the cabbage leaves. Try tucking the ends in like you would a burrito, just to keep the mixture in there a little better.
  8. Gently place the rolls in the slow cooker in layers, then top everything with the tomato concoction you put together in the blender.
  9. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 5 hours.
  10. Enjoy! This recipe made me 14 cabbage rolls, so 7 days of lunches.

 

 

 

How To Cook Microwave Popcorn on the Stove

Popcorn

Photo courtesy of Laura Bray. Click through for her great tutorial on making your own microwave popcorn from scratch!

Tonight I want to talk to you about a real first world problem: what to do when your microwave is too small or just too crappy to pop a bag of popcorn correctly. The Man and I own a very small microwave. We bought pretty much the smallest, cheapest one we could find, since we knew from the beginning that it would only be used to pop popcorn and heat soup. Yes, I eat a lot of soup.

Unfortunately, soon after buying the microwave, we discovered that though it’s technically big enough to pop a bag of popcorn, as the microwave tray spins, the popcorn bag moves slightly. This causes the bag to get stuck against the wall of the microwave, stay in one place, and either burn the popcorn or just pop about half of the bag. Both of these outcomes make me very angry, but if I had to choose, I’d say that a half-popped bag of popcorn ticks me off more. The Man still insists on buying microwave popcorn and attempting to pop it, but I tend to leave the room when he does for fear of my head actually exploding if I have to hear him explain one more time that I’m just imagining that the bag is half-full. This as the tell-tale errant kernels clang to the bottom of his popcorn bowl…argh.

I’ve popped popcorn the regular way on the stove before, and I’ve also created my own microwave bags of popcorn using paper lunch bags and regular popping kernels, but I’ve never attempted to pop microwave popcorn on the stove. I didn’t know how it would turn out or if the mechanics would be any different than a regular popping scenario, but since I have a bunch of microwave popcorn bags sitting around and I refuse to use our mockery of a microwave for anything other than soup, I thought I’d try and see what happened.

The result? It totally worked! I was able to pop almost every single kernel, and only singed a few. It was probably my imagination, but the popcorn also tasted less chemical-y. Here’s how you cook microwave popcorn on the stove:

1) Get a large pot (the size you’d use to cook a pound of pasta) that has a lid. There’s not a lot of popcorn in the bag, but you want to give the kernels room to distribute evenly along the bottom.

2) Put a tbsp of oil in the bottom of the pot, and set to Medium heat. Remember that you won’t need as much oil as you would in a traditional popping scenario, since the microwave popcorn comes packed in its own buttery goo. You can use a variety of oils, including vegetable, corn, or wok oil. I used olive oil with a dash of chili pepper oil to give my popcorn a little kick.

3) Rip open the microwave bag of popcorn and scoop the contents out into the pot. You’re going to want to use a spoon, since it’s greasy and kind of gross. Scoop any excess buttery goo (I refuse to call it butter) off of the sides of the bag to add to the pot).

4) Put the lid on the pot and wait. It will take a minute or two for the corn to start popping. Once the popping is pretty regular, shake the pot gently back and forth over the burner to keep the popcorn at the bottom moving so it won’t burn.

5) Once the popping dies down, you might want to move the pot off of the burner and assess the popcorn. I could see (and smell) that some of mine was starting to get a little browner than I like, so I took all of the popped kernels out and then put the pot back on the burner to pop the rest of the corn.

6) Enjoy!

Notes: I played around with temperature, and you might want to, too. I have a gas stove with burners that tend to burn on the hotter side, so Medium was fine for me. Low was a little too low, and High started to burn the popped kernels faster than the rest of the corn could pop. However, your stove (especially if it’s electric) might be just fine on High. Just remember to keep the corn moving and you’ll be fine! Also, use common sense and don’t take the lid off while you’re still popping the corn. For one thing, you’ll be letting heat out and the corn won’t pop as efficiently. More importantly, it’s a safety hazard. How would you like to be the person who has to say, “Popcorn,” when explaining your eye injury?