Tag Archives: Eggs

Sauce Grib-ish

Dill, Boiled Egg & Capers

Ooh, Saucy!

I first had a dish like this whilst having dinner at my friend’s. He writes the excellent Morning Claret wine blog. He really knows his stuff, so if you want some good wines, and great writing, go and give him a visit. Both he and his partner are very accomplished cooks, and it is always a joy to be invited to their house for fine wines, great food and excellent company. His version had anchovies in it, and he served us boiled globe artichokes to dip in it. I loved it, and decided that I would have a go at recreating it.

A bit of research later, and I have found that it was a variation of one of two classic French dishes. Either Sauce Gribiche or Ravigote. Of course, as with any classic dish, there are a lot of variations and the lines are blurred between the two. It seems that ravigote is more like a vinaigrette to which chopped boiled egg has been added, and in gribiche, the yolk is used to make a mayonnaise, and the chopped white is added. This is sauce is not quite either of those things, so I have called it Sauce Grib-ish.

I first made this after an Easter egg hunt left me with quite a few boiled eggs to use up. It also needed to be vegetarian for the friends that I had coming over. It is so versatile, you can serve it as a dip, over asparagus, or with fish and chicken. I’m also going to try to make a potato salad with it, I think it will be a great combination.

I am entering this simple seasonal sauce into Herbs on Saturday at Lavender and Lovage, although I only use dill in the recipe given, it will also be really good with tarragon, chervil or even parsley.

Sauce Grib-ish

Sauce Grib-ish

Recipe: Sauce Grib-ish

Ingredients

This sauce is easy to scale up or down, depending on how many people there are. I have given the amount for two people to have as a sauce to go with vegetables or fish. Taste is the key to this dish, as you need to balance the richness of the egg with the acid of the lemon and/or caper vinegar. The amounts I give here are approximate, so keep testing and adjusting the sauce, according to taste.

1 egg, hard-boiled

2 tbsp capers plus vinegar from the caper pot

Juice of ½ a lemon (or just the vinegar from the capers)

Small bunch dill, finely chopped

Good quality extra virgin olive oil

Method

First, halve the egg, and remove the yolk. Then finely chop the white.

Mash the yolk with a little lemon juice or vinegar. You want the yolk to be a smooth, runny paste, about the same consistency as thick pancake batter.

Roughly chop the capers, and mix together with the dill, egg yolk and egg white. Taste and adjust for acidity, adding caper vinegar if needed.

Add some olive oil and taste and adjust again. The amount of olive oil you need will depend on what you want to use it for. For example, if you are serving it as a dip with crudités, you will want a thick sauce that will stay on bread, tortillas or short lengths of carrot and cucumber. If you want to serve it to accompany artichokes or asparagus, you will want a much thinner consistency, so add more oil. For potato salad, you will want it somewhere in between. The oil will also alter the acidity, so make sure you taste and adjust as you go along.

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Fantastic Finger Food Part 2

So, following on from yesterday, a couple more party dishes for you.

A good time was had by all, I think. It is always lovely to share food with friends, especially at a party.

I also made an onion tart, and a few other bits and pieces, but I didn’t take photos of them. The tart, especially, is something that  I do regularly, so I will get the chance to blog about them again.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Chinese Tea Eggs

The prettiest finger food

These marbled little beauties are widely available at street vendors in China. I had read that they were supposed to be a sign of prosperity and good fortune, and where often given away at New Year because of this. However, I can’t seem to find that again, so I suspect that it is a bit of a myth, considering how widely used they seem to be. Over here, we seem to be told that so many Chinese things are a sign of prosperity and given out at New Year that they can’t all be exclusively for one festival, no matter how important it is.

I thought that the look of them was really fitting for a party, so I decided to make them for ours.

The spice mix varies from region to region, but this is how I made mine.

Bring a number of eggs to the boil. I did 12, because that I what I had in, and I hadn’t yet tested them on friends over here, so I didn’t want to get carried way. Let them boil for 10 minutes, then take them off the heat and leave to cool in the water. I find doing them this way prevents that grey ring that you sometimes see around the yolk from forming.

Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, gently tap them so that they are cracked all the way around, but so that none of the shell actually comes off. This will create the marbling effect of the final eggs.

In another saucepan put 2 tbsp soy sauce, a black tea bag (or a tbsp of loose leaf), a cinnamon stick, a tbsp chinese five spice powder, and 2-3 strips of citrus peel. Use what you have in, I had a mandarin, so I used that. Put in the cooked, cracked eggs, and enough water to cover them.

Bring this to the boil, and simmer for an hour. Remove from the heat, and allow the eggs to sit in the liquid for as long as you can, overnight if you are organised, but at least a couple of hours.

They look so pretty when they are peeled and arranged nicely on the plate that people find them hard to resist.

White Bean and Rosemary Dip

White Bean and Rosemary Dip

Makes a change from humus

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan at any party, you will more than likely be pretty bored of humus. It seems to be everywhere. I like it, myself, but if I were to be served it at every single social gathering, and had few alternatives, I would get pretty bored too. In the same way that it took me many years to be able to look a Cornish pasty in the face, after living there for two years and being served cocktail pasties for every single working lunch ‘do’ that I had to attend – and there were very, very many of them!

This dip is a great, and surprising alternative to them. Use dried beans instead of tinned, and it will be even better.It is almost like the humble white bean, rosemary and lemon were made to go together.

Ingredients

200 g dried cannellini beans, or a tin of them

2 sprigs rosemary, removed from stalks and finely chopped

Zest and some juice of 1 lemon

Glug of good extra virgin olive oil

Method

If you are using dried beans, soak them. For cannellini, I find a couple of hours is fine, and that it is not great to soak them for too long, because the skins come off, and they turn to mush when you cook them. About  two hours should be plenty.

Cook them in a large saucepan and in plenty of fresh water. Do not salt the water, it makes the skins tough. Bring the beans up to the boil, then reduce them to a vigorous simmer. the time they take to cook will depend on how old they are, but check after 4o mins. The best way to see if the beans are cooked is to eat one. If it is hard at all, then it is not done. When you can bite through them easily, and the bean is soft, they are ready.

If you are using tinned beans then you can skip this step. I know that tins are easy, and I have definitely used them myself, especially if I have not remembered to soak the beans in time for making the dip, but I do ask that you please try to used dried at least once – it makes such a difference to the texture of the finished dip. Cooked dried beans also freeze easily, so you can just cook one big lot and freeze them in batches if that is easier.

Drain the beans and blend them to a smooth paste using a food processor or a stick blender. Or you can pass them through a food mill or sieve, if you don’t have those. You can also mash them with a fork if you really have nothing else.

Add the rosemary and the lemon zest, and stir them in. Season to taste with salt and a little pepper (white, if you have it). then make the paste more of a dip consistency using the lemon and the olive oil. Keep adding small amounts of each and tasting in between, so that you get a good balance of acidity and the oil.

Serve with breadsticks, crudités, or good old tortill chips, or you can use this to spread in a sandwich too.

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