June – Eggs with Punch

June – Eggs with Punch

This simple and quick method of frying an egg elevates it to an entirely different plane, suitable for lunch or dinner. Why just delegate them to breakfast? It punches up the flavor profile and turns a simple egg into a special event.

Did you know that eggs are considered the perfect food? Want to know why? I am going to give you a snapshot, skip to the recipe if you don’t want a nutrition lesson.

  • Eggs contain high quality protein with the perfect mix of amino acids. Eggs contain all 21 amino acids that the body requires, including the 9 essential ones that we cannot make ourselves. As a food eggs are given a biological score of 100, which is perfect.
  • One egg contains (remember that all these nutrients with the exception of protein are contained in the yolk):
    • 9% of the RDA of B12
    • 15% of the RDA of B2
    • 6% of the RDA of Vitamin A
    • 7% of the RDA of B5
    • 22% of the RDA of Selenium
    • They also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body, that includes calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, and Folate.
    • A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of top quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.
    • One large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol and it has given eggs a bad rap. However, eggs have not been implicated in raising your bad cholesterol. The liver produces cholesterol every day. Studies have shown that if you eat cholesterol, your liver produces less. Eggs may actually improve your cholesterol profile because they tend to raise HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and change the LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) to a subgroup with is not associated with an increased chance of heart disease.
    • Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes. Those antioxidants significantly reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts, which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly.
  • Eggs for breakfast can help you lose body fat. They have a high satiety index, which is the measure of how satisfied and full you feel after eating them. Studies show that those individuals who eat eggs compared to comparable calories from a bagel, lost 65% more weight.
  • Remember that not all eggs are the same. If you can afford them, it is preferable to buy pastured eggs or those that are Omega-3 enriched. Hens that are raised in small cages in factories are fed a grain-based diet which alters the final nutrient composition of the eggs. Besides the humane reasons, buy the best quality eggs you can find (or raise your own chickens). You as well as the chickens will be healthier.

Ok, enough with the lecture.

Really, punch up the flavor profile of your eggs with this simple technique.

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 2 large organic, pasture raised eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sweet butter or olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika or calabrian chilis (to taste) – or zatar or curry powder or…

    Calabrian Chilis

    Calabrian Chilis

  • 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Method:

  1. Melt the butter or warm the olive oil in a small non-stick pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add your flavor choice and mix until the aroma begins to make you crazy.IMG_4522
  3. Add the half and half and briefly stir to mix everything together.

    Flavored Eggs

    Flavored Eggs

  4. Break 2 eggs into the pan, salt the tops of the eggs, cover and turn the heat down to medium.IMG_4524
  5. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, checking frequently. You want the yolk to be covered by a thin film of white while still staying runny.

    Perfectly Cooked Eggs

    Perfectly Cooked Eggs

  6. Serve with a grind of pepper if desired.

    Perfectly Fried Eggs

    Perfectly Fried Eggs

How do you like your eggs? I enjoy my own with a sliced tomato, the first of the season, for lunch.IMG_4529

I think I will take these to Angie’s for Fiesta Friday #122. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam.

December – Leftover Stuffing Strata

December – Leftover Stuffing Strata

Leftovers, I just love them. Here is a way to repurpose any leftover stuffing from Christmas. Any type will work although you might want to alter the type of cheese. I used goat cheese, parmesan would also be good. Toss in leftover greens to up the nutritional value.

I used leftovers from Kale and Caramelized Onion Stuffing in this strata but it would also have been delicious using my standard Sausage with Raisin Stuffing.

Leftover Stuffing Strata

  • Leftover stuffing – I had about 4 cups
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups half-and-half (or a mixture of cream and milk to make 2 cups)
  • 4 oz of soft goats cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Liberally butter a 2 quart baking dish
  3. In a large bowl combine the stuffing, eggs, milky mixture, and crumbled goats cheese
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish and let sit for at least 20 minutes to overnight
    Leftover Stuffing Strata

    Leftover Stuffing Strata

    Stuffing Strata

    Stuffing Strata

  5. Bake until the custard is set, this took about 55 minutes. If it was refrigerated, allow a few more minutes baking time.
  6. Let sit for 10 minutes once cooked before serving.

    Leftover Stuffing Strata

    Leftover Stuffing Strata

If you have more or less stuffing, adjust the components. It should be 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk to each cup of stuffing.

Leftover Stuffing Strata

Leftover Stuffing Strata

I’m taking this to Fiesta Friday #98, folks are thinking about their Christmas menu, better plan for leftovers. There are two new co-hosts to assist Angie from the Novice GardenerSadhna @ Herbs, Spices and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked.

April in the Kitchen – Eggs a La Goldenrod

April in the Kitchen – Eggs a La Goldenrod

This post is dedicated to the ladies in my freshman home economics class at Gulf High School in Florida. I recently returned from a “significant” class reunion where we were reminiscing about old times and laughing at our antics as young women. Eggs a La Goldenrod was one of the first things we learned to make in “home ec”. It was popular in home economics classes in the 60’s. In hindsight, it taught several useful basic techniques such as making toast, a basic white sauce, and hard boiling eggs. A perfectly boiled egg without that greenish ring around the yolk is a skill. Over boiled eggs are smelly and indigestible. See my note at the end for a perfectly cooked hard boiled egg.

Times have changed and home economics (as well as shop for boys) has gone the way of the dinosaurs, but Eggs a La Goldenrod remains. This recipe first appeared in a Betty Crocker cookbook during the 50’s. This is a perfect answer to “What do we do with all those colored hard boiled eggs?” left from Easter egg hunts.

Eggs a La Goldenrod

Eggs a La Goldenrod

Eggs a La Goldenrod

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of truffle oil (optional and not part of the original recipe)
  • 6 slices of hearty bread, toasted and buttered
  • chopped chives for garnish (optional and also not part of the original)
  1. In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and stir until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
  2. Add the milk, stirring with a whisk the entire time to prevent lumps. Cook over low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Add the optional teaspoon of truffle oil. Set aside.
  4. Separate the eggs whites from the yolk. Chop the whites and add them to the white sauce.
  5. Arrange the buttered toasted bread on a plate and pour the sauce over it.
  6. Grate the egg yolks over the sauce. Garnish with chives
  7. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Serve warm.
Eggs a La Goldenrod

Eggs a La Goldenrod

Note on cooking hard boiled eggs:

  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water by at least an inch.
  2. Bring the eggs and water to a rapid boil, then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Leave the pan on the burner. If you have a gas stove, turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and leave for 1 minute before turning off the heat.
  3. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 12 minutes.
  4. Drain and run cool water over the eggs.
  5. Peel when cool. Slightly older eggs are often easier to peel.
Hard boiled eggs

Hard boiled eggs

I am taking this to share with Angie and the gang at The Novice Gardener, it’s Fiesta Friday #62.

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

March in the Kitchen – Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Spring Peas

March in the Kitchen – Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Spring Peas

Happy Spring! My thoughts lately have been turning to Easter and the foods that define it, primarily eggs.

My garden has been producing a few handfuls of snap and snow peas, not enough at any one time for a full vegetable side. However the quantity is adequate for a supporting role with another key player, such as stir fried rice, pasta, or eggs. If you have never eaten snap or snow peas on the same day they are picked, you are in for a treat. They are sweet and juicy, nothing like the starchy three-day old peas you find at the grocers. Grab a bag full if you see them at your local farmer’s market and be sure to cook then the same day. With older peas use a trick of my mother’s,  add a pinch of sugar to the pan while cooking them. You could also use frozen regular peas. This is the perfect dish to serve at a spring brunch.

If you are lucky enough to have your own chickens, this dish is star quality. For years we had backyard chickens and the eggs were amazing, with bright orange yolks. Unfortunately, to our great sadness, the last one died about six years ago. She was 12 which is a very advanced age for a chicken. Atlas (that was her name) was a pet and hadn’t laid an egg in years, but she would follow me around the garden happily eating any insects or slugs I discovered while gardening. One day I hope to have chickens again, we were the number one tourist stop in the neighborhood.

Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Spring Peas (serves 4)

  • 2 cups snap and/or snow peas, stringed, rinsed, and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more for the eggs
  • 9-10 eggs (preferably organic and pastured)
  • 1 tablespoon of water or heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • Additional salt and pepper as needed
  1.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. When it stops foaming, add the peas to the pan. Saute for 2 minutes or until bright green.
  3. Meanwhile, scramble the eggs in a bowl with a tablespoon of water or heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Add the eggs to the skillet with the peas, sprinkle with the goat cheese, and turn the heat down to medium.
  5. Gently cook the eggs, pushing the eggs around in the pan until large curds form. Don’t hurry this process or over stir the eggs. Cook to your liking (my family likes soft curds but your own might like the eggs cooked longer) this took about 5 minutes.

Serve with buttered sourdough toast.

Sam - son of Priscilla

Sam – son of Priscilla

 

Scrambled eggs with goat cheese and spring peas

Scrambled eggs with goat cheese and spring peas

The Cookbook Guru – Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

The Cookbook Guru – Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book” is the January and February selection for the Cookbook Guru. This is an on-line virtual book club for cookbook fans.

Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

Here is how it works, at the beginning of every second month a recipe book is  announced, you get the next two months to pick a recipe from that book and create a post around it. If this sounds like something that you’d be interested in being a part of, make sure you jump over to The Cookbook Guru for the new year’s book list and to see how it all works.  Join in for one or all books, or just follow along to see what we create.  The more people we have as part of the book club the more value we get out of the experience and our current members are passionate foodies and regular commenters that love to talk about each of our experiences with the books we have been cooking from.

If you would like to join but don’t have a food blog, you can still be part. Check out the Facebook Page and post your photographs and comments there. You can also post photos of Instagram, be sure to tag the group @thecookbookguru.

For me cookbooks verge on an obsession and no opportunity to sample another gets past me. A book club with like minded individuals is a joy! I was already familiar with Jane Grigson as I had an earlier book of hers, “Good Times”. It was one of the first books in my collection. Jane Grigson deserves a place with other early pioneers of wonderful food like Elizabeth David and Julia Child. She was part of a revolution in the kitchen.

The first thing my husband said on seeing the book was “What, no pictures!” Modern cookbooks have gorgeous photographs and a whole food styling industry has grown up around it. I sometimes think that the recipes have suffered and taken second place. This book has some simple line drawings but no pictures. The emphasis is on the recipes.

I did find that some of recipes in this cookbook are more a set of directions than a detailed description. None of the recipes seemed overly complicated or filled with exotic ingredients, but I think beginning cooks might have a difficult time. Her assumption is that you are fairly comfortable in the kitchen.

As a gardener I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of various vegetables, some of them were unfamiliar to me (even more fun). Each chapter is a different vegetable or family group of vegetables; she includes entertaining background information as well as recipes. It is a fun book to read and will become a valuable reference.

That being said, I found some of the recipes dated. I definitely see the touch of the 70’s. Cooking and styles of eating have changed since then. It took me quite a while to settle on a recipe although I gained inspiration for several other posts.

Persian Spinach Kuku

Persian Spinach Kuku

I decided to make (it’s the name that got me):

PERSIAN SPINACH KUKU

Or KUKUYE ESPANAJ

This is essentially a flat Spanish tortilla, or crustless quiche, or omelet made with spinach, potato and eggs. There is no cheese, something I might add next time. I think the flavor would be improved by a touch of Parmesan.

  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb (1/2 kg) of spinach, blanched and chopped (I used two small bags of organic baby spinach, blanched for 2 minutes)
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt, pepper, pinch sugar (I did not use), lemon juice (I used grated lemon rind)
browning onions and potatoes

browning onions and potatoes

  1. Blanch the spinach in a few tablespoons of boiling water, stirring to make sure it all cooks. Drain, pressing down to get rid of all the liquid. Chop and put into a large bowl.
  2. Peel the potato and cut into small to medium dice.
  3. Melt the butter or warm the olive oil in a non-stick oven proof skillet on medium high heat.
  4. Add the potato and sauté until beginning to brown.
  5. Meanwhile chop the onion, add it to the skillet with the potato. Continue to cook until the onion is softened and potato is golden brown.
  6. Add the mixture to the bowl with the spinach and mix. Season well with salt, pepper and lemon rind or juice.
  7. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then add them to the spinach mixture.
  8. Melt the second 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil to the skillet, and pour in the spinach/egg/potato/onion mix. Flatten it to an even layer.
  9. Cover and heat on medium for 15 minutes. The center should just be firm.
  10. At this point you can either broil the top to brown it, or slide it out onto a plate and turn to brown the other side. Bake a few minutes longer.
Into the skillet

Into the skillet

Persian Spinach Kuku

Persian Spinach Kuku

This can also be baked in a gratin dish and served with tomato sauce or yogurt.

I cut it into triangles and we had it for brunch. It was delicious cold the next day. A bit of crumbled bacon would be a good addition.

IMG_2543