How to Cook Eggs – A TOP Guide

Eggs. They sound simple enough, but preparing them can sometimes be a little tricky. But don’t let that keep you away from the carton. Eggs are a pretty perfect source of protein, and the perfect dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here’s my quick and easy go-to guide for expertly cooked eggs. Now let’s get crackin’!

 

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are about as basic as breakfast food gets, but prepared the right away, they can be light, luscious, and absolutely gorgeous. Here’s the Taste of Pace method for perfectly scrambled eggs.

  1. Add oil to a nonstick pan and warm over low heat.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk vigorously. Some people add milk or cream at this point, but to me, that just seems like a waste of dairy. For fluffy eggs, all you need is a bit of water. And for flavor, just a sprinkling of pepper and a liberal amount of salt.

Pour the eggs into the warm pan and work them with a rubber spatula. Turn the heat off as soon as you notice the eggs are no longer wet. Then let them steam a bit in the pan before serving.

eggs

Photo via Make Better Eggs

Poached Eggs

With their super soft yolks, poached eggs add a wonderfully creamy texture to cooked vegetables, and they only take 1 to 2 minutes to prepare. I especially love them over morels and asparagus (get the recipe here).

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add vinegar, then egg.

Chef’s Tip: Create a vortex by stirring a wooden spoon in a circular motion. The theory behind this technique is that the egg whites will attach to themselves within the vortex.

poached

Photo by Joel, Studio EMP

Hardboiled Eggs

Yes, hardboiled eggs are labor intensive. And messy. But you know they’re delicious. And the key to easy-to-peel shells is using eggs that are 4-7 days old. Here’s how I handle mine:

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan with cold water.
  2. Bring water to a bowl and allow eggs to stay in pan for 11 minutes (that’s the magic number).
  3. After boiling, run the eggs under cold water and peel immediately.

hard-boiled-egg

Photo via Amanda Beth

P.S. My favorite spin on the classic hardboiled egg is this beet pickled egg recipe.

Dining With the (Food Network) Stars

Avis Budget Group came to town to do some entertaining, and they wanted to bring in a little something special for their group: Food Network’s Aida Mollenkamp.

full-service cateringPhoto by Erik Neldner

Aida did a cooking demo of three of her killer recipes. She also mixed up three delicious cocktails in signature Aida style. If you want a taste of what the Avis group experienced, try this Strawberry Moscow Mule.

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Feeling more snacky? This Zucchini and Ricotta Salata Bruschetta recipe is definitely worth a try as well.

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After the demonstration, everyone sat down for dinner and had their choice of three signature Taste of Pace dishes:

Dukkah crusted bass, quinoa, avocado radish slaw, wild mushrooms (Get the recipe here.)

full-sevice catering

Photo by Joel Maus, Studio EMP

Miso sapporo short rib, pickled ginger, micro shiso, wasabi mash

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Photo by Joel Maus, Studio EMP

One of the best things about running a full-service catering company is getting to work with other creative chefs in the industry and finding inspiration in unexpected places. Lately, I’ve been so inspired to create floral arrangements. It makes Taste of Pace more full service since there’s one less vendor to bring in, and I’m constantly enthralled with all the different colors and textures.  And c’mon, who doesn’t love dahlias?

erikenldnerphoto, Praedicat

Photo by Erik Neldner

Fall is right around the corner, which means that there’ll be a whole lotta entertaining goin’ on. If you want to bring a little Taste of Pace to your next event, click here for more info.

Beautiful Buffet Styling in 5 Easy Steps

I’m no stranger to buffets. As the owner of a full-service catering company, it’s sort of a job requirement. And c’mon—who doesn’t love a buffet? This casual, grab-n-go serving style is a great way to make food more accessible to your guests. And when you’re the host, it also gives you much more time to mingle. I’ve learned a thing or two about styling a beautiful buffet table, and today I’m sharing these five simple steps with you. Here’s how we do it at Taste of Pace:

1.Perfect Asymmetry

To create visual interest, position the highest point of your buffet table slightly off-center. This keeps things from looking too stuffy or formal, and also creates a more organic flow.

buffet styling

2. Right Angles

When arranging your serving platters, vary the heights and angles so that they’re harmonious, but not uniform. Layering your levels makes it easier for guests to load up their plates, and looks much more “pro,” too.

buffet styling

3. Fab Fillers

Add a variety of candles and floral arrangements in different shapes and sizes to your buffet table.  This will fill in the gaps between platters and make your buffet appear more abundant.

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4. Pretty Up the Party Food

If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ve heard this before. But it’s worth repeating. Serve seasonal produce! Food that’s in season right now is fresher, brighter, and much better tasting.

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5. Think Outside (or on top of) the Box

Don’t be afraid to bring unconventional materials to your buffet table. For this event, we used wooden crates, woven baskets, and moss boxes to add a variety of levels and textures to the table. But really, anything goes.

TOP’ s Guide to the Best Ice Cream in L.A.

It’s hard to believe that there’s just one more month of summer. But it’s true, people! Which is all the more reason to indulge in one of summer’s sweetest treats: ice cream. We’ve got some pretty fantastic ice cream shops here in LA, and if you play your cards right, you still have time to try them all before the summer ends.

Scoops Westside

I love the fact that Scoops features new flavors every day—especially since some of those flavors are Brown Brown Bread (yum!), Salty Vanilla Maple, Goat Cheese Basil, and (oh yeah!) Dr. Pepper. Seriously, folks, these are some of the most creative flavor pairings you’ll find in LA. Bring your enthusiastic palate and adventurous appetite to this Westside creamery and you won’t be disappointed.

ice cream

Photo via Bellybound

Sweet Rose Creamery

This artisan ice cream shop makes seasonally-inspired ice cream using organic milk and cream, and much of their produce comes from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. I could eat a scoop (or three) of their Salted Caramel ice cream every day and never get tired of it. You should definitely try the Summer Corn ice cream and White Nectarine sorbet before the summer ends. So heavenly.

ice cream

Mashti Malone’s

Mashti Malone’s is an ice cream shop that belongs to two brothers from northern Iran. They use a centuries-old recipe to make an exotic, ultra-creamy ice cream that is a serious treat for the senses. The creamy rosewater is sort of magical, and the orange blossom with pistachios transports you to a warm day in Morocco, lying beneath the intoxicating orange groves. The original Mashti  Malone’s is located on La Brea Avenue, but the ice cream is also available at Whole Foods Markets on the west coast. (Lucky, lucky us.) The sophisticated flavors would be an amazing addition to your adult dessert bar.

 

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Photo by Hanson T. via Yelp

Top Round Roast Beef

Most people go to Top Round (the Arby’s from scratch place) for their sandwiches and fries. But some just go for dessert. Either way, you can’t go wrong.  They make frozen custard, which is a tasty spin on traditional ice cream.  The peach praline nearly knocked me out after I crushed my fried chicken sandwich and fries (in the parking lot, in five minutes flat, like I’d never seen food in my life).  It’s the perfect balance of sweet and fresh, and the frozen custard menu is extensive.

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McConnell’s Ice Cream

While McConnell’s isn’t technically located in Los Angeles, they ship their made-from-scratch pints of ice cream straight to your door no matter where you live, which means there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be enjoying it here in LA. My personal favorite is Peppermint Stick, but every now and then I get a hankering for the Churros Con Leche, too.

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