Alinea at Home Adaptation: Goose, blood orange, sage, roasting goose aroma
Similarly, not a summer family gathering has gone by without deviled eggs.
Sometimes they had paprika on them, sometimes not. That was about the extent of how fancy they might get. Usually, it was just yer regular old chicken egg, hard-boiled and halved, with the yolks mashed with some yellow mustard and mayo before being spooned back into the hollows of the whites. No high-falutin' accoutrements. Don't even think about it, mister.
Now that it's summer, I crave my family's picnic foods. Baked beans. Iced tea. BBQ sandwiches. And deviled eggs. So I thought I'd riff on one of the dishes in the Alinea cookbook and make a deviled goose egg. I'm hoping to do the original Goose dish (pgs. 361-365), and have already put a bug in the ear of one Hank Shaw of Hunter, Angler, Gardner, Cook to see if we can't shoot a few geese and do it up right later in the year, but for now, I'm gonna show you how to take one of the recipes from the Alinea cookbook and adapt it in a way that might be more accessible for most home cooks.
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Two Saturdays ago, I met my friend, Joe Yonan, at the 14th and U Market. He's been hard at work on his book, and I wanted to drop off some pickled grapes I'd made so he'd have something new for that day's snack break. As he rounded the corner to meet me at the market, he saw my bags were already full and asked what I'd bought. I went down the list of meats and fruits and vegetables, and ended with, "Goose eggs!"
And the "big, fat goose egg" jokes began.They weren't really jokes, per se. Just commentary on the phrase "big, fat goose egg." So yeah. I guess I thought I was going somewhere with that story, and it just kind of fizzled, didn't it. STEVE HOLT!!
So yeah, back to the (big, fat) goose eggs. I've had chicken eggs (duh), quail eggs, and duck eggs. But I'd never eaten or cooked a goose egg before. Have you?
Here's what they look like:
And from another perspective, here's a chicken egg:
And, here's a goose egg:
Like a dumbass, I Googled "how to hard-boil a goose egg" and found a million WRONG ways to do it. I mean, why should hard-boiling a goose egg be any different from a chicken or duck egg? Goose eggs are only slightly bigger with a tad more cholesterol, but they're not really all that structurally different from a chicken egg, so I figured I'd hard-boil them the same way I do a chicken egg:
Two eggs in an empty saucepan.
Cover with cold water.
Turn on burner to high. Bring water to a boil.
Let eggs boil in water for 60 seconds.
Cover saucepan with lid. Turn off flame.
Let the eggs sit, covered, in the hot water for 12 minutes. (Because the goose egg is bigger, I let them rest in the hot water for 15 minutes.)
Remove eggs from hot water, and gently place them in bowl of ice water for 30 minutes.
Chill further in fridge, or store in fridge until ready to use.
While the eggs were cooling, I reduced two cups of duck stock to two tablespoons of duck I-don't-know-what-but-boy-did-it-smell-good:
I also baked a sweet potato (45 minutes at 350F) and cut off about 1/4 of it to mix in with the egg yolks:
I cracked and peeled the goose eggs, halved them, and whaddya know....
They were cooked perfectly. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's hard-boil an egg. Check out the whites of the goose egg, though. It has that semi-opalescence of milk glass, doesn't it?
I gently popped out the yolks and tossed them in a mixing bowl with the reduced duck stock (which, in my mind. represented the foie gras in the original dish), the 1/4 sweet potato, about 2 tablespoons of diced turnip I'd sauteed in brown butter, a few shavings of whole nutmeg, and about a teaspoon of chopped fresh sage leaves.
I mashed everything around, and decided there needed to be a bit more silkiness, so I added a scant teaspoon of homemade mayonnaise just to help with texture, and then re-filled each egg half (four in all), and topped them with a few dices of fresh orange segments and a wee fennel frond:
I tasted a tiny bit of the yolk on its own before mixing it with everything else, and I love how hearty it was... kind of like how a Thanksgiving turkey smells. But I didn't really know how the end product was gonna taste. I mean, deviled eggs are usually pretty good no matter what you do, right? You can't really screw them up. And, when I read and thought through all the ingredients in this particular deviled egg: egg, sweet potato, duck stock, sage, nutmeg, turnip, orange, and fennel, it all made sense to me. Nothing stood out as being weird or gross or wrong.
But I still couldn't fathom how it would taste. My friend, Holly, dug into hers first and it was gone in three bites. Linda and her son, Grant, enjoyed theirs pretty quickly, too. As for my first bite? Well, I picked that sucker up and bit it from the back end -- the end with the smaller amount of white. And it was good. Really, really good. It was creamy and flavorful and filling, without feeling rich or heavy or gross.
It felt like slipping in between freshly laundered sheets after a long day and a hot shower.
Like finding a hand-written thank-you note from a friend among the pile of bills in the mailbox.
Like eating a strawberry fresh off the vine, still warm from the sun.
It was all those things and a little more. That deviled egg was so full of new flavor combinations, and yet so full of comfort and familiarity.
So, if you can get your hands on some goose eggs (or heck, even duck or chicken eggs will work just fine), see what you could come up with to adapt this recipe from the book. I bet you'll be surprised at how easy it is, and how much you'll enjoy it. I know I am.
Up Next: Not sure yet. I might go English Pea, I might go Chocolate. Maybe Porcini. You've been warned.
Resources: Goose eggs from the awesome meat and egg dude (whose card I have since lost because I suck) at the 14th and U Farmers Market in DC; sweet potato from the TPSS co-op; orange, fennel, and fresh sage leaves from Whole Foods; nutmeg from my pantry; duck stock from my freezer; homemade mayo from my fridge; baby turnip from Waterpenny Farm at the Takoma Farmers Market.
Music to Cook To: No music; just the sound of a thunderstorm and the pouring rain. Is there anything better than that?
Read My Previous Post: Alinea at Home Adaptation -- Lamb, mastic, date, rosemary fragrance