11 hours ago
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Spring is reluctant in the Northeast. Daffodils and crocus shiver and symbols of new life struggle to be seen and heard, yet eggs are abundant in my kitchen as preparations for Easter commence.
The egg is legendary and full of wonder, a miracle in a translucent oval shell. Egyptians thought their deity created the egg from the sun and the moon, and Phoenicians told a story that an egg split in two at the beginning of time to form heaven and earth. The egg is a symbol of renewal and rebirth in the Christian faith, consumed devotedly during the Easter season and used to decorate traditional Easter breads and confections throughout Europe.
Made of 14 percent protein with abundant vitamins and minerals, the egg is often described as “incredible,” and frequently referred to as the perfect food. Eggs are friends to bakers and chefs, and are ubiquitous within the kitchen lending viscosity to sauces, golden hue to pasta and custards, richness and luster to breads and extraordinary rise to cakes and soufflés.
On a cold and almost wintry Sunday, my Easter Brunch celebrates pastoral flavors and aromas and the renewal we long all for. Throughout, the egg offers its miraculous nourishment to our gathering and our spirits.
A Sparkling Pear n’ Cranberry Cocktail tickles the nose with the luscious nectar of pears and sparkling wine and a sweet, woodsy whiff of Rosemary.
Mom brings Carrot Salad, vivid with raisins and crunchy sunflower seeds, in honor of that floppy rabbit associated with this day.
French Toast “Eiderdown” with Herbs & Bacon from “Michael Roux Eggs” is a vibrant rite of spring, a kitchen garden of fresh eggs, tarragon, and chives, bursting with soft golden layers of bread, nutty cheeses and herbaceous vitality. The eight eggs give the “eiderdown” a vivacious lift from the center of the baking dish.
With four eggs, The Ricotta Cake is creamy but still light, perfumed with just a hint of fruity olive oil and tangy lemon zest.
Hope springs eternal and what chef lacks hope when he has a basket of fresh eggs close at hand?
Happy Easter, Happy Spring!
Michael Roux Eggs
Food Lover’s Companion, Third Edition, Sharon Tyler Herbst
© 2007 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved