Q: What to do with leftover egg yolks? A: Lemon curd. Recipe

Eggs. Sometimes they can be the irritating couple of the food world. Most of the time you want them in your life; they make wonderful company, playing off each other as if they have known one another for an eternity.

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But now and then you want them alone: to enjoy the rich personality of Mr Yolk or the frothy giddiness of Ms White. They come as a pair and separation is a complete pain. Not only does one have to endure the nail biting extraction procedure (one drop of yolk and it is game over) but unless you are a wasteful cook, wantonly throwing perfectly good ingredients away, you have to find another recipe for the leftovers.10435926_10154187977625417_3550820318683390540_n

I was left with this Herculean task the other week after V made macarons. Finding different treats to use four yolks was no easy task. With this in mind, here is my (….the BBC’s) recipe for lemon curd:

  • 4 unwaxed lemons zest and juice

  • 200g unrefined caster sugar

  • 100g unsalted cubed butter

  • 3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg-yolk

Method

  1. Introduce the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter to a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Watch the mixture and stir occasionally. Wait until all the butter has melted and not a moment sooner.
  2. Tenderly and lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemony mixture. Mix the ingredients using the whisk and then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a fork.
  3. Take the lemon curd off the heat and let it stand, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once rested, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge until ready to use. Then use judiciously.

Jay Rayner and Great Food Miles Simplification

Jay Rayner, the Observer food critic, a cross between a well-fed D’Artagnan and Marco Pierre White, is one of the go-to people for foodie opinions, and usually he is bang on. The extract of his new book published in the Observer yesterday, was for the most part a fascinating and at times dispiriting read (especially the grim truths of the abattoir). Yet the section about the over-simplification of the concept of food miles seemed too defeatist and happy for us to wallow in indecision.

Through research, it now appears that the idea that the farther food travels the more environmentally destructive they become, is far too simplistic. Whodathunk? What emerges is the need for a more holistic approach, one provided by Life Cycle Analysis (which takes into account the amount of petrochemicals to run the machinery, the materials for the farm buildings, nutrients for the soil amongst others); this then throws spanners in all forms of works as it shows that local doesn’t not necessarily equal more environmentally friendly. Though, as is pointed out, there are far more benefits buying locally than just the perceived environmental factor, but it does drive a (well-hung) stake through the argument somewhat.

But it is here that Rayner’s argument disappears and the resigned nihilism comes through, as it ends with a verbal exasperated arm flail instead of pointing to a real solution. I can imagine him in the corner of his kitchen sobbing into the research shouting’nothing matters anymore’. Whilst the simplicity of food miles is inadequate, surely we can found a new system on the LCA, one which gives the consumers the facts and the power to vote with our feet.

Maybe this is too simplistic again? Maybe the effort that it would take to compile all this data isn’t worth the effort? Possibly, but it would a boon for statistics nerds.

On Food Blogging

I wish I could be a food blogger; it looks so much fun, what with all the pictures, the laughter, the bon-homie amongst like-minded individuals and not to mention the food! The festival of colours and imagined smells are a treat for the senses. It makes me dream of a large, country kitchen with friends dropping by unannounced but as a domestic God it is OK because I’ve just made some mango and mint macaroons (I’m doing an alliteration month then, I would imagine). And we would be laughing. Always laughing.

But this aspirational image will never be matched by any experience of cooking that I’ve been through so far. Firstly, there is never any mention of mess and/or washing up. Is this just a localised problem that only I suffer? Or do other people just not see it as a problem worth mentioning, just a statement of the obvious?

Secondly is the expense. Food costs money. Good food costs good money. I don’t have good money. Therefore I don’t get good food. Life is tough.

Thirdly: time. I get home at 7:30 every night and the thought of spending a long while making a new recipe makes my soul tired, so I usually trot out the Greatest Hits. Also my girlfriend would be complaining louder than a buzz saw at how long everything was taking, so I relent.

Fourth and finally, my palate isn’t the most sophisticated in the world, it recognises key flavours of ‘chicken’, ‘tomato’ and ‘hot’ but sadly I lack the ability to work out which field a specific broccoli came from. I am not sure if this comes with time, or even with eating in a slightly different way, or maybe I have to chew more. But either way, the subtle flavours of most recipes worth trying would be lost on my neanderthal taste buds, so I don’t bother.

But apart from time, cost, and lack of skills, I would love to blog about food, so any tips as to how to do it, would be most welcome. But most of all, I am craving the laughter. Oh, the laughter.