Newsletter: Perfect hard-boiled eggs, rockfish returns and top cookbooks

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Dear readers:

Easter is this weekend and if history is any judge there’s just one thing on your minds — hard-boiled eggs. I’m not quite sure why they attract such passionate interest, but we’ve got you covered. At the same time, we’ll let you in on all the fishy goings-on in our Test Kitchen and more.

— Russ Parsons

Perfect hard-boiled eggs and what to do with them

There aren’t many sure things in cooking, but this technique for cooking hard-boiled eggs is one of them. It couldn’t be simpler and it’s almost foolproof. Try it and see.

What do you do once you’ve cooked your hard-boiled eggs? Well, that’s easy. Devil ‘em! Easy to make and extremely versatile, deviled eggs in the last couple years have gone from guilty pleasure to go-to bar snack.

Deviled eggs too basic for you? Check out this collection of 22 recipes from our California Cookbook archive using hard-boiled eggs.

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Rockfish is back

Once firmly ensconced on the sustainability do-not-eat list, rockfish (you might know it as Pacific red snapper) has rebounded and is now a recommended buy by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. So what do you do with it? How about fish soup?

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

That doesn’t sound good tonight? No problem — here are 11 more recipes for cooking whole fish, all of them perfect for rockfish.

And if none of those is of interest, what about cioppino? The California fisherman’s stew adapts to almost anything you’ll find in the fish market.

The year’s best cookbooks

Christopher Kostow’s “A New Napa Cuisine,” which documents the cooking at his Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood outside of St. Helena was named the best cookbook of the year Sunday by the International Assn. of Culinary Professionals.

Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Why aren’t Italians fat?

Elizabeth Minchilli, an American who has lived in Rome for years, says Italians stay skinny — well, at least non-fat — by controlling their portion sizes. That means eating everything that you want but only a little of each.

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Make your own cheese

Sounds crazy? Well, maybe if you’re talking about a well-aged blue. But some cheeses are really easy to make. Among the simplest — and most versatile — is quark, which Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter describes as “rich with a gentle tang, it's spreadable, kind of a cross between sour cream and soft ricotta cheese.”


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