This week, Kitchen Overlord is counting down to Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary special with iconic Whovian recipes.
You’ll find this recipe for Slitheen Eggs in Chapter 1 of Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook. I was honestly surprised to learn the photo is a little shocking for people who have never made Chinese tea eggs. Rest assured, you’re looking at a delicious infusion of black tea, Asian spices, and straight up green food coloring. With such a dramatic look, people generally expect an equally mind blowing flavor, so it comes as quite a shock that they pretty much taste very mildly seasoned like hard boiled eggs.
4 cups/1 liter water
6 large white eggs
6 bags (or 6 tsp/30 g loose) black tea
1 tbsp/15 g green peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp/30 g white sugar
1 inch/2.5 cm peeled fresh ginger, sliced thickly
16-20 drops green food coloring
Okay, so these are a little smaller and a little less tentacly than Margaret was when she regressed to childhood, but they’re also not sentient, which means you don’t need to feel guilty about chowing down on these marbled green eggs.
Start by bringing the water to a boil. Add the green tea, star anise (or 1 tsp/5 grams regular anise), cinnamon stick and peeled ginger. Once the water is nice and bubbly, let the tea brew for about 5 minutes then soft boil your eggs.
To soft boil the eggs, reduce the boiling tea mix to a simmer then gently lower in your eggs one at a time. (You can use this same recipe to make a dozen eggs. No need to double anything but the eggs themselves.) Cook them for 8 minutes with the lid on. Now, carefully remove your eggs from the pan and rinse them in cold water so you don’t burn your hands. Once they’re cool to the touch, use the back of a spoon to gently crack the shells. You don’t want to peel the shells off or break them into pieces. Just tap away with the spoon to create a nice crackle pattern in the surface. The more you crack them, the more intricate and interesting the pattern.
Now add the green food coloring, sugar, and peppercorns (if you can’t find green pepper, go ahead and substitute whatever mixed color peppercorns are locally available) to the pan and gently lower the cracked eggs into the water. Bring the mix back up to a boil then turn the heat down to low. Put a lid on and leave the eggs in the brew for the next 40 minutes.
When you pull them out, you’ll have green eggs with an amazing brown veined pattern. If you use white eggs, the interior of the peels are even more impressive than the exterior. Best of all, the eggs themselves with have a really neat but subtle flavor. These will remain good in the fridge for a couple of days, so feel free to make them in advance. They taste best warm or at room temperature, though.
Since your Slitheen eggs don’t have any of Margaret’s tentacles, when you’re ready to serve them, boil a mix of half black and half whole wheat angel hair pasta according to the package directions. If your local grocery doesn’t have black pasta, don’t stress over it. Just get the whole wheat type. The two colors combine to look more like the overall effect of the texture and color of the tentacles, but no one is going to be that big a stickler for details. You can also pick up black squid ink pasta on Amazon.
Toss your pasta in a little olive oil, fresh garlic, and salt (the oil helps keep your pasta from drying out as well as acting as a vehicle for the flavor) then make it into some neat little nests. You’re welcome to substitute your favorite olive oil based sauce if you want a flavor with more punch. A tomato based sauce will make it look like you stabbed the living egg until it bled on your pasta. If you really hated Margaret (and your friends have strong stomachs) then go right ahead. A white sauce just doesn’t work. Trust me.
Snuggle an unpeeled Slitheen egg into each nest. Let people peel the eggs at their plate so they get the full effect of the green, veined outside as well as seeing the artistically colored inside. As cool as the unpeeled eggs look, the inside of the shells really sell the overall alienness. Once you’re done showing off, you end up with a unique, mellow, spicy flavor that tastes just as alien as it looks.
This makes a good main course for your vegetarians and lactose intolerant friends. As an added bonus, even if you special order the squid ink pasta, you still have a dirt cheap main dish with a nice, dramatic flair. Be warned, people who eat eggs tend to ask for extras (as much to play with as to eat) so go ahead and make some spares.
You can find plenty of recipes for your Doctor Who viewing party (including lots of other tasty aliens) in Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.