|Rediscovering the boiled egg in Portugal|
When I was at boarding school, I used to dread the day they served boiled eggs for breakfast. They were cold, the yolks were congealed and we had to spend a long time shelling them. It seemed too much like uncooked food, as though the cooks just couldn’t be bothered to cook our eggs but had merely thrown a hundred or so of them into boiling water for a few minutes and pretended that breakfast was now cooked.
At school picnics, I would loathe the food because it nearly always consisted of an orange and an egg that had been boiled within an inch of its life several hours before.The grey line between the yolk and the white indicating it was well overcooked.So why am I recommending boiled eggs to you now? Well, because first of all, they don’t have to be disgusting, and most of all this is perfect food for the crise económica.A soft-boiled egg eaten with toast soldiers can be delightful, and even hard-boiled eggs acquire a new dimension when you use them for cooking.But how about pickled eggs?
Basically, the vinegar and water are boiled together with the spices, the liquid is reduced and cooled and then poured over the hard-boiled eggs. The eggs will be placed in an airtight jar with a lid and then stored in the refrigerator.Pickled eggs have been around for years, even before fridges were introduced.During those times,people found a way of preserving eggs, so that they remained fresher for longer. Nowadays, pickled eggs have become a picnic favourite, and offer yet another different way of eating and flavouring eggs.Pickled eggs, as with pickled onions are however an acquired taste and may take a bit of getting used to.
There are many recipes for pickled eggs, which means that you can choose one that will suit your taste in food. Some recipes may be very hot and spicy and will contain ingredients such as chilli peppers, Tabasco sauce and other "hot" spices whilst those who prefer a sweeter flavour should go for recipes that contain brown sugar, beetroot, onion and cinnamon.Pickled eggs are a great source of protein; they are low in fat and calories and contain very little carbohydrates, making them a healthy option for those on a diet. If you are going to pickle eggs at home, try using a simple recipe to start off with. Some recipes can be quite complicated and may put you off trying them out.Try this Portuguese take on the pickled egg for starters.
1tablespoon chopped parsley
2 boxes of quails eggs
To prepare the eggs:Put the eggs in a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover them. Cook them for 4 minutes from the moment the water begins to boil.Plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice cold water( this stops the cooking process and prevents the egg yolks from getting a grey line around them Peel and set aside.
To prepare the dressing: In a small bowl mix together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper flakes.
In a large serving bowl add the eggs and introduce the dressing and sprinkle with parsley and coriander for garnish. refrigerate and serve chilled.The best accompaniment to pickled eggs is ice cold beer.
Some other serving ideas:
- plain, as an appetizer with cocktails
- sliced into rounds, served on crackers/toasts
- crumbled over rice with cilantro or parsley
- crumbled and mixed with mayo and torn lettuce