Mendocino Farms creators Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen have stepped up their sandwich game with the recent opening of Blue Cow Kitchen in downtown’s California Plaza, which boasts a bevy of sandwiches, including a tandoori turkey club, a nouveau French dip, and a vegan torta. The real charmers, though, might be the drink-friendly bites crafted by chef Joshua Smith (formerly of Church & State), which are designed to pair with the bar’s barrel-aged cocktails, craft beers, and Fernet on tap. Pickled eggs, a bar-food staple, get an upgrade here thanks to Smith’s addition of spicy jalapenos and candied bacon, earning them the Seuss-inspired moniker Pink Eggs and Ham. Here’s how to whip them up for your next cocktail party.
Pink Eggs & Ham
From Blue Cow Executive Chef Joshua Smith
8 hard boiled eggs
1 pound red beets
2 Tbs oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 quarts vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
Toss beets in oil, salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and roast in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, until soft, depending on the size of the beets. Once the beets are cooled and peeled, crush them, add to the stock or water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow beets to steep for one hour. Add peeled hard boiled eggs and let sit for at least 2 hours, up to 6 hours.
Pink Egg Filling
12 hard boiled egg yolks
3 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon hot and sweet mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove all the yolks from the eggs and put into a bowl. Reserve the whites for another use. Using a fork, mash the yolks and whip in the remaining ingredients. Adjust the flavor to taste, adding more mayonnaise if you want it more creamy.
1 pound jalapenos, sliced into round with seeds, stems removed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon salt
In a large pot, bring all ingredients, except the jalapenos, slowly up to a boil. Be careful not to scorch the side of the pot. Once it starts boiling, add the sliced jalapenos and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and store in the liquid until ready to use.
4 slices bacon
Candied jalapeno pickling liquid
Place bacon on a lined sheet of parchment paper and brush with the candied jalapeno pickling liquid. Bake in an oven for 12-18 minutes until bacon is cooked through.
To assemble, remove pink eggs from marinade. Slice carefully in half and remove the yolks. Spoon or pipe in egg filling. Add a piece of candied jalapeno and a piece of candied bacon. Garnish with a chive baton.