In Ovis Apalis

(Roman Boiled Eggs)

Roman Eggs

April 21: Birthdate of Rome (753 BC)

Highlander chose to spend his 50th birthday in Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) a few years ago as a most memorable milestone trip. We went all over The Eternal City (churches, piazzas, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, the Vatican, cafes and more) and were awed by the history, art, architecture and culture!

On Capitoline Hill, we saw the famous statue of the she-wolf suckling twins Romulus and Remus, the mythological symbol of the founding of Rome. According to the popular legend, the unwanted twin sons of the war god Mars and a Vestal “virgin” were cast off into the River Tiber. A she-wolf found the babies and nursed them as her own, until a shepherd came and raised them. When the brothers grew up, they fought over a site where they were to establish a city. Romulus killed Remus and became king of the Italian capital that bears his name.

Romulus and Remus

In observance of the birthdate of Rome, we ate an ancient appetizer called In Ovis Apalis (boiled eggs with a pine nut sauce). There is an old Latin saying “ab ovo usque ad malum” which translates to “from the egg to the fruit,” suggesting the courses of an Italian meal from the beginning to the end (or from antipasti, primi, secondi and all the way to dolci).

Do as the ancient Romans did and eat In Ovis Apalis to celebrate Rome’s birthday!

Recipe

(Adapted from PBS)

Ingredients

  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 2 ounces stone pine kernels (pine nuts)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vinegar (we used white wine vinegar)
  • 1-2 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Directions

Boil the eggs. Cool down. Remove the shells. Cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside to make the sauce.

Roman Eggs

Toast the pine nuts by sautéing them in a pan till lightly browned (about 5 minutes or less). Remove to cool. In a measuring cup or little bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and pepper. Stir in the pine nuts. Place the sauce in a small dish or serving boat to accompany the boiled eggs. Pour the sauce on the eggs and eat immediately to avoid making the yolks soggy.

Roman Eggs

Notes

  • In Ovis Apalis is also a good recipe to use up leftover boiled Easter eggs.
  • Ancient Romans added a pinch of lovage (celery leaf) to the sauce recipe.
  • We toasted the pine nuts to accentuate its flavor. Soaking them in the sauce somewhat tones down the acid in the vinegar.
  • Highlander’s birthday is on April 20. Our trip to Italy for his 50th year coincided with Roman (and national) celebrations around the week of April 21. Several museums and public events were free or discounted then, allowing us to take advantage of what the country’s tourism industry had to offer.
  • Search our blog for other Italian recipes.

Chick-in-Eggs

Chick-in-Eggs

April: Easter Week

We dress up deviled eggs as little devils after Halloween, on November 2, National Deviled Eggs Day. But around the Easter season, we make special spring chicks because they look so cute cracking out of their shells.

Eggs are festive food this time of the year as they are symbolic of transformations. The dead of winter is reborn into the hope of spring; the rising of Jesus from the dead represents new life; yolks turn into yummy appetizers.

Do deviled eggs differently during Easter Week and decorate them as spring chicks! Blessings to all our blog readers on Easter!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, cooled and shelled
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
  • carrot sliver
  • black food gel tube

Directions

Boil, cool and shell the eggs. Slice a little piece off the bottom of an egg so it could stand on its own. Slice the egg 1/3 from the top, making the bottom 2/3 larger.

Chick-in-Eggs

Remove the yolks to a mixing bowl. Use a sharp paring knife to cut triangular “cracks” from the top and bottom of the egg whites. Set aside. Add mayonnaise and curry powder to the egg yolks and mash with a fork until smooth.

Chick-in-Eggs

Generously fill the bottom of the egg whites with a mound of the yolk mixture (we used a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip). Cap off with the top egg whites. Peel a small part of a carrot. Cut out into tiny triangles for the beaks. Position them on the egg yolks. Lightly touch the tip of the black tube frosting to make the eyes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chick-in-Eggs

Notes

  • Thanks to Lisa L. for the idea of decorating our deviled eggs into spring chicks.
  • Knead the black tube icing and squeeze out the excess liquid on a napkin before decorating the chick-in-eggs to avoid runny smears on the yolk filling.
  • Search our blog for other Easter and egg recipes.

Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelet)

Eggplant Omelet

June 3: National Egg Day

Islander’s Daddy grows eggplants in the backyard of their house in Hawaii and then sometimes Mommy makes them into omelets. Tortang talong is a simple Filipino dish that Islander’s family ate most often during Lent Fridays when abstaining from meat. Islander also makes these omelets for an easy meal occasionally when she can find the specific type of eggplants at a few mainland grocery stores.

Eggplant

The eggplants used for tortang talong are the long, slender Asian style vegetables (although they really are classified as fruits/berries) and not the rounder, plump variety. Combining eggplants with eggs double the deliciousness of this dish, especially on National Egg Day!

Recipe

(From Mommy and Daddy)

Ingredients

  • eggplants (long, Asian style)
  • eggs (2 eggs per eggplant)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray

Directions

Wash and dry the eggplants. Pierce the eggplants all over with the tines of a fork.  Grill or broil the eggplants until lightly charred and soft (at least 15 minutes).

Eggplant Omelet

Cool before peeling off the skins of the cooked eggplants, leaving the stems intact. Spread out on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Pour over the eggplant.

Eggplant Omelet

Heat a pan with oil or cooking spray. Carefully place the soaked eggplant in the pan, spreading it out, and pour the beaten eggs over it. Cook over medium-high heat until the sides of the omelet begin to solidify. Use a spatula to turn the eggplant omelet over and continue cooking until brown. Cook the other omelets, adding a little more oil or cooking spray as necessary.  Transfer the eggplant omelets to a plate. Serve hot with rice.

Eggplant Omelet

Notes

  • Egg substitutes (such as Egg Beaters brand) may replace real eggs in this recipe.
  • Salamat (thanks) to Daddy for being our guest chef for this eggplant omelet blog post.
  • May is also National Egg Month. Search our blog for more egg recipes.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

April 16: National Eggs Benedict Day

Highlander’s brother Stuart P., is the designated cook for a family favorite—Eggs Benedict—whenever everyone gets together for a rare reunion or holiday visit.  While in the kitchen, he has an assembly line to toast the English muffins, fry the Canadian bacon, poach the eggs and blend the Hollandaise sauce. He is surprisingly efficient in churning out a hearty brunch for a hungry crowd in a timely manner.

When we make Eggs Benedict for the two of us at home, we divide the duties between us. Islander prepares the Eggs Benedict components while Highlander makes the Hollandaise sauce, or visa versa. Because it is a rich and filling food, we sometimes eat Eggs Benedict for lunch or even dinner!

Whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, Eggs Benedict make a good meal, especially on National Eggs Benedict Day.

Recipe

(From Highlander’s Family)

For the Eggs Benedict

  • Canadian bacon or thick-cut ham
  • Tomato, large (optional)
  • English muffins
  • Butter or margarine
  • Eggs, poached

Directions

Fry the Canadian bacon/ham in a skillet till lightly browned. Slice the tomato into thin rounds. Toast the English muffins and butter them. Keep the Canadian bacon/ham and muffins warm until ready to assemble the Eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict

Poach the eggs. If using an egg poacher pan, boil the water on the bottom, lightly grease the wells/cups, crack an egg into each cavity and cover. Cook for a few minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are soft. Carefully remove from the egg poacher pan.

Eggs Benedict

If using a microwavable egg poacher, mist the wells/cups with cooking spray, place ½ teaspoon water in each cavity, crack an egg, pierce the yolks and whites and cover. Microwave for 30 seconds on high, let stand and microwave in 20 second intervals until the whites are set but the yolks are soft. Carefully remove from the microwavable egg poacher.

Eggs Benedict

For the Hollandaise Sauce

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3-4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot water

Directions

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter slowly, taking care not to brown or burn the bottom of the pan. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the salt and cayenne pepper.

Eggs Benedict

Slowly pour the melted butter and two tablespoons hot water into the mixture and keep stirring to avoid cooking the egg yolks. Transfer everything back into the saucepan and mix well on low heat until thickened. Keep warm or use immediately. Yield: About one cup.

Eggs Benedict

Assemble the Eggs Benedict by placing a slice of tomato (optional) on top of a buttered and toasted half of an English muffin. Layer with one or two slices of Canadian bacon/ham. Add poached egg on top. Pour hot Hollandaise Sauce over the egg. Sprinkle chopped parsley and paprika (optional) and salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Eggs Benedict

Notes

  • Traditional Eggs Benedict do not include a slice of tomato in the layers. But Highlander’s family adds it for color contrast and extra flavor. This then is a variation of the similar Eggs Blackstone, which substitutes the Canadian bacon or ham with bacon.
  • Stuart uses a blender to mix the Hollandaise sauce. But we were lazy and just used a hand whisk so we did not have to wash up too many dishes.
  • Plan ahead when preparing Eggs Benedict and the Hollandaise sauce. Some components of the recipe may be kept warm while cooking the other ingredients.
  • We purchased our pans to make poached eggs from JC Penney and Williams-Sonoma. We bought our microwavable plastic egg poacher from Walmart for significantly less cost!