Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A couple of revelations

This isn't about specific dishes, but about how to get some things to "work". First the dreaded all you can eat buffet. Now I CAN eat a lot, but I shouldn't. So, the question is, "How do I enjoy a buffet without overdoing things?" found a simple answer after eating in Abu Dhabi where almost every meal was a buffet:

Lay the food out as attractively and patiently as you can on the plate. Decide what the plate will look like and organize things on it. Don't simply pile on. If you go for a clean look, you will put less on the plate, it will take longer to do, and it will be more pleasing to look at - and ultimately (I keep telling myself) more satisfying. Also it's good practice for presentations - you get to work on an often neglected part of the food.

Second peeling cooked eggs: I often used almost hard boiled eggs (set white, slightly runny yolks) in the "French Salad" - one of Madame's favourite dishes. In that recipe, I call for cooking the eggs in the potato water. This works really well. But I have also noticed that I have tried to cook eggs by putting them in cold water and gradually bringing to a simmer. Turn the heat off and leave to stand for about 4-5 minutes depending on how much water there is. The eggs cooked by the "start in cold water" method prove really  hard to peel. Those plunged into simmering water are much easier to peel. I haven't figured the science out, but I do know that I will be starting eggs that are intended for peeling in simmering water - not cold.

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