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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pfeffernusse and Tarragon-Shallot Egg Salad

Tip from me: try to curb your enthusiasm if you're making egg salad with a food processor.

Why? Well, because you've got those eggs into just the right size chunks, and then you add the mayo, and...well, you have to mix it up, don't you?

The next thing you know, you've got egg paste.

You would never ever guess that I've made at least a hundred pounds of egg salad using a processor judging from my behavior, but you have to excuse me because I was really excited about making this salad.

Because I'm not the biggest fan of egg salad. The way I REALLY like it is Portuguese style, which is to say with bacon, which makes every thing better. Alas, vegetarians don't quite view the world the same way, so M. gets to try Tarragon-Shallot Egg Salad (and so do I).

This is not my egg salad. I told you, I made egg paste. This is a photo I borrowed from Epicurious, but it really is on their Tarragon-Shallot Egg Salad recipe page, not some picture I found on the WWW.

MY sandwiches looked better, because a) I used home-made hot dog rolls that I sauteed in butter and b) I spread them with my Tarragon-Shallot Egg Paste and topped them with chunks of luscious organic tomato.

If you're not a fan of: licorice, anise, tarragon, pernod, anisette--this recipe is not for you, though you could always just add a little bit, just to try it out.

The only thing I would change about this recipe is to cut back on the mayo a little bit--it was too loose, especially with the addition of the vinegar.


I've made, hmmm, about five versions of Pfeffernusse, and I was kind of surprised that this one was a little shy as far as variety of spices goes. Not even any pfeffer! I've made versions with cardamom, brandy, cinnamon--all kinds of things. This one has only nutmeg, cloves, and a whopping 1 1/2 tsp. of anise seeds. And of course molasses. Very important to have molasses.

I wasn't completely sold on them until they were all the way through their various incarnations of cookie-dom. I know that sounds mysterious, but consider that you make the dough, let it stand overnight in the fridge, bake them, cool them, dip them in sugar syrup, let them dry a little, then shake them in powdered sugar. Yes, a little bit of a pain in the ass.

All of that activity gave the anise time to mellow, or maybe it was that I had sampled so many that I didn't really taste it as sharply (could be...) but whatever, the end result is soft, compact, chewy and sweet.

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