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Ethnic Sensations
May 2020



Wild Mushroom and Thyme Egg White Bites
Serves: 6-8

By Heidi Allison

Wild Mushroom and Thyme Egg White Bites


These Covid times are trying our souls…Eggs are being rationed in Los Angeles —2 cartons per household is the limit in many markets. This recipe extends those precious protein bites, and, the finished dish satisfies cravings for Starbucks Sous Vide Egg White Bites. A great recipe for creating a quick breakfast, snack or dinner—pair with bacon, toasted bread, polenta, grits and a salad side for a satisfying, economical meal.

The foundation of this dish is the “egg white base”—which consists of egg whites and cheese. Cottage cheese keeps the egg whites in the finished dish from getting too dense, while the soft, billowy and velvety texture is supported by the full-fat cream cheese, full-fat Monterey Jack cheese and a splash of heavy cream. Without cheese, the egg whites take on a rubbery texture, so I do not advise making a substation with these core ingredients. And, resist the temptation of adding more than a just a pinch of salt.

Using a Ninja blender, purée the egg white mixture on the Ultra-blend setting, twice, to create a homogenous texture. (I do not recommend using a food processor.) And, as molds go, you can use a silicone Instant Pot egg bite mold, a silicone large ice cube tray or Ball’s small glass jelly molds. Spray the molds with canola cooking spray for an easy release after cooking, or, lightly film the molds with unsalted butter.

The veggie “add-in”—wild mushroom and fresh thyme sauté—lends a deep umami flavor to the finished dish. You can use different mushrooms, but prep with a matchstick or julienne cut so the small molds aren’t too crowded. To change things up, try a roasted corn and poblano chili blend, or pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. You'll get the best results if you choose veggies with a low water content, and, sauté, roast or grill the veggies before adding them to the mold. If you skip this step, water that leeches out from the veggies during the steaming process makes the egg bites a bit runny and dilutes their delicate flavor. Use leftover yolks to make a Hollandaise sauce —a nice pairing that elevates these egg white bites to a truly decadent meal!

Wild Mushroom and Thyme Egg White Bites

Mushroom and Thyme sauté:


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 package Bunashimeji (aka Beech) mushrooms, about 3.5 oz.
1 package of Maitake (aka Hen of the Woods) mushrooms, about 3.5 oz.
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves and tender stems
Pinch of Kosher flake salt

Preparation:

Mushrooms trimmed


Trim Beech mushrooms by slicing off 1/2 -inch from bottom of root end, and gently separate stems. Slice Maitake mushrooms into 1/3-inch slices and separate.

Place butter in a nonstick pan and heat on medium high until butter is sizzling. Add mushrooms, thyme and a light sprinkle of salt and sauté till mushrooms are soft and lightly browned and crisp on the edges. Remove mushrooms to a plate and set aside.

EGG WHITE BASE

Ingredients for Egg White Base


Ingredients:


6 egg whites
1/3 cup full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbs. heavy cream
1/2 cup 4% organic cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Pinch of Kosher flake salt

Preparation:

Egg White Base mixture


Place all ingredients in the Ninja Bullet and puree on ultra blend mode cycle till combined.

Egg Bites:

Sauteed mushrooms and thyme mixture with cheese in silicone mold.


Spray an egg bite Instant Pot silicone mold (or use a silicone large ice cube tray— 2-inches deep) with canola cooking spray. Place 1 tablespoon of sautéed mushroom and thyme mixture into each 2 oz. mold, then top with 1 tablespoon of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Egg white mixture poured over mushroom and cheese filled molds.


Blend egg white mixture, on ultra blend cycle once more, then pour over mushroom and cheese filled molds till almost filled to the top. Cover mold tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil and set aside.

Fill an electric pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and place a trivet on the bottom of the insert pot. Place foil covered egg bite or ice cube tray mold on trivet and close lid. Set pressure cooker for 15 minutes. Release steam by opening vent and remove egg bites from pressure cooker.

Remove foil and place a serving plate over egg bite mold and turn upside down. Place a finger on bottom of egg bite mold and gently press into mold to release egg bite.

If there are any leftovers, cover egg bites with a lid or foil and refrigerate. To reheat, use a half cycle of the microwave’s reheat mode, or, two 10-second cycles (do not reheat for 20 seconds straight—this tends to overcook the egg bite and you lose that silky texture. Best to separate the times. Do not overcook—the texture will get gummy and tough.)

Note for Instant Pot:

Set pressure cooker on High setting for 8 minutes, then allow to release steam naturally, for a total cooking time of a about 15-20 minutes.