Friday, February 8, 2013


Company Eggs, the Very Best Pork Tenderloin Marinade, and Mash

During Jane's recent trip to Utah, she came for brunch (!) and I made Company Eggs and promised I'd share my secret (adhering completely to a very straightforward online recipe involving a lot of butter and eggs and cheese). I've been making Company Eggs for about a year now, and they are a no-fail insta-success, so long as you don't try to get clever and try different kinds of cheese. It'll be fine, but no one will roll their eyes back into their head with ecstasy. "What about some feta?" you're thinking. No. Just Gruyere. Only Gruyere.

Gruyere is kind of a bitch to grate, because it's soft-ish, so see if you can get someone at the store to grate it for you. If you are at an actual CHEESE STORE, they will say no, because Gruyere will gum up their machine. It's worth a shot, obviously. My cousin Phil makes fondue once a year, and routinely drives to four different places in Toronto until he finds a junior-looking employee who doesn't know he's not supposed to grate Gruyere for you. But, right, that's pounds and pounds of Gruyere. You can grate eight ounces. Toughen up!

The other old guest-dinner standby in my arsenal is the Very Best Pork Tenderloin Marinade. I found it by typing "very best pork tenderloin marinade" into Google, and now I eat it about once a week. Jack Daniels does work best, but you can kind of Long Island Iced Tea it in terms of subbing in random half-empty bottles of booze. A few months ago I made it using a bottle of "Yukon Jack" we found in the pantry when we moved into our house, and it was fine. I dump the pork and all the stuff in a plastic Ziploc bag in the fridge first thing in the morning, and then I take it out at dinnertime, pat it dry, sear the pork on all sides in a cast-iron skillet, then finish it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until it's 150-ish on a meat thermometer. If it's summer, serve with a salad, if it's winter, serve with a bunch of roasted root veggies OR...

Mash. I don't eat a lot of starches, so I like to go balls-out when I do. Go to the grocery store and buy some large combination of white potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and carrots. A head of cauliflower too, if you want. Peel and hack 'em up. The harder the vegetable, the smaller the pieces. Cover with cold water and boil it for a long time until things are soft-ish. Drain the water, and dump in about two sticks of butter. I'm not joking. Butter is good for you. Mash, add sea salt and pepper, eat. It's like more interesting mashed potatoes, and there are weird colors in it. Goes with everything.

Okay, you should be fine until spring. Eat up.

55 Comments / Post A Comment


That looks like a very tasty pork marinade, but it cannot be the best, because the best marinade has fish sauce and honey and magic.


@Nicole Cliffe It's this http://theculinarychronicles.com/2010/08/20/bun-th%E1%BB%8Bt-n%C6%B0%E1%BB%9Bng-vietnamese-grilled-pork-over-vermicelli-noodles/ and I am an addict.

RK Fire

@adorable-eggplant Bun thit nuong is one of my favorite things to order from Vietnamese restaurants.. especially if you get it with the spring rolls. AMAZING.


@adorable-eggplant OOH I wanna try that RIGHT NOW.

My current go-to pork recipe is to take a pork roast, put it in the slow cooker with 4x balsamic vinegar, 1x honey, salt/pepper/rosemary/thyme/bay leaves and then DEVOUR it when I get home from work. Although once I was reducing the sauce on the stove before serving it and forgot about it and it turned into this balsamic caramel shellack on the bottom of the pan.


@adorable-eggplant oh my goodness that looks good. thank you for this.


@RK Fire It's my favorite, too! With a ca phe sua da it's the breakfast of champions.

@Aphora Mmm vinegar shellack. :)

Other notes, if folks are going to give it a whirl: the recipe says to refrigerate in the marinade for 30-45 minutes, but I'd suggest putting it in a tupperware in the fridge overnight for maximum tastiness. Also, works with chicken too (especially thighs).


i really like this @a


I wonder if the gruyere would be easier to grate if you put it in the freezer for a half hour or so?


@vunder Definitely. But, like with beer, it'll be a disaster if you forget it's in there.


What about a food processor for grating dat Gruyere? Less manual grating/grunting.

Nicole Cliffe

I am going to combine this tip with @vunder's "toss it in the freezer for a while first" tip.


@Nicole Cliffe What's that I smell? Less-laborious Company Eggs!


For grating cheese, other than using a Cuisinart, I would recommend one of these grater/container things.

Nicole Cliffe

I have a similar thingie!


@Mabissa I LOVE that, I have one with different kinds of blades, so I can grate spices, cheese, slice veggies (like a mandolin) and other nifty tricks... so grate (SORRY).


Wait a minute, how many people does this serve? 6?

Nicole Cliffe

The eggs? Me, my husband, and Jane and her husband ate all of it except for two pieces. I also served it with a cheese tray.


@Nicole Cliffe Sorry, yes the eggs :) Sounds hearty!

Nicole Cliffe

It gets really puffy while cooking, then settles into about a inch-and-a-half thick layer when it comes out of the oven. It's definitely hearty! You can add veggies, but make sure you've sauteed them enough to cook the water out or it gets a little sloppy. It's great with broccoli florets or mixed pepper slices.


@Nicole Cliffe The recipes calls for mustard powder, so...does it taste mustardy? I need reassurance before I use a dozen eggs here.

Nicole Cliffe

Nope! You can't even tell.


@Amphora It is a great mystery how mustard powder, which is infinitely benign, produces actual mustard. Mustard power and mustard seeds taste almost nothing like deli mustard.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Emby @Emby Maybe the vinegar in mustard-the-condiment brings out the mustardy flavor?

She was a retail whore

@Amphora I am not a fan of mustardy mustard, but I will put mustard powder into a wide variety of baked dishes, because it tastes AMAZING. The first time I had it, I realized it was an ingredient in my favorite restaurant's stuffed shrimp. I've been having a good time reverse-engineering that, and mustard power is a major factor!

Homestar Runner

Sooooo....when can we expect the post on Nicole's Hollywood makeover???



@Homestar Runner You're avatar, I'm having the flashbacks.... EMAIL EMAIL HOPE IT'S FROM A FE-MALE!!!


Nicole Cliffe

John Mulaney has a bit where he says "I used to drink too much, which people never believe when they look at me, because I don't look like someone who 'used to' do anything. I look like I've been sitting in a room for the last twenty years, eating crackers."

That is how memorable my face is. But I'm really jacked and getting more so over time, so, whatever, I can someday have a Hollywood makeover as "chain-smoking extra from women's prison film."

Homestar Runner

@Nicole Cliffe Jessica Biel! Chyna!

@Mabissa I literally cannot experience a technical problem without flashing back to that "50 Emails" Strongbad video. BALEETED!

Nicole Cliffe

@Homestar Runner Here is my snarly kettlebell picture I cannot figure out how to upload:



@Homestar Runner BALEETED?!?!

Homestar Runner

@Nicole Cliffe Impressive snarl/guns combination! Have Jane Marie book a flight back to Utah--you could do a Kate-Beckinsale-in-Underworld thing.

@Mabissa This is going to force me to talk in Homestar Runner voice all weekend. Tragic.

Nicole Cliffe

JANE, get back here, I want to waste some monsters while looking fly.

Daisy Razor

@Homestar Runner My husband was *just* singing the Strong Badia National Anthem. I'm having flashbacks to 2004 over here.


I am off the white potatoes for a bit, but I do have a suggestion regarding the mash.

First, before you do anything, cut off the top of a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Wrap that in foil and put it in the oven at about 375.

Cut up/peel and steam the cauliflower/parsnip/carrots/regular potatoes, rather than boiling them. I think they lose a lot of their nutrients and flavor when boiled, but don't hold me to that. Just cut them up all small-like and steam for about 10-15 minutes.

Then drain well and scatter on a nonstick cookie sheet, and put it in the oven (where your garlic is nearly roasted) for like 5-10 minutes. This isn't for cooking, but rather for drying.

When they are dry, put them in a food processor (or in a warmish stovetop pot and use a hand blender). Add some generous pinches of kosher salt, lots of cracked black pepper, a half stick of butter, a glug or two of heavy cream OR coconut cream (my preference), and at least a half dozen of garlic cloves from your now roasted head of garlic (assuming it has been in the oven for about 45 minutes). Give it a zest of nutmeg if you are feeling fancy.

Perfect mash is perfect.

does it need saying

@karion This sounds delicious!


@karion For the vegan mash, I poach the garlic cloves in a ton of olive oil, and then use the softened garlic and ALL the oil for the mash, with a little almond milk, and it is so wonderful. Even the butterbutterbutter crowd is generally on board with it.

RK Fire

What if you did all of the steps for Company Eggs... but did it in a pie crust to make some sort of quiche-like thing? would the cheese and the cream make the pie crust too wet?

Nicole Cliffe

@RK Fire That is intriguing. My gut says it would be too wet?

RK Fire

@Nicole Cliffe My favorite quiche recipe (mushroom, broccoli, and gouda) calls for the same amount of cream, so maybe it would be okay? I am willing to test it though. For science.

Nicole Cliffe

I mean, I think you have an obligation to the rest of us. A sacred one. Worst case scenario, you're gonna eat some overly-soft pastry.


@RK Fire You could try pre-baking the crust to make sure it bakes through? Or you could use the crust from the recipe below, which I made a few weeks ago and worked wonderfully with damp ingredients? (Also after you experiment with the company eggs quiche, by all means try the cauliflower tart. It may be the best thing I've ever eaten.) :)


RK Fire

@pterodactgirl Yes yes! Pre-baking the crust. I totally forgot that prebaking the crust is step 1 of my usual quiche-making activities. Also, thanks for the cauliflower tart suggestion, it sounds amazing... and maybe I will make it for a potluck in a few weeks.


@RK Fire Can't you make a shell out of something that goes between the (possibly pre-baked) crust and the wet stuff? I can't think of what that would be in a breakfast dish. All I can think of is chocolate. But there's got to be something.

saul "the bear" berenson

I'm confused about the part of the recipe where the eggs are "slightly beaten". So do you just whisk them up a little, but not really blend into one yellow mix? What do the eggs look like once it's cooked?

Nicole Cliffe

@saul "the bear" berenson I just normal-beat them, myself.

Queen Elisatits

It took me way too long to figure out that the "Company" of "Company Eggs" means eggs you make when you have company over. Not some sort of Company with a capital C and that the eggs do not have a history connected to a factory cafeteria or something.

Sea Ermine

I invented the most delicious recipe this week! Ok so you take soba noodles, thin strips of steak (like sandwich steak? suuuuper thin strips), swiss chard, soy sauce, peanut oil, garlic, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.

First! Cut the steak into little pieces and place in a pan (plain, no oil or grease or anything) and cook. While this is happening you should probably boil water and do the soba. Ideally the soba will be al dente and finish around the same time as the stuff in the pan. Ok so once the steak is half cooked drizzle some soy sauce on top and push it around and cook a little more.

Then move the steak out to the sides of the pan and put some peanut oil in the middle and warm it and add crushed garlic and stir that around and cook the garlic.

Once the steak is also cooked through toss in the swiss chard. You should have cut up the leaves of the swiss chard (toss the non leaf parts, they aren't very nutritious and don't taste that great) before doing this. Mix it all together and just barely wilt the swiss chard. Then toss in the soba noodles, add a drizzle of sesame oil, and mix together. Put in a bowl and top with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. So yummy!

Sea Ermine

@Sea Ermine For vegetarians I would use tofu instead of steak. However, I wouldn't use plain tofu, you should probably season it with something. And if you can use a firmer tofu and maybe fry it or toast it a little first (during the part when you'd be cooking the steak) before adding the soy sauce so it isn't squishy.


Okay I made this for breakfast this morning and used Parrano cheese instead of Gruyere because (a) I can't follow directions and (b) it's very similar in taste/texture. Anyway it turned out great, baking eggs are great (I literally make eggs every weekend morning and have baked them maybe once before today), but I would add some chives or spinach or scallions or something on top of them cause it's a LOT of dairy.

Nicole Cliffe

Yay! So glad you liked it.


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