Monday, October 18, 2010

No Oven Round II, Week III..... Pickled Eggs and Beets

Let us pretend for this week that this is a new photo, and that I didn't ravage my library looking for something that you could make without an oven, because quite frankly last week was hell on earth with school, and sick family members, and all sorts of not fun things. And let us pretend that my meals didn't really come in foam boxes, and take out bags, and weren't poor excuses for food, minus the Greek take out that was fantastic.

And let us pretend that this monstrosity never graced my bowl or even the grocery cart for that matter....

No that is exactly what it looks like... your garden variety beef flavored Ramen. I haven't eaten it in about ten years and let me tell you I love every single bite! There was also a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese ::hangs head in shame:: Now we shall never speak of it again.

Okay, so I had the week from hell, I was assigned 4 papers to write in 5 days totally 60 pages, my kids were sick, and my husband was out of town, and I'm almost 7 months pregnant, and I just wanted to feed the faces in front of me with as little arguing as possible (my temper was not fantastic, I didn't want to push it), and I just wanted to get through the week. I was in Survival mode, and often when that happens you really don't have time to think up fun and exciting meals that can be made with a skillet, a crockpot, and a rice steamer. There were no MacGuivereque moves in the kitchen this week. No, this week we had take out and order in, and frozen things you microwave and I'm not apologizing because it was necessary and it happens like once or twice a year, and come on people... if you can do better, you are more than welcome to come on over and cook. We will eat whatever you put in front of us without a single complaint. However that time has passed for the moment and we are back to normal food.

I discovered these eggs when I once had a craving for Spicy Pickled Eggs.  I never did find a good recipe and had to make one up... which was great but needs the smallest tweaks find them everywhere in the Northeast, yet I have yet to see them anywhere in the Mid-west.  I made these first before that spicy batch and had a hunch they weren't what I was looking for... the beets and sugar being a dead giveaway, but in the end I decided to make them again later on (if you're really observant you notice two different types of jars one from each making. 

We used them for a non-dinner dinner... which is when we are in a situation like we were this week and just the idea of eating something that isn't take out, requires minimum work and clean up can brighten your day. 

We sliced the eggs, beets, and onions up and served them with cheese and bread... and probably wine... the last time we ate them I don't think I was pregnant (it's an older recipe).  I'm kind of cheating because I made them awhile ago, but I plan on making them this week... so it's only a semi-cheat.  And it's kind of a rounded meal in my mind... eggs=protein, beets and onions = vegetable, cheese = dairy, and bread = grains.

On second thought, this is almost a double cheat because I did have an oven when I made them and I did roast them in that oven, but you could (and I have) roast them on a grill on medium heat turning occasionally so I'm not going to sweat the details.

Roast your beets....

Peel the skin and quarter....

Throw them in a jar...

Add sliced onions.... add the rest of the stuff.... let pickled in the fridge.... slice and serve on baguettew with the beets and  onions as well.  This can be served as a meal like we did, as a snack, or as a side for any occassion (maybe not formal, but the rest are okay).

Pickled Eggs and Beets
adapted from Emeril Lagasse


1 pound red beets, stems and leaves removed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon pickling spice
6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Fresh dill sprigs, garnish
Sliced French bread, as an accompaniment


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, or grill to medium if you have no oven.

Wrap the beets tightly in aluminum foil and roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, uncover, and let sit until cool enough to handle. When cool, slip the skins from the beets and cut into eighths.

In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, and pickling spice. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let sit for 2 hours for the flavors to develop. Add the eggs, onions, garlic, and beets and turn to coat evenly. Cover tightly and refrigerate, turning occasionally, until the eggs are a deep pink color, at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

To serve, remove the eggs, beets, and onions from the marinade and arrange on a platter. Garnish with sprigs of dill and serve with sliced French bread.

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