Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Eggs:  promise of life in the new year!
(except when they're hardboiled)

In honor of this Year of the [Water] Dragon (I was born in the Year of the [Fire] Dragon myself), I wanted to cook something Chinese this January. The first day of this new lunar year was Monday the 23rd, but I'm still posting because, after all, there are fourteen additional days of festivities that follow the new year's day itself.

Turns out I don't have a Chinese cookbook (madness!) but I was able to find sections in some of my books dedicated to Chinese cookery. I chose a simple appetizer, because lately I've been feeling like a mother of two small children (as, of course, I am).

From Mary Ann Zimmerman's
The Tupperware Book of Picnics, Parties & Snacks Around the World

Eggs Cooked With Tea Leaves

  • 10 eggs
  • 2 Tbls black tea
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 10 aniseeds
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

Place eggs in pan, cover with water and bring to a boil, simmer 10 minutes. Soak in cold water and crack all over with a spoon, but keep shell on egg. Add remaining ingredients to water and cook eggs again, this time for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and shell. The resulting pattern is lovely. Store in a 4-cup Wonderlier.

Three things:

  1. I'm not convinced this is a genuine Chinese recipe (though it may be? Anyone know?).
  2. This recipe produces attractive hardboiled (though overcooked, if you must know) eggs that taste exactly (eggsactly! egg-sack-tly? eww....) like normal overly-hardboiled eggs. Yes, the light pattern of the whites is lovely. No, it's not really worth all the time it took to create it. In my opinion.
  3. This cookbook's main premise is to show you how to cook fabulous picnic, party, and snack foods that coincidentally then may be stored perfectly in a Tupperware container. Kind of makes me laugh. We'll see about future dishes I may cook from this book, but I suspect they're all honed to be of a certain shape or volume vs. to be extraordinarily tasty. Perhaps this is the year we'll find out.

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