Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 17, 2014

Nancy Krcek Allen: Don't just hard boil your Easter eggs

Nancy Krcek Allen has been a chef-educator for more than 25 years and has taught professional and recreational classes in California, New York City and Michigan. Her culinary textbook, “Discovering Global Cuisines” was released in March 2013.


Creamy Hard-Cooked Eggs

Place room temperature eggs in saucepan just large enough to hold them in one or two layers. Cover with cold water by one inch. Bring water to a boil, immediately cover pan and remove it from the heat. For hard-cooked large eggs, leave in hot water 12 minutes. For softer yolks or smaller eggs, decrease the time.

Drain eggs, and lightly crack broad ends to make peeling easier. Rest eggs in cold water until completely cooled, 5-10 minutes. Peel eggs and chill if not using immediately.

Cheese Soufflé (Soufflé au Fromage)

French soufflés are golden and crisp outside, but tender inside. An extra egg white will add increased lightness.

Yields 4 cups batter; fits a 1-quart soufflé dish or four 8-ounce soufflé dishes; double recipe for a standard 2-quart soufflé dish.

3 T. unsalted butter, plus 2 teaspoons for buttering dish

3 T. fine, fresh, white breadcrumbs, for crumbing dish

3 T. all-purpose flour

1 c. hot whole milk

Optional: 2 t. Dijon mustard

About 3 oz. Gruyère or Swiss cheese (1 c. shredded)

5 large eggs, separated

Pinch of cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 400° and place rack in center of oven. Butter the inside of a 1-quart soufflé dish or four 8-ounce soufflé dishes. Coat the insides of dishes with breadcrumbs.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook flour until slightly colored, 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, pour in the milk slowly. Reduce heat to very low and whisk in mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer white sauce 5 minutes; it will be very thick. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Remove pan from heat and stir in Gruyère until mostly melted; set aside to cool. Whisk four egg yolks (1/4 c.) into sauce to yield about 1-2/3 cup soufflé base.

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