Monday, 13 May 2013

Cookbook: Sweet-and-sour eggs the cheating way

Sometimes the hard-pressed miracle cook is in an awful hurry and needs to Impress Through Simplicity and Please Through Ease the fast way. You surely know the kind of situation… Hubby comes home unexpectedly at dinnertime – turns out that his secretary had another engagement with some young hulk – and demands FOOD on the table! Mama, drunk on ample sherry, decided to invite her entire bridge-club over for dinner, and would Daddi-O please oblige and feed the lot of cackling hens? A distant aunt, whom you never expected to see in the flesh again but from whom you still hope to inherit, suddenly rings the doorbell and does not have the good grace to leave before dinner or invite you to Maxim’s…

These are moments of panic, dear reader, and at such moments, one needs a Mittington Miracle Recipe, which gives instant results and allows for no needless critical objections as to What We Use or How We Use It. All that is wanted is an instant edible yummy result, so well camouflaged that the horrid ingredients it contains will never be recognized. My Sweet & Sour Eggs In-the-cheating-way, is a fine example of the kind of dish that will take you no longer than ten minutes to make and will save you from the above awkward fix…

So, go about it in this manner:

Boil 1 egg per person for 5 minutes. Fish them out of the boiling water with a spoon and drop them into very cold water (which makes peeling them so much easier later on). Let the eggs cool off for another 10 minutes, as you make the sauce in this here manner:

Put a saucepan onto a low fire. Drop in: 100 ml of tomato ketchup and 100 ml of fruit juice (orange, or tropical mix, or apricot, or whatever you happen to have in the house). Then add a spoonful of ginger jam, or ginger powder. Stir, mix, and let it get hot. Toss in a dash of powdered cloves, and a little salt. Mix a good spoonful of corn flour (preferably ‘Maizena’) with a little water, and pour it into the sauce. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 20 seconds. Kill the fire (never let this brew boil too long… it might disintegrate!)

Now peel the eggs. Put them into a narrow, deep container. Pour the sauce in until the eggs are submerged. Sprinkle a little fresh or dry parsley on top, or – if you happen to have any – some fresh coriander leaves.

Serve while still warm, as you explain to your guests that this is an ancient Balinese recipe you only managed to pry lose with immense trouble and great bribes from a Batak witchdoctor. 

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