I love eggs. Fried, scrambled, poached, soft or hard-boiled I'll take 'em anyway I can get 'em but, dare I say, there's room for just a little more egg-variety in my life. So I thought I'd run through some of the better, easy and different egg-dishes I know and share them with you. This weekend, I'm doing making a Eggs Benedict on polenta in lieu of the usual English muffin (see #2). They're always a real hit and get me gourmet points for hardly any work at all.
Try out a couple of the six I've listed below and make the most of those eggs! Oh and if you haven't tried real, farm fresh eggs, you must! Especially with my Persian egg recipe (#5).
1) Eggs on Rice
Okay, to be fair this won't be too different for everyone. I grew up eating eggs this way in Hawaii as did everyone on the block. All you need is a little leftover rice, some spam (or ham), soy sauce and a couple of eggs. Fry up that rice, maybe add a little garlic salt or real garlic and toss in some cubed spam and keep on frying it all until it's nice and crispy. Throw in some diced green onions and then top with two over-easy or sunny side-up-eggs. Sprinkle with soy sauce and eat! If you're really from Hawaii, you'll eat your eggs on rice the right way, with a fork and big spoon. Mexican Style is great too. In lieu of Spam, add a little spicy chorizo, maybe some green onions and you've got some serious eats. The pic on this blog post is more of a pseudo-Asian Style. Since I'm off white starches for awhile, I used TJ's Rice Medley (microwavable and awesome) and threw that in the skillet with a little minced garlic, some bonito flakes, chives since I was out of green onions and liberal amounts of black pepper and a few shakes of sesame oil. Top with more pepper and a little soy sauce and YUM! Awesome eats in less than 5 minutes.
2) Polenta and Eggs
Same basic concept starch + egg = good. You can go a few different ways with this combo. In lieu of the usual Eggs Benedict, I buy one of those ready-made logs of polenta from Trader Joes and slice it in rounds, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Sauté and season the polenta slices, plate and top with some left over cooked greens (collards are great this way) and top it all off with a poached egg. Can you say yum?!
You can also do polenta and eggs the way they do in Italy, sunny side up on top of creamy polenta with spinach and either white cheese or marinara sauce. Perfect if you've got some left over marinara sauce hanging around. Cook your polenta separately (use some butter and milk). Then heat up that marinara and toss in the spinach. Plate the polenta and top with three big tablespoons of the red stuff. Top that off with a couple eggs, the slimier the better. Sautéed spinach with half asiago, half Monterey jack the tomato-free way to go.
If you're not familiar with frittata, it's just like an omelet, maybe a bit thicker, with the vegetables or whatever else cooked inside the egg-mixture, as opposed to folded-in. My mom always made her frittata on the stove-top in a cast iron skillet. Though frittata literally means fried (cooked in a skillet) I've found the baked frittata an easier way to go. When made this way, the eggs cook more evenly, yielding less dry or mushy spots. Here's a recipe for a nice
Roasted Chile Frittata. I've found a tablespoon of mustard and some cooked spinach and onions another great way to go. And yes! Use the cottage cheese the recipe calls for! It works wonders!
4) Spanish Tortilla
I saw Anthony Bourdain eating one of these on one of his shows, this time in Tangier and low and behold, next thing I knew I was in the kitchen making myself a Spanish Tortilla which, for those of you who don't know, is nothing like a Mexican tortilla. A Spanish Tortilla might more aptly be called an onion and potato omelet. It's totally simple and totally awesome and I've already written up on it here.
5) Tomatoes and Eggs
My Iranian stepfather makes his eggs this way. He says he learned the recipe as a boy, when he was visiting some village in the mountains of Iran. I don't know the proper name of the dish. Basically, all I can tell you is the tomatoes give the eggs a great texture and flavor. If you like the green, acidic flavor of cooked fresh tomatoes and you like eggs, then you've got to try this one. It doesn't hurt to have some pita, lavash or a crusty baguette on hand either to sop up the juice.
To make, use ripe tomatoes, whole or halved (whole is better but takes more time) and place them in a non-reactive pan on the stove with a tablespoon or two of water heat them up on medium high heat and let them cook in their own juices. I don't know the exact ratio of eggs to tomatoes, I'd venture to say, two tomatoes for every egg. So if you're cooking for three, cook down 12 tomatoes for six eggs.
Simmer those tomatoes with the lid on to get them going. Once the tomatoes begin to cook down, add a couple tablespoons olive oil and some kosher salt to taste. Cook a bit more. Once the tomatoes have broken down into big chunks (like salsa di pomodoro), crack your eggs right into the pan and stir lightly, allowing for the yolks to break. Don't try to scramble them in the pan, this method is pretty relaxed. You want big, unbroken chunks of egg. Maybe add a tad more oil if you like and plop the lid back on and lower the heat to medium low. Cook for about 5-8 for minutes. Once done, you'll have bits of bright red tomato and cooked eggs, perfect for scooping onto bread and eating just like that. I like 'em pretty salty.
6) Breakfast Pizza
Got leftover pizza? Well you can plop it on a pan, crack a couple eggs on it and bake for five minutes at 500 degrees. It's as easy as that. Or, if you want to make breakfast pizza on your own, you can grab some of the regular ready made Trader Joe's pizza dough, along with some bacon, sausage or prosciutto and go full force. Parsley, shallot and creamier cheeses can be a nice, more mellowed way to go, perfect for family brunch.
Well I hope that helps add a little egg-variety to your life! There's so much we can do with eggs, it's a shame to make them the same way over and over again. Got some great egg ideas yourself? Send them my way!
As always, Happy Eating!