I’ve been thinking a lot about egg whites. Having trained as a pastry chef I’m used to seeing a vast over abundance of whites as the yolk seems to be the more popular of the pair – so often without thought thrown in the bin because, let’s be honest, there are only so many meringues one needs in their lives. If you do want to make meringues, Ottolenghi is your man – have a look at the recipes in his first book, The Cookbook, (a book so worth having, he’s a genius), they’re the best I’ve come across – beautifully shiny, slightly chewy and he does all sorts of clever things with them, pistachios, rosewater or just a good old staple meringue.
Egg whites have many more uses than meringues and what’s more is they’ll keep for a few days in the fridge or you can freeze them to use at a later date, so rather than just plopping them in the bin perhaps next time you might give one of my recipes a try?
Spiced Nuts – these are brilliant, a way to use up lots of things that you may have to hand. So many things call for just a handful of nuts, my cupboard is bursting with spices, and my work leaves me with a million egg whites. Use your favorite nuts and a mixture of your favorite spices. To work out which spices will go well together, I find it useful to smell them one after the other – if they smell good together, they’ll most likely taste good together.
1 1/2 tsp crushed sumac
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
200g mixed nuts and seeds (I used cashew, almonds, pistachio and pumpkin)
Preheat the oven to 180c and brush a baking tray with oil. Combine the spices, salt and sugar together. In a separate bowl, lightly froth the egg white with a pinch of salt and toss through the nuts to cover. Mix through the spice mix to coat the nuts evenly. Pour onto the baking tray and cook for 15 minutes, leave to cool a little and serve warm or store in an airtight container until ready to eat.
More egg white recipes to follow…