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Late Night Musings

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So here it is, after 1:00am, and sleep is elusive. I just boiled up a few eggs, and made a nice, hot cuppa joe. While messing around in the kitchen, a few ideas came to mind, and maybe you have some ideas about them.

First is steamed eggs. Instead of making eggs hard (or otherwise) boiled, how might steaming them work?

Also, instead of making coffee using water, would it work to make coffee using hot - boiled, steamed, scalded, whatever - milk?

shel
post #2 of 20
Steamed eggs is a peasant staple in China. Beaten eggs, thinned out with a bit of water, cooked directly on top of an almost done pot of fresh rice.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Steamed eggs of the type you describe are found not only in Chinese cuisine, but in Korean and Japanese cuisine as well. However, I was thinking about steaming the eggs in their shell, instead of making a boiled egg.

scb
post #4 of 20
Sure you can steam them ... sort of. "Sort of" in the sense that the edible portions are hermetically sealed inside an inedible shell. So, they don't steam. What you're talking about is the "physics" of using vapor to transfer energy to the shell.

Look at this way, you can boil eggs, or just hold them in hot water (immersion contact conduction), and you can roast eggs (convection conduction). Allowing for differences in the relative efficiency of energy transference, the results are the same -- cooking eggs to any given internal temperature will consistently result in certain corresponding textures for yolk and white.

If you know the temperature which produces the texture you desire, you can hold eggs for hours without overcooking them. The next time you're musing about eggs -- put a few in a small baking pan and bake them 195, and take half out after an hour, let them cool, and see what you think. If your oven can hold that low a temperature steadily, you'll get "hard boiled" eggs right at medium yellow with no band -- what's called "American." Take the rest out after two hours -- same thing.

So yes -- you can steam an egg no problem. From a culinary standpoint the variable is temperature, and the important technique is controlling it.

BDL
post #5 of 20
We use an industrial steamer.
Eggs in a 2" perf pan, steam 12 minutes, immediately into an ice bath.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #6 of 20
For sure you can steam them. We used to put eggs in the steamer all the time... never as scientific as Jim though.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
An hour is a long time to cook an egg. I'm sure that you justused that amount of time for illustrative purposes. However, it would be nice to know about how long it would take an egg, or a few eggs, to initially reach that stage of doneness. Half hour? Fifteen minutes? Assuming room temp eggs, of course.

scb
post #8 of 20
Hmm... can't sleep? I suggest taking said eggs to the nearest hot tub, balance them carefully on the edge, slide yourself into the steamy water and, by the time the eggs are done steaming, you'll be ready for a nap at least.

Hope your sleep gets better. It's a drag not to be able to sleep properly.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hmmm ... Hot Tub Eggs - I love the idea.

I got some sleep later in the day, and a good snooze last night. Thanks!

scb
post #10 of 20
It's longer than "necessary," yes. The point is though, if you hold the oven at the ideal temperature it doesn't matter how long you cook the egg, you're not going to overcook it. I don't know what the max is on holding hot, hard eggs but it's more than eight hours. Warm eggs are popular around the eastern Med in Greece and Turkey, for instance.

Minimum oven time for eggs is, inexact, and depends on the temperature of the eggs when they went in, not to mention the size of the eggs. The point with low temps is that you don't need an exact time, you need an exact temperature.

More generally, speed of cooking depends on the efficiency of the energy transference. Liquid transfers heat faster than vapor, vapor faster than dry air, laminar flowing air faster than billowing air, billowing air faster than still.

BDL
post #11 of 20
At a recent dinner party the host had made 150* egg and chanterelle terrene.....shelled raw eggs "cooked" for 30 minutes over 150* waterbath.
Robouchon's recipe....switched porcini or cepes to chanterelles/tarragon....worked very well.
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 20
I'd be interested to know if anyone tried brewing coffee with milk instead of water! I may have to do a 2 cup experiment myself.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 20
I tried brewing coffee in hot milk just for fun once. It seemed the coffee flavor didn't transfer into the milk as much as it does with water.
post #14 of 20
i have done it this way too and the eggs come up great
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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post #15 of 20
I guess the way you make chai is to boil the tea and spices in milk, then strain the tea leaves out right? Might work with coffee.
post #16 of 20
Milk doesn't do well at the ideal range for brewing coffee -- it starts to smell like cheese as the milk solids cook. Probably the best way to get near where you're trying is to either make an infusion or a cold extract.

I'm not exactly sure what your object is in brewing coffee in milk -- but if you're looking for something like one of the commercially bottled, cold, coffee-milk drinks, your best bed is probably starting with a cold extract. There are very good inexpensive home extract makers such as the Toddy (Toddy Coffee Maker, Toddy Maker, Cold Brew Coffee Maker, Low Acid Coffee, Healthy Coffee), and some of the expresso chains like the Coffee Bean sell prepared extract.

If, on the other hand, you're trying to make a latte -- you need (a) to start with espresso; and (b) a steamer that can handle the appropriate volume of milk in a short enough time so as not to "cheese" it. This means a pretty good espresso machine -- and they aren't cheap.

There are less expensive workarounds, but they land you in a sort of "better than Starbuck's" territory. If you buy decent beans (which don't have to be expensive, but often are), and brew it carefully, the underlying espresso will be better than Starbuck's. Starbuck's doesn't use particularly good beans, uses a very demanding roast profile they no longer do very well, and isn't very good in the greater scheme of things, so that's a "take if for what it's worth." A lot of people are delighted with Starbuck's espresso, a lot are delighted with barely "better than Starbuck's," and more power to 'em. No judgment is passed on their taste -- there's no truer cliche than de gustibus non disputandum.

BDL
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
[quote=boar_d_laze;236514][...] Got to thinking this morning about using a method similar to "cowboy coffee," the stuff we drank in Montana while working on the Stearns place. We'd boil some water, dump in some ground coffee, let it come back to a boil for a moment, then let it steep. Sometimes the result was harsh, but it fit the situation perfectly. Anyway, I may try something like that, although not bring the milk to boil.[...]

Werll, I tried the technique this morning and it turned out pretty well. I liked the creamier texture of the drink compared to making the coffee with water and then adding milk or cream. Maybe with some further experimenting the result will improve.

scb
post #18 of 20
In North India, black tea is undisputed king. In South India, coffee is more common.

Back in the day when Indian train station food was some of the best around (I hear this is not the case at all any more), I remember ordering coffee, and getting served a cup of hot milk, a small pitcher of coffee extract, and sugar cubes. That was some of the best coffee I have ever had.
post #19 of 20
[quote=shel;236516]This sounds like something I can do with my french press. I'll try it... but that's a whole lot of milk to waste if it doesn't work out no?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
[quote=Mapiva;236650]I thought about using the French press .... and might just do that next time. This is a concept I want to play around with.

How much are you planning to make? I made about six ounces.

scb
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