Friday | July 21, 2017
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Let’s Talk Food: Tasty options for your Easter feast

Easter Sunday is a very important religious celebration to Christians, but it’s also a time to celebrate with foods we get to eat when we think of spring. Lamb and ham usually are on the menu, as well as artichokes and asparagus.

Egg farmers plan to have enough eggs, usually small eggs, in time for this weekend’s feast.

I took out my deviled egg plate with the intention of buying a few dozen small eggs to make the tasty treats. Here are some tips about eggs:

• Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs, so purchase your eggs today and leave them out on the counter till you hard cook them. The egg white in a fresh egg tends to stick to the inner shell membrane and as the egg ages, the protective coating wears off and makes the egg more porous, allowing more air to enter into the egg. The egg shrinks slightly, so the air space between the eggshell and membrane grows larger, which makes the egg easier to peel. Ideally, the egg should be seven to 10 days old, which should not be a problem if buying mainland eggs.

• According to Incredibleegg.org, place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch, and heat over high heat just to boiling.

• Remove from burner, cover pan and allow eggs stand in hot water for 12 minutes for large eggs, 9 minutes for medium eggs and 15 minutes for extra-large eggs. Cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. Refrigerate. When you use this method of hard-cooking eggs, you will never have green yolks, which are produced when the eggs are overcooked.

Here is a classic deviled egg recipe from the Food Network.

Classic Deviled Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Smoked Spanish paprika, for garnish

Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing the yolks to a medium bowl and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well.

Evenly disperse teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and serve.

• • •

Besides roasted leg of lamb, I must have my husband Jim’s favorite, ham. I found using a slow cooker instead of the oven produces juicy and delicious results. This also frees up space in the oven for all the other dishes that need baking.

The size of your slow cooker would determine whether to buy a half or whole ham. My 6.5-quart slow cooker will fit a half ham.

Slow Cooker Ham

Serves: 16-20

1 (6-7 pound) cured bone-in half ham

2 cups apple juice

Remove skin from outside of ham and trim fat. Score top at 1-inch intervals in crosshatch pattern. Place ham, cut side, down, in slow cooker. Add 2 cups apple juice, cover and cook until fat is rendered and ham registers 100 degrees, 5 to 6 hours on low.

Transfer ham to carving bowl, tent with foil, and let test for 20 minutes. Microwave:

1/2 cup apple jelly

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon pepper

Stir occasionally, until glaze is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Brush ham evenly with glaze and let sit for 5 minutes. Carve and serve.

• • •

Asparagus is now in season and makes a wonderful and delicious side dish. I like to peel the skin of the asparagus before cooking using a vegetable peeler.

Roasted Asparagus

Serves: 4

2 pounds large asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Aged balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over asparagus, turn to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and just tender, 18 minutes.

Transfer to platter. To serve, drizzle aged balsamic vinegar over hot asparagus and use a vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan cheese over the spears.

Note: If you do not have aged balsamic vinegar, simmer balsamic vinegar until thick and almost syrupy.

Foodie bites

• Hawaii Community College’s culinary students will be prepping for the Hilo Classic Food Show on Thursday, so the Cafeteria and Bamboo Hale are not open this week. Check out all the talent of the students with the culinary competition.

• The rat lungworm disease problem is getting a lot of attention lately because of legislation introduced by Dr. Josh Green. This disease can affect the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms include severe headache, stiffness of the neck and back, skin tingling and sensitivity, sensitivity to light, hallucinations, nausea and vomiting. Since the rat lungworm is found most often in snails and slugs, be sure to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove any slime from the snail or slug trails before eating. Wash vegetables well, removing each leaf of greens to clean it well. It is especially important for residents of the Big Island to be aware of this disease as it seems to happen here, especially in the Puna area. I have a page about it in our book, “Hawaii Healthy Me,” so the children of the Big Island will be sure their fruits and vegetables are washed.

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.

 

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