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Jamie Malone gives the old-fashioned ham and eggs breakfast a gourmet twist at Grand Cafe in Minneapolis, MN.

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Transcript

- Our Chawanmushi is a really elegant way of serving ham and eggs. It's a Japanese technique that yields a super delicate custard, but you still have that basic flavor of ham and eggs like an American breakfast sandwich. I am Jamie Malone, I'm the chef owner of Grand Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ham and eggs, that's what we ate for breakfast growing up in my family. Ham, eggs, and black coffee. It's a flavor profile to me that's stuck in my brain. Chawanmushi is a stock-based custard that's traditionally made with dashi as the broth. As we were trying to elevate the dish and using really wonderful eggs, we use jidori eggs. I thought we could change the flavor profile on the broth and use something different than just dashi. So of course to pair it with the eggs, we wanted to use a ham and we get these beautiful hams in from Murfreesboro, Tennessee and it was a perfect match. Although, the Chawanmushi we serve at Grand Cafe is nothing like we ate at the breakfast table at home, the flavor profile is exactly the same. Dashi is a Japanese stock that's traditionally made with water, kombu, and bonito. For this dish, the Chawanmushi, we're substituting ham for the bonito. To a pot we're gonna add water and kombu. Kombu is a dried seaweed and it imparts the flavor of umami to the water. We're gonna bring it to a simmer and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. After that, we remove the kombu. All we need is for the kombu to flavor the water. Next, we're gonna add the ham. We dice it into small cubes to allow for the most surface area and the best flavor extraction. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil. We wanna simmer it for about 40 minutes to allow all of the flavor to come out of the ham and into the water. Once everything's been simmered, we strain the dashi through a filter. And we just lightly tap the filter instead of pushing it through to allow the filter to catch any sediment. We allow the dashi to cool. That lets the fat solidify. That way the second time we strain it, all the fat comes out as well. We strain it again and reserve it for the Chawanmushi. This Chawanmushi is special to me because it's made with ham that we get from my friend Karen Overton in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Crack the eggs into a bowl because we need to whisk them and weigh them. Chawanmushi is always done by weight. The ratio never changes, it's always three part stock to one part egg. We're gonna add our dashi, rice wine vinegar, Mirin, and shoyu. We blend it with an immersion blender to make sure it's fully homogenized and super smooth. Strain it through a sieve to make sure there's nothing left over. No egg shells or little bits of egg. Take our container and we fill it with about a 100 grams of liquid. That's, to me, the perfect amount of Chawanmushi to eat. Place it in the steamer. In Japanese tradition, it's always placed on top of a tea towel in the steamer. In the kitchen here, we just use a regular kitchen towel. We cover it with foil and allow it to steam for 13 minutes. 13 minutes is the magic number. Chawanmushi has always cooked for 13 minutes. Remove it from the steamer very carefully and we allow it to fully cool before we open the lid. Remove the lid and we have this beautiful, glossy smooth custard. Black truffles and ham are a match in heaven. We just make a really thin, black truffle glaze. It's barely set so it allows itself to work very well with the stock from the custard. To a pot, add chicken stock that's been reduced. Add kombu, truffles, and truffle juice. Truffle juice is basically a stock made with truffle peelings and water. Serve everything together and cook it for about an hour. This allows for as much flavor that we can get out of the truffles as possible. Once it's cooked, we pour everything into one container, put it in the fridge for two days. This allows the water to pick up all of the truffle flavor. After two days, we strain it into a pot, removing the truffles. At this point, the truffles have given us everything we need. Bring the glaze to a boil and add agar which is a hydrochloride that will just add a little gelling to the stock. Whisk everything together and add a little bit of bloomed gelatin. This is just another ingredient that can help us stabilize our stock. Let it cook, that'll activate the agar and then we strain it for any little remaining bits of gelatin. Once it's done, we have this beautiful stock that just tastes of pure black truffle but more importantly, smells of pure black truffle. The beauty of this dish is the vessel that it's served in. One of the things I love about this is when it arrives at the table and you open a lid, all of the aromatics from the Chawanmushi just hit you all at once. For the plating, we gently heat our Chawanmushi. It's meant to be served warm, but heating it too quickly or too aggressively will scramble the eggs. Remove the lid, pour in our black truffle glaze. We wanna accent the flavor of the ham and we wanna add aromatics, but we don't wanna overwhelm anything. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. We slice the ham paper thin. This allows it to melt in your mouth. We take two thin slices of truffles. We layer the ham and truffles on top of the Chawanmushi. We layer the ham first because we don't want the truffles to sink into the Chawanmushi custard and we want the first thing you smell when you open that lid to be the black truffles, and here you have our Tennessee ham and black truffle Chawanmushi. The texture of Chawanmushi is silky smooth and it literally just falls apart in your mouth. As you eat it, stock releases and so the flavor intensifies. It's really just purely about flavor. It melts in your mouth and it just allows you to experience the flavor of the ham and the truffle and the egg completely distilled. What I love about the Chawanmushi that we serve at Grand Cafe is the flavor profile is classic. It's ham and eggs, it's an American breakfast, but it's served in this beautiful vessel and you open the lid and you get all of the smells and it's something you're familiar with and is possibly nostalgic to you, but it's completely new.