Thursday, February 7, 2013

E - Eggs, Son in Law Style

A photograph of Son in law eggs
Son in Law Eggs

“There are a few theories as to why these delectable deep fried eggs drizzled with a sticky Thai sauce are indeed called ‘Son in Law Eggs.’ Some suggest a son in law once cooked them to impress his mother in law, a more scandalous speculation (and the one I like more) is that if a mother in law cooks this dish for her son in law it signifies his dubious behaviour is being watched carefully and if he doesn’t smarten up, his “egg shaped bits” might end up on the plate next!”

– Dani Venn

More photographs inside.
Friends! We are SO sorry for the delay in putting up this post. For one reason or the other, we were terribly disorganised this week, and we were both suffering with an awful mental block about "E" – try as we might, we couldn't think of a dish starting with the blooming letter. In hind sight, there are any number of exciting and unusual dishes we could have tried – enchilladas, empanadas, escargots, all of which I adore and all of which I would have been thrilled to cook. Ah well, things are always easier in hindsight. At the time, all we could come up with were the obvious choice – eggs. Even when we did decide on eggs, we were plagued just as much by indecision about which egg recipe to try. Poached, scrambled in a pastry shell, with hollandaise, or smoked salmon, on a crumpet, on a pikelet, as an omelette – OH! Far too many choices. So when Dev's brother, Varun suggested "Son in law eggs", we gratefully jumped at the suggestion, especially after some quick googling revealed the rather macabre story that goes with it.

A photogrpah of Eggs and their shells
Eggs and their shells

This recipe, from the blog of Dani Venn of MasterChef fame, was great for a busy weekend when we were rushing around and were entertaining a visitor – it was a simple matter of boiling the eggs (incidentally, we discovered the perfect technique for soft boiled eggs while making this - bring the water to boil, then drop in the eggs and let them jiggle away merrily for five minutes, then plunge into a bath of cold water to stop them cooking), crisping them up nicely in frying pan and making the sauce to go with it.

A photograph of Crispy Eggs
Crispy Eggs

Our sauce has tamarind, lime, palm sugar, fish sauce and chillies – classic Thai ingredients which work beautifully together when thrown into a saucepan and reduced down to caramelled syrupyness. The sauce was tart, but a bit sweet with a good amount of heat to it and cut perfectly through the richness of the molten egg yolk.

A photograph of Son in Law eggs
Breaking into the eggs

My only comment is that for me it's always a bit touch and go when using tamarind as it comes in so many forms – the recipe mentioned puree, but I used concentrate and thought that it was far too much as it was probably too tart and also darkened the sauce a lot. I'd probably use half the amount of concentrate next time. But there will definitely be a next time, which, in our household, is the mark of a successful recipe.

Technical details
Lighting Setup - Son in Law Eggs

The lighting setup was used for the first photograph on this post. This was another two light setup.

The fill was from a Canon 430 EX II fired at 1/4 into the ceiling (surprise surprise!).

The key light was a Canon 530 EX II fired at 1/128th from behind the camera on the left.

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