Sunday, May 15, 2016

Try It: Salt-Cured Egg Yolks

Sometimes I see a recipe that's so unusual it begs to be made. It's usually simple—I'm not the kind of ambitious cook who loves devoting hours of labor to a project—and the fewer the ingredients, the better. Throw in low risk, and I'm in!

Egg yolks after curing.

So when I read my friend Hank Shaw's description of curing egg yolks in salt, I was intrigued. Two ingredients, egg yolks and salt. And time: a couple of weeks.

And voilà…two small, moderately hard, slightly gummy pucks that, when grated, taste like salty, eggy parmesan, only richer. Unctuous aged cheese, if you will. And if you're using eggs from pasture-raised chickens—a trip to the farmers' market should be enough—the color from those tangerine-tinted yolks is going to be brighter than marigolds in the sun.

Sprinkled over beet risotto (recipe).

Hank says they'll keep for a year wrapped in cheesecloth in a sealed plastic container, so next time I'll make a half-dozen. Grated, the two yolks I cured came to about half a cup, enough to sprinkle over four servings of risotto (right), a pound of pasta or a good-sized Caesar salad. All of which I'm planning on trying very soon.

Here's my recipe for the beet risotto pictured above right.

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