Tag Archives: Eggs

Turkey Fried Rice with Potato Chips

When you see a recipe that includes potato chips as a garnish, you don’t have a choice. You make it. And I don’t even like potato chips.

There is, however, something trendy about using junk food in gourmet or (like mine) normal weeknight meals. This trend continues on shows like Top Chef and inside the doors of Momofuku Milk Bar.

Here, the potato chips add two key elements: crunch and salt. Sprinkled on top of your lean meat mixed with rice and seasonings – egg to hold it together, green onions for color – it’s a nice first flavor as you bite down. Honestly, it doesn’t dramatically change the dish, but it’s fun. And you better bet your kids will try this if they see potato chips are involved.

Adapted from a former Top Chef himself, Angelo Sosa…

Turkey Fried Rice with Potato Chips

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 3 T canola oil
  • 2 T minched fresh ginger
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T minced lemongrass bulb
  • 4 oz. ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 C. cold cooked rice (I used brown rice)
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. chopped mint
  • 1/2 c. plain potato chips, crushed
  • Sriracha hot sauce, for serving

Heat large saute pan or wok until very hot. Add oil, ginger, garlic and lemongrass and saute 1 min. Add turkey and salt and stir-fry until turkey is just cooked through, about 3 min.

Push turkey to side and add eggs, cooking until just set. Add rice and stir-fry until heated through, 3 min. Add soy sauce and stir until absorbed, about 2 min. Stir in sesame oil and transfer fried rice to bowls.

Top with green onions, mint, crushed potato chips and Sriracha to taste.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Herbed Baked Eggs

I remember when summer was boring. Those weeks in between camps, left in an air-conditioned house while the parents are at work, flipping back and forth between day-time talk shows, soap operas and Whimbledon. Sometimes I would ride my bike up to the public pool, or visit a friend for more lazy hours spent passively watching TV and peeling the skin from our sunburns. I miss it!

The days are so long when you’re young, and now I can’t blink before summer is almost over. The June Bugs have arrived here in The South – heavy, bobbing beetles that look like a woman’s sparkly broach. A sign that school will start in a month.

As I scramble to catch up amid a flurry of professional and personal obligations, quick and easy dinners have been my staple. Inspired by my friend Seton, I recently made Grant and myself a simple French cafe dinner of herb-baked eggs and toasted baguette. This recipe couldn’t be simpler – make for yourself or a dinner party – and it is quite elegant.

Just be careful not to overcook your eggs, as I did – this dish is full of wonderful flavors, but you want the yolks plenty runny. Play it safe.

Herbed Baked Eggs

Ingredients (serves 2 – but easy to multiply)

  • 4 large eggs, cracked into small bowls
  • 2 T heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • 2 T grated Parm-Reg cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted baguette slices, for serving

Preheat broiler.

In individual gratin dishes or small oven-safe bowls, pour 1 T heavy cream and 1/2 T butter, each. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the herbs, garlic, cheese and season with S&P.

When broiler is hot, place gratin dishes on baking sheet and put under broiler until butter is melted, 3 min. Remove from oven and immediately pour 2 eggs into each dish, being careful not to break the yolks. Sprinkle evenly with herb-cheese mixture. Place back under broiler until egg whites are just set – 3-4 min, depending on your broiler. Watch them carefully!

Remove and serve hot or warm, along with your baguette for mopping up the juices.

The edges become browned and nutty from the cheese, and the herbs are just right. I always add more basil and salt and pepper over the top. You can really use whatever herbs are in your garden or fridge.

I will be making this again soon, so I can remedy my overcooked eggs – every second counts!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Spinach and Lemon Spaghetti Frittata

It must be my obsession of pasta that makes me attracted to dishes like this. Dishes that use pasta in random, unexpected ways. Although I had never made one until now, I love the idea of a pasta pie or pasta frittatas – dishes that I’m sure came out of the necessity of using leftover cooked spaghetti.

While the idea of baking pasta into a frittata seems low-country, it turns out surprisingly tasty and elegant. In fact, I like the texture of this better than an all-egg frittata – it seems somehow lighter (fewer eggs used?). The pasta gets nice and toasted on the bottom, almost acting like a crust for the filling.

Finally, the flavors are superb. Fresh baby spinach, feta cheese, lemon and basil – the yellows and greens create a spring/summer-like sensation that is full of sunshine.

Adapted from In Sock Monkey Slippers.

Spinach and Lemon Spaghetti Frittata with Feta and Basil

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 c. cooked spaghetti or capellini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 T fresh basil, cut into strips

Preheat oven to 400.

Whisk together eggs, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In large oven-safe nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low and add spaghetti. Add spinach on top of pasta, in even layer. Pour egg mixture over the spinach and spaghetti and tilt pan so eggs are evenly distributed. Simmer 3-5 min, until eggs begin to firm up around the edges. Sprinkle feta evenly across the top.

Place skillet in oven and bake for 8-10 min, until center is set.

Allow to cool 5 minutes, then slide a spatula around edges and under, to move the frittata onto a cutting board or serving platter.

Mine stayed together just fine. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, pepper and fresh basil. Cut into wedges.

Can you see the little pieces of pasta peeking out from the bottom?

I love how golden and slightly crunchy the “crust” became. Just wonderful – the spinach adds body, and that feta becomes creamy and lemony all on its own – wonderful additions to eggs.
This would be a wonderful Sunday brunch entree.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Breakfast Salad

I know I should eat more salad, but I don’t. It’s not that it’s hard to make, or bad tasting, but I usually feel like it comes between me and what I really want – my entree. I realize that one way around this is to make the salad the entree.

The idea of a breakfast salad is yet another excuse to lightly fry an egg and serve it over colorful things that can absorb its goodness. I made this breakfast salad for a weekend lunch, tossing ripe tomatoes with avocado, prosciutto, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and Parm-Reg cheese. I finished it with an egg fried over easy, and more seasonings on top.

Need a recipe? No you don’t:

Breakfast Salad

Layer together:

  • Handful chopped tomatoes
  • Half avocado, sliced
  • 3 thin slices prosciutto di parma
  • 1 T torn basil leaves

Then drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P and grated Parmesan cheese. Toss lightly so as not to break up the avocado. Top with a fried, or poached, egg. Voila!

Happy Easter, friends! xoxo

Garlic scapes!

Garlic scapes, straight from the garden

Whoever thought it was a good idea to try and eat those curly green tendrils that grow atop garlic bulbs deserves an award. Sauteed in a little butter, these light garlicky bites are like an improved chive. A mix between a spring onion and garlic – without the hot garlic bite, but with all the flavor.

As I remarked to my roommate, they taste the way garlic smells, if that makes sense. She replied that that is why they are great in eggs: “Nobody wants garlic breath first thing in the morning.” Well put.

Mom gave me a whole big bag of garlic scapes when I visited her in the NW. I’m not one of those people who buys these at the farmers’ market, because I actually haven’t seen them at the farmers’ market. Plus, I wouldn’t have known how to use them. Now I know.

Use garlic scapes anywhere you would use garlic. In eggs, in soups, in pastas and, of course, in pesto (recipe to come). I used them recently in a simple egg scramble with sundried tomatoes and feta cheese. It was simple and surprisingly wonderful in texture and flavor. The scapes don’t break down like a green onion, so expect a nice bite, but a delicate flavor.

Eggs with garlic scapes, sun-dried tomatoes and feta

(serves 1 – but multiply as you wish!)

Ingredients:

  • 9 garlic scapes, buds trimmed, coarsely minced
  • 2 T sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 2 T feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 2 T cream and S&P to taste

Heat medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 T butter. When melted and foaming, add garlic scapes and saute 7-10 min., or until softened. Add tomatoes and saute another minute. Add eggs and reduce heat to low. Scramble eggs until almost done but still wet. Add feta and stir until eggs are done as you like them.

Serve and enjoy, friends! xoxo

Cheese and chorizo scramble

The best way to eat breakfast is with the least amount of effort. I typically hate chopping, slicing and baking in the mornings. What I hate even more is having to go to the grocery store in the morning. Which is why, if you simply have eggs, you can turn any weekly leftovers into something satisfying.

That is where this weekend breakfast dish came from…

Cheesy Chorizo Scramble

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 T milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 oz. Spanish chorizo, chopped
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into cubes
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 T chopped Italian parsley

In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp EVOO over medium and add the shallots. Stir until starting to become soft, 4-5 min., then add chorizo. Cook the chorizo until the fat starts to render, another 3-4 min., then stir in tomatoes and cook 1 more min.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Pour eggs over chorizo mixture and reduce heat to low, stirring constantly. When eggs are almost set, add mozzarella and stir gently until starting to melt. Sprinkle in chopped parsley and serve!

The chorizo makes this dish a bit spicy and full of exotic flavor. The mozzarella is a nice chewy addition that doesn’t overpower the dish. Perfect for brunch or lunch because the eggs are really an afterthought to all the add-ins. Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Leek, prosciutto and goat cheese frittata

My perfect morning would go something like this: waking up to sun streaming through the blinds with a cat stretched at my feet; quietly walking down the hall so as not to wake the boy, cat trotting behind me; putting on a pot of coffee and opening the sun-room shades so my little prisms can reflect rainbows in my perfectly clean and tidy living room. While the cat chases the dancing rainbows, I would curl up on the couch with my hazelnut-scented coffee and watch my favorite Food Network shows, taking breaks to read lifestyle porn in my new Pottery Barn catalogs.

My favorite place to sit on the couch is in the corner, where the two sides hold me like a big, strong man. 🙂 It occurs to me that my ideal couch feels as comfortable as the soft embrace of a loved one.

Now, my house is never perfectly tidy and clean, but I can still enjoy the early-morning quiet with a yummy breakfast. Quiches and frittatas are perfect because you can add all your favorite flavors with eggs, and voila, you have a whole meal. I recently made one with leeks (a very underappreciated vegetable), thin slices of prosciutto, goat cheese and Gruyere. Sun-dried tomatoes and bacon would also be good, but I recommend the leeks for their delicate flavor that adds a bit of onion taste, and the goat cheese because it has a tangy, creamy bite that goes well with any other cheese, such as the fabulous Gruyere.

I do not have a nonstick skillet that can go in the oven, so I just used my cast-iron. A bit more work cleaning up, but it cooked the frittata beautifully. Just use your largest skillet that can go from stovetop to oven. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

Leek, prosciutto, goat cheese frittata

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 3 T milk or cream
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts halved, thoroughly cleaned and cut into thin slices
  • 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled with your fingers
  • 4 oz. Gruyere cheese, or any other hard cheese, grated (use whatever is in your fridge)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs, milk, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in bowl. Set aside.

Heat butter in skillet over medium until foaming subsides. Add leeks and 1/4 tsp salt, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until soft, stirring occasionally. Eight to 10 min. Grate in a pinch of fresh nutmeg, if you have it (leeks love nutmeg). Stir in prosciutto, half the goat cheese, parsley and eggs, stirring to distribute evenly. Use spatula to scrap up from the bottom until large curds have formed and the spatula leaves a wake, but eggs are still very wet, about 3-4 min. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly, let cook 30 more seconds.

Top with remaining goat cheese and Gruyere, then slide into oven. Cook until surface has puffed and is starting to brown, 4-5 min. Eggs should be slightly wet, but cooked. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 more min. Slice and serve!

No matter what makes YOU happy in the morning, a satisfying breakfast will help get you there. Promise.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Mexican baked omelet

IMG_4588

Mexican chorizo comes well seasoned - no chili powder needed!

I just wanted to give you a quick update before my big “Pretentious Thanksgiving” post from this weekend’s D.C. festivities, which will be full of gourmet foods and argyle sweaters. However, until I can upload and edit the pics, here is a little recipe I made last week.

It is the same recipe as my Italian egg bake, but instead of sausage, I used two links of Mexican chorizo (the soft, spicy kind) and instead of Gruyere I used cheddar. I served it with fresh salsa and sour cream.

See how easy it is to alter recipes once you have a good base?

Until later…Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Sausage and Gruyere egg bake

IMG_4332

One of the virtues of being home more often is the ability to watch a Food Network show, become inspired and make whatever you witnessed. Yesterday was such a day. I watched Giada on “Everyday Italian” make what she called an omelet but what I would call an egg bake. If it were cooked on the stove first, I would call it a frittata. If it had bread in it, it would be a strata. So I guess it is an oven-omelet? Whatever.

Oh my GOODNESS I love Gruyere. It has to be my favorite cheese to cook with. Melts perfectly, has a nice nutty flavor, mmmmm. The Gruyere makes this dish, although Jesse says that each ingredient was a star, like you can really taste each in every bite. Instead of following Giada’s recipe exactly (I don’t like bell peppers), I made it my own.

I used spicy Italian chicken sausage instead of turkey sausage and I used tomatoes instead of bell pepper. I also used more cheese (oops!) because the Gruyere only comes in 8 0z. packages and she called for 6 oz. Oh wells!

Ingredients:

Italian sausage

parsley

2 tomatoes

1 small onion

Gruyere cheese

eggs

milk

S&P

butter

olive oil

Here’s what I did:

Preheat the oven to 425 and butter a glass baking dish (mine is 8-inches square).

Heat 2 T EVOO in a large skillet and sautee one chopped yellow onion until translucent. Add in 1/2 lb. sausage, casings removed, and brown. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat seven eggs (she called for eight, I had seven) with 1/3 c. milk (I used 1 percent). Add a large pinch of salt and some cracked pepper to taste. Stir in two tomatoes, seeded and chopped, 1 c. shredded Gruyere and 1/4 c. parsley. Stir in the onion mixture.

Pour that into the buttered pan and cover with more cheese. Bake until the center is set, about 25-30 min. and the cheese is amber and bubbling. Just make sure the center is set – these things can take forever to bake! If your cheese is getting too brown and the middle still isn’t set, put the whole thing in the microwave for a couple minutes, or put foil over the top and keep baking until done.

While that bakes, make some toast and spiced apples. I peeled and sliced two gala apples and added them to a pan with 2 T. melted butter, over medium heat. Then I added a few shakes of cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg. Then the juice from one lemon and two tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir and cook until thick and bubbly.

A sweet side dish

A sweet side dish

For the toaste, I just sliced the rest of our ciabatta bread and toasted it with garlic-olive oil.

When the bake is done, let it rest a few minutes and then cut into wedges, sprinkling with more parsley. In my opinion, the corners are the best because they have all that crusty cheese…

Baked cheesy goodness

Baked cheesy goodness

Turns out, this meal was wonderful for dinner, but of course works for breakfast and brunch. You could even make it ahead and bake it off in the morning, although it really doesn’t take that long to prepare. I thought I didn’t like strata-type baked egg dishes, but this one proved me wrong. And it was dirt cheap – eggs go a lot farther if you mix them with vegetables, meat and cheese, then bake them. Nummy.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Turkey eggs …?

Turkey eggs

Turkey eggs

After reading “The Ominvore’s Dilemma,” I promised myself that I would start buying all my eggs from local farmers who allow their birds to roam free all day and lay eggs at will. According to the book, egg hens have worse lives than birds grown for meat – confined to a shoe-box cage, going so crazy that they will peck themselves and each other until they are featherless and scarred (which is why they aren’t used for meat).

So this brought me to the Piedmont Triad farmers’ market. I decided on one vendor because his eggs were beautifully speckled and HUGE. He was all out of chicken and instead had duck, quail and turkey eggs. They were $3.25 per dozen, which is actually similar to the grocery-store “organic” or “cage-free” egg prices. But at the grocery store, I still don’t know exactly how the animals are raised and fed.

I spoke to the local farmer, peppering him with questions about what the birds ate (no animal by-products) and where they roam. He convinced me that they roam around the yard, pecking at the ground as such animals are wont to do.

The farmer told me that turkey eggs taste the same as chicken eggs, but are bigger and take longer to cook. When I took them home to cook, however, I found that they tasted different. Richer, more substantial. Meatier.

Turkey egg vs. regular ol' chicken egg

Turkey egg vs. regular ol' chicken egg

I made a simple egg-over-medium with a slice of rosemary toast. The shells were thicker, harder to crack, and those yolks were so big, the eggs were difficult to flip. I noticed that the whites puffed up and became very thick as they cooked.

It was a delicious meal and I believe what they say about beyond-organic eggs – they have more nutrients than the industrial-ag eggs. I can’t wait to bake with them and see how they do!

A healthy, hearty breakfast for one

A healthy, hearty breakfast for one