Thursday, March 11, 2010

Real Dill Eggs (Baked w/House Ricotta & Sweet Potato Petals

I obviously enjoy challenges and meeting deadlines, and I really could have used a little of that, years ago, when I was in school. In 7th grade Science class I remember writing up my "Every 6 Weeks Report" the night before it was due... every 6 weeks. It's not like I didn't know it was coming up, so why did I wait til the last minute? I'm making up for that lack of spirit, by joining all kinds of online food challenges now and here's another one.
Real Dill Eggs: Baked w/ House Ricotta & Sweet Potato Petals
It's time for the 50th Anniversary of Paper Chef (one of the longest running food events online.) Last month I was the judge and chose the winner: Prospect: The Pantry. So, this month she's choosing.

Here's why it's fun to do
Paper Chef: You're given 4 ingredients and a theme, kinda like a Quick Fire Challenge or a Chef's Mystery Box. The freedom is fun, and no matter what happens you have an original recipe of your own when you're finished.
The ingredients randomly chosen were: Dill, Honey, Ricotta, Eggs and a Feeling of Rejuvenation for the theme. Since Daylight Saving's Time is getting ready to start here, (and can't begin soon enough for me) I thought of mornings and light, and flowers beginning to bloom. These baked eggs are surrounded by my version of sweet potato petals hugging a spoonful of honey infused homemade ricotta with fresh dill.

These are easy to create ahead:

~1 Large, long Sweet Potato will make at least 4-6 ramekins.

~Prick the potato lightly with a fork all over and place in boiling water for 3 minutes to par-boil (partially cook), then drop in ice water to stop the cooking and drain dry.

~Peel, and slice the potato very thin (a mandoline works best).

~Butter (or oil) each 4 oz. ramekin or baking dish very well.

~Place a potato slice in the bottom center and then circle the slices around the inside, overlapping.

~Add a heaping Tablespoon of the *Honey Infused and Dill Ricotta and spread evenly.
(recipe for **Homemade Ricotta below)
~Season with salt and pepper.

~Add a Large egg and season, again.

~Carefully place the ramekins into a deep sided baking pan on the middle oven rack, then very carefully add boiling water up to half-way around the ramekins (creating a bain marie).

~Cook in a preheated 350F oven for about 12-17 minutes (depending how you like your eggs). Finish for a couple minutes with the oven on broil to crisp the potato edges.

~Remove the pan, and very carefully remove each ramekin. (These will be very hot, and surrounded by extremely hot water, so use care.) Cool on a rack for a moment.

Serve in the ramekins or loosen the sides and gently remove from the dish and place on your serving platter.
~Garnish with more fresh dill, or fleur de sel.

*Seasoned Ricotta - For every 1/2 cup of Ricotta, gently stir in 1 Tbls. honey and 1 Tbls. minced fresh dill

** Homemade Ricotta - 32oz whole milk heated in a saucepan til just before simmering. Add 2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar or Fresh Lemon Juice and remove from the heat. As the milk curdles, stir gently for 1 minute. Leave the pan, covered and off the heat for 1 hour as the curds form. Pour the milk and curds through a double layer of "wet and squeezed out" cheese cloth over a fine mesh strainer. Pull the cheese cloth up and tie on a wooden spoon and let drain into a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove the fluffy Ricotta and put in a container and keep in the refrigerator - good for several days.

Quote from my husband - "These look all elegant, but taste real homey"

Please consider this your invitation to join Paper Chef for the next challenge, I'd love to see your creations!


Bill Hemphill said...

That is an awesome idea and fantastic presentation. I'm definitely going to have to do something using this technique in the future. Good luck!

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

Ooh Cathy, those are so pretty! I LOVE the potato petals!

M. said...

These look fantastic!!!
Beautiful presentation.
I had no idea making your own ricotta is so easy... thank you for the recipe.

Ronnie said...

Wow, those are beautiful! What a great use for the little Le Creuset cocottes.

VegeCooking Club said...

Wow these are gorgeous! I love the individual size.

Lauren said...

They're like little baskets! I love it =D. Sweet potatoes and ricotta are some of my favourite flavours, not to mention the awesomeness of eggs!

Gali said...

I love the little basket form! What a great way to ally those ingredients.

Diane Schmidt said...

They look delicious and beautiful and wait do I see macarons in the next post, oh my goodness I can't wait to see more.

Patti at Worth The Whisk said...

Your photography in this post is gorgeous, and I am such a huge fan of EGGS that I am drooling. Nice job!!

showfoodchef said...

Bill - Thanks, I always love seeing your posts and your grilling talents!

Kate - So sweet, and thanks for stopping by here, too.

M - Thx. Did you try the ricotta, yet?

Ronnie - Do you have those crocks? I love the colors.

Dawn - Thx. Yeah, I'm a sucker for the little serving sizes.

showfoodchef said...

Lauren - Thx. Yeah, I love eggs too - any meal, any time :D

Gali - Thx. Let me know if you try this.

Diane - How sweet! And I saw you at the forum and kept missing getting over to meet you. Love your blog.

Patti- Thx for stopping by here and for the encouragement with pics. I'm trying to get consistent - steep hill, but I'm getting there. Always love to hear from you.