Monday, September 17, 2012

Cured Egg Yolk

Not much curing has happened in my household recently, something I mean to change, get my hands on a nice piece of pork to make some bacon, or should really stop faffing about and finally get around to making some homemade pastrami. But I’ve got to work my way back up to it, can’t just jump in headfirst, well I tell myself that, but who am I kidding, I’m just lazy, forgetful and easily distracted, ooooOoooo a kitty.

Anyway, I was in one of those moods, not really feeling like doing anything, TV wasn’t distracting enough and I didn’t feel like reading, so I thought I’d see what I could manage in the kitchen without actually producing anything to eat immediately, as I wasn’t really hungry. After staring at the pantry and then in fridge, and thinking ‘close the door, it’s not library, stop wasting power’ etc. I spied the eggs and ideas of the oft thought of but seldom produced cured egg yolk came to mind.

Pulling out the sacks of rock sea salt left over from the last egg curing madness that was kai kem eggs, I set about making a layer of salt in the bottom of a dish and digging through the draws for some cheesecloth, which I was sure was in the bottom draw, but now have no idea as I had rearranged the kitchen, disaster averted and cheese cloth in hand, a little rectangle was cut, slightly bigger than a yolk widthwise, and twice as long. An egg was cracked and carefully separated, yolk delicately placed on the cloth and wrapped gently, then placed on the salt bed, and buried in another layer of salt. The dish wrapped tightly in plastic wrap was placed in the fridge and left for 2 days.

Actually 24 hours should be enough, and quite truthfully I totally forgot about it, that is until I opened the fridge to dig about hoping to find something to eat, when I saw the bowl and remembered, oh yeah there’s a yolk in there, carefully unwrapped and salt ceremoniously (I said a little prayer at the wastage of salt) dumped in the sink, the yolk was extracted and unwrapped, placed on a pillow of kitchen paper towel and shoved with love and attention back in the fridge, where I’m sure it will be forgotten about again, not that it matters too much, the sucker needs to dry out.

Five days later, it had dried sufficiently enough for its purpose, being grated over some freshly made pasta. I set about getting the pasta sorted, two parts egg to three parts flour, mixed and kneaded and left to rest, wrapped, in the fridge for half an hour before being rolled, folded and run through a pasta machine until the desired thickness and cut into noodles. Cooked in generously salted boiling water, then drained and seasoned well with black pepper and good olive oil, dished up in a bowl and a little cheese grated over top, then finally finished with a good grating of the bright orange yolk.

“Does it taste like foot?” My partner asked as she poked her plate with her fork. Well no, be assured it is not a funky piece of dried egg with all the negative connotations one can take from eggs gone wrong, in fact it has no noticeable aroma, but the flavour is that of intense yolk, the curing and drying has concentrated all its rich wonderful flavour.

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