Sunday, December 10, 2006

CSI Petaluma

Petaluma, for those of you outside Northern California, is a historic chicken town. Hens and eggs. Coops for miles.
Well, that's all changing, bit by bit, as farmers go out of business and decaying henhouses get knocked down for developments.
But I do still get my eggs from Petaluma (and Santa Rosa, and Marin County too). Those places aren't the scene of the crime, though.
The scene of the crime is my refrigerator. It's a victimless crime, but it bears investigation.
See all those jars of evidence?
Perfectly hard-cooked eggs (Cranky is a master), brining in various liquids. We've been experimenting.
That purple one on the left is new. It's a couple of eggs bathing in the liquid from a jar of homemade red cabbage/radish pickles. The color is so intense, the eggs are already tinted after just a couple of hours.
The bright yellow ones are floating around in a blend of brines swiped from various jars in the fridge: pepperoncini, dill pickles, a little jalapeño juice — with added garlic.
On the right is one of my favorite discoveries, a repeat of an appetizer Cranky and I carted to a party last night (and it seemed to meet with general approval): eggs in leftover kalamata juice. You know all those jars of olives you go through, and then when the olives are gone, you just throw out the juice? Don't! It makes the most tasty, tan, tender eggs. This one is an immediate classic in the Crankycrumb household. (We'll see whether the addition this time of a clove of garlic is thumbs up or down.)
Finally, in the rear to the left, Bloody Mary eggs. Yep. The "brine" is a super-seasoned cocktail made with tomato sauce instead of juice, and an overabundance of accents (Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon, pepper, salt, celery salt) as well as a ridiculous "splash" (read: tsunami) of vodka. My only disappointment is that the tomatoes seem to toughen the eggwhites... Other than that, they're a little like portable brunch. Hoochy mama.
All these colored eggs (should I put them in a Solstice Basket?) will brew for at least four days, and up to a week.
And you know what? I haven't even begun to try all the pickled egg ideas this experiment has set loose in my brain.


Dairy Queen said...

Wow -- those are some nice lookin' eggs you got there! I came looking for that Bloody Mary egg recipe, because they were just outrageously alcoholic and spicy despite looking like just another egg. Kinda boozers in disguise, like us. Now I've got oodles of ideas for all my leftover liquids...if I can only stop the Potato Non Grata from drinking the pickle juices.

cookiecrumb said...

In the Refrigerator! I forgot to say that the eggs brine in the Refrigerator.
OK, whew.

Hi, DQ: Did you get enuff details?
Mm, I'm with Potato Non Grata. I have a history of drinking pickle juice (and Bloody Marys). But now I have a higher purpose. Or, at least, the juice does.
(I'm going to pimp you a little bit here: People, please click through to see DQ's important blog.)

Stacie said...

I'm not sure you should put them all in one solsitce basket though... My experience with pickled eggs is limited to the ones at the end of a dirty, seedy and already puke-inducing bar... I am missing something, no?
p.s. As a vinegar-loving child I would just drink the olive juice... I have said too much...

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's pretty cool. I have some eggs. I have some olive brine. I'll see you later.

Melissa said...

The olive eggs were eggsuisite! (Ooooooh!) I think I'll be trying those, too.

Great to see you & Cranky as always. And you might want to, uh, swing by J&J's for your misplaced scarf (or was it glove?). While you're searching around, you could snag some leftover bacon toffee. heh heh

cookiecrumb said...

OK, Stacie, I have a childhood vinegar-drinking experience to match with yours. Too embarrassing to write here. Hey! We both have a sour tooth!

Tammy: Get all freedomy. Experimenty. I trust you.

Melissa: It's a portal. See what works for you.
Soooo lovely to see yourself and Derrick. THANKS for the sekrit "lost" scarf trick!
Hah! Best to you, babe.

Jack said...

I'm not going to fall for the ol' "I think I left my scarf here" trick, as you ATTEMPT to snatch piece of the bacon toffee. Uh-uh.

But those eggs were quite good. It was dq and png who scored the last three of the Bloody Mary ones. The Olive ones were already Sold Out.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Solstice basket. More like an Equinox basket. As far as the olive juice goes, I never seem to have any since I tend to buy olives from the olive bar at Andronico's. How about a nice homemade vinaigrette?

And I thought of y'all yesterday as I boiled yet another perfect batch of boiled eggs -- thanks to Cranky's instructions.

Anonymous said...

pickled eggs in chip shops...perfect.

Anonymous said...

im going to to try this out. thanks!

cookiecrumb said...

Jack: Erm... lost "glove," then? Drat.
I appreciate your appreciation for thoze crazy eggs. That'll teach you to dare me to experiment with food!
Great party. Thank-you is in the mail.

Dagny: I just looked up Equinox, and it's Spring or Autumn. So I assume you assumed I was referring to "Easter." Right? :D
I understand your dearth of olive juice. We love TJ's jarred black kalamatas, though, first because they're pitted - a convenience at times -- and now, because of the juice.

Monkey Gland: I'm afraid I've come up with gastropub eggs, alas.

Gustad: Let us know what zany ideas you come up with.

Anonymous said...

Eggs! I had a friend in college from Sri Lanka who told me about a process where you place boiled eggs still in the shell in red wine and age (w/o refrigeration)... apparently it turns the yolks red w/out affecting the whites.. after reading your post, I'm tempted to try it. I also had a sour bent when young. I used to buy fresh lemons on my way back from school as a child and enjoy the juice straight on the way home until my mom got nervous about the effect on tooth enamel. oh well

Jennifer Jeffrey said...

Pretty eggs! What fun! Are you eating them out of hand or tarting them up further after you remove them from the brine?

What a great idea.

cookiecrumb said...

Anna: Red wine? What a fun idea. (And no refrigeration? Eep.) And still in the shell. Wow. Any idea how long they go for? (Oh, I suppose I could Google this...)

Jennifer: Unexpectedly pretty, if I say so myself. I'm dreaming up baths to produce green eggs, too, but I will probably stop short of blue. Heh.
We don't gussy them up: we just cut them into halves and serve with other tapas (fried peppers, nuts, cheese). The flavor penetrates all the way to the inside, like a lazy man's deviled egg.

alison said...

how very inspiring you clever woman! i think i'll give them a bash too (after the mad holiday rush!)

Anonymous said...

I googled this to death after reading your post last night and only found references to some red-yolk scare in China where some unscrupulous farmers fed the chickens/ducks toxic (to humans) red dye -- these red yolked eggs are considered 'health food' in China. I seem to remember my friend left them on the counter in the red wine for a few weeks. Hadn't thought about this in years... maybe I'll try it and blog about it..

cookiecrumb said...

Alison: Yes, I'm the crazy flavors lady; you know me. And as you can tell from most everyone who sees this, it's so easy we all want to give it a "bash."

Thanks for trying so hard, Anna. Aw, nuts, I thought it would turn up. But if you do try it, you'll tell us how! Yay.