In the Kitchen | Pho and Eggs

It's been refreshing to think ahead to spring and warmer weather as I'm finalizing the details for the upcoming classes at the shop. I tend to go into hiding right before posting a new round of classes as all the loose ends get tied up, but I've been trying to find some balance by spending a little time in the kitchen. A couple weeks back, I decided to make Vietnamese Pho - a soup with a spiced broth, rice noodles, herbs and we enjoyed ours with beef. I've never made Pho before and decided to take the completely from scratch route, including making broth with beef bones. Granted, this was a lot more work than just using beef stock - it had to simmer for hours for the flavor to develop, then it had to be strained and cooled skim off the fat - but it was totally worth it!

When the broth was ready and the Pho was assembled, it was beautiful meal full of delicious light and fresh flavor.

IMG_20140204_222134I love fresh veggies and herbs on just about everything, and this soup had plenty with bean sprouts, red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, basil and a nice squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Pho Garnish

I used this wonderful recipe and video tutorial for the broth and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make Pho completely from scratch. Sure, it took more time and effort, but it yields a stockpot quantity of delicious broth and we have plenty frozen for future use now - I can't wait to enjoy it again this summer with fresh garden goodies!

On a less time consuming and complicated front... a friend of mine has chickens and she very generously shares her super-fresh eggs with me on a regular basis. I love hard-boiled eggs, but the eggs from my friend are SO fresh that half the white - along with half my patience - is lost when trying to remove the shell after boiling. So, I asked her for advice - I figured there has to be a better way, right? She suggested baking them in the oven. Well, I'm happy to report that it works and it really couldn't be easier!

IMG_20140223_111342Here's how you do it:

  • Place one dozen eggs in one muffin pan (a mini-muffin pan might work better so they can stand up, but this is what I have).
  • Bake in the oven at 325 for 30 minutes.
  • Using tongs (careful, the eggs are HOT), transfer the eggs in an ice bath until they're cool enough to handle.
  • Eat right away or store in the fridge. The end.

These eggs are perfectly cooked with a creamy texture that is so much better than traditional boiled eggs and they peel SO easily! Honestly, I don't know that I'll ever boil eggs again.

I guess I better get back to my class prep, shop knitting and the Journey-along, but maybe I'll sneak into the kitchen later to make some deviled eggs - I'm sure hubby would love that!