Every month or so, I partner with one of my favorite local sites, Brooklyn Based, to bring you an exclusive song by a Brooklyn band, recorded at Nadim Issa’s state-of-the-art recording studio in Gowanus, Let ‘Em In Music. Then, I create a recipe with — or inspired by — the featured artist. This month’s mp3 is Gabriel & the Hounds, performing a cover of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” (download the free mp3 and read my feature on the band here), and here’s the egg in a cloud I made with Gabe Levine. All photos by Dominick Mastrangelo.
Cheesy eggs in clouds
This dish comes from the song “Cloudbusting” on Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, an album that inspired Gabriel & the Hounds’ band name (Gabe also covered that album’s title track — download it for free over at Brooklyn Based). I knew I wanted something that looked like clouds, which often, unfortunately, is going to mean egg whites. If you’ve kept up with this site for a while, you know that I’m not very good with egg whites. And I’ll tell you up front: I’m still not very good with egg whites, and this dish was mostly a failure, certainly because of my faulty egg white-beating and not the recipe.
Me: Oh noooo! I think I fucked it up!
Gabe: How is that possible?
Me: I don’t know! I think now they’re over-beaten? Fuck! Fuck, fuck! Nooooo! … I can’t believe this just happened. Actually, I can totally believe this just happened.
Apologies for the foul language, but, that’s about how it went down. But hey, even decent normally-decent cooks screw up, and Gabe made a good point when he said, “I like that it didn’t work. I think it makes a lot more sense to me that way. I love that you took the challenge on. ‘Oh yeah, we’ll just do the egg whites,’ ’cause you needed to do [a recipe] that has to do with clouds. You’ll conquer the egg whites.” He also thinks Kate Bush would appreciate it: “All of her songs are about things falling apart, anyway.” So, many thanks to Gabe for the encouragement!
Anyway, one there was enough successfully-beaten egg white goo to make just one of these little guys, and it turned out perfectly — crispy along the edges, with a runny yolk in the middle (Get it? Cloud-busting? I know, I know).
Makes four clouds. Adapted from Rachael Ray.
4 eggs at room temperature, separated (see note in directions)
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salt and pepper to taste
• Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
• In a small bowl, mix together chives and cheese and set aside.
• Separate eggs: Pour the whites into one extremely clean, extremely dry bowl. To be safe, break each egg white into a small, separate bowl first, then dump it into the mixing bowl, because this won’t work with even the tiniest big of yolk in it. For the yolks, you can either keep them resting in the eggshell (see photo) or slide each one into its own separate bowl and set aside.
• Add salt to the egg whites and with an electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks form. Use a handheld electric mixer, not a stand mixer, because you need to get all the liquid egg whites at the bottom of the bowl. Obviously, this is where I failed, so if you are like me and not confident in your egg white-beating skills, there are lots of tutorials on how to do it. (Where I went wrong: I carelessly didn’t check to make sure there was no more liquid in the bottom of the bowl before moving on to the next step, so I had stiff peaks on top and goo on the bottom. Don’t do this!)
• When the whites have formed stiff picks, fold in the chives and cheese.
• Scoop the mixture into four mounds on your baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to form a well in the middle of each one.
• Bake for 3 minutes, then slide one yolk into each well and bake for another 3 minutes, or until the yolk is set. Add salt and pepper to taste.