Tag Archives: eggs

Easy and Delicious French Toast

6 Sep

French toast was a special treat when my brother and I were small. The very name seemed elegant and the stacks of golden bread looked so beautiful and the maple syrup was so heady and rich. Who knew it was as basic as bread dipped in egg and fried?

French toast is happy food!

French toast is happy food!

So, much to the delight of a certain six-year-old, I took advantage of my first day off of the semester (L’shana tovah to all of those celebrating the new year this week) and made some for breakfast yesterday, with (shock,horror) white sliced bread that I had in the freezer simply because they were giving it away at the Stop & Shop and I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste!

I cut off the crusts in a familial reflex (that’s what my parents used to do) but I realized that I didn’t have to! At any rate, the crusts became the bread crumbs for my meatballs later, so no matter.

So, basic French toast. An easy treat! Would love to hear how you dress up yours (click here for an cool story on Burning Man French toast).

The sliced apples were a big hit with the French toast, dipped judiciously in the maple syrup and cinnamon.

The sliced apples were a big hit with the French toast, dipped judiciously in the maple syrup and cinnamon.

French Toast

1-2 Tbs butter

3 eggs

¼ Cup milk

8 Slices of bread

Maple syrup

Cinnamon

Melt the butter in a skillet at medium to medium high.

Beat the eggs and milk together on plate or bowl that is wide enough to accommodate a slice of bread, but won’t spill over.

Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture just before placing in the skillet (do not soak the bread). Cook about two minutes on each side. Serve with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon or your favorite topping.

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Pasta Frittata: A delicious solution for leftovers!

13 Aug

I recently had a delicious veggie-filled frittata during a boat trip with my friend, Chef Deborah Pittorino of The Greenporter Hotel in Long Island’s wine country. We ended up fishing for baby bluefish off the dock

Baby bluefish

Baby bluefish

and having some luck there (and enjoying an incredibly show of juvenile ospreys…I will include Leandro’s amazing picture here!)

Osprey, by Leandro

Osprey, by Leandro

The frittata was a wonderful pick-me-up after a morning of unsuccessful fishing. It fueled us just enough to keep trying. I have yet to get the recipe for Deborah’s version but it reminded me that I have been sitting on my own frittata recipe for a couple of weeks and it is high time to share it with you, especially during summer high season for eggs!

A frittata is a wonderful way to take tiny bits of this and that and bind them in egg to make a hearty yet light picnic-worthy meal that is totally fun. You can slice them into wedges and make them into finger food, or serve them on a proper plate with salad greens and crusty bread, sliced thin.

Light but filling, rustic but delicate...these are a perfect light meal

Light but filling, rustic but delicate…these are a perfect light meal

I learned to make them in Italy, where folks take leftover pasta and cook it up with eggs so it is similar to a Spanish tortilla or an omelette with the ingredients blended into the egg as opposed to being wrapped in egg. You will want a skillet that can go from stove top to broiler to finish the top. The following recipe is designed to use up leftovers, but you may also want to try my Duck Egg and Asparagus Frittata or a classic Spanish Tortilla.

This is really easy to do and the results are so satisfying so read on for the recipe!! Continue reading

Easy Stir-Fried Rice (with the secrets for tasty, good-looking egg bits!)

25 Sep

I have always loved stir-fried rice, but as I’ve gotten older, I am less and less satisfied with the greasy stuff at the Chinese takeaway. And as I’ve gotten older, I cook more meals and therefore have more bits and bobs laying around getting ugly in the fridge. You know, half an onion here, a bit of cold rice there, some veggie bits that aren’t quite enough for one serving on their own, but make a pretty good pile if thrown together. And I always have eggs.

Just pour the lightly beaten egg in and leave it cook on medium.

Stir-fry, therefore, is perfect. It uses everything up (virtue), fulfills my veggie quota (more virtue), and gives us a vacation from my usual seasonings to go more Asian (variety). And now that I know the easy secret of how to get the egg bits looking and tasting great, well I think I am positively gourmet. It’s already vegetarian; vegans can skip the eggs and pan-sear super-firm tofu instead. Continue reading

Egg Salad…Amped

11 Apr

Have you ever seen the MTV show “Pimp My Ride” where a beat-up, tin-can of a vehicle gets a total tarted-up makeover- complete with features like aquariums and shoe racks and hydraulic surfboard lifters?

Well, sometimes I like to play culinary “Pimp My____________(fill in the blank with your favorite, but somewhat tired go-to everyday recipe).” You know, take a dull salad and add grilled shrimp and fruit, or top your morning toast with salmon and creme fraiche, or add truffle oil to any old thing to make it special.

The Chinese make cracks in eggs before hard-boiling in tea to make "1,000 year old eggs" -- that's my excuse for the rather oddly-colored post-Easter eggs you see here...

In honor of the ridiculous number of luridly-dyed hard-boiled eggs in my post-Easter fridge, today’s episode is “Pimp My Egg Salad.” Just add a number of tasty pantry items to a normal egg salad and voila! You have a hottie-hottie, hot-hot, lunch where before sat a bland and boring boiled egg.

By the way, to boil eggs perfectly, set them in cold water that covers by an inch. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for ten minutes. Drain and shock the eggs in ice water (to help the peeling later). Using eggs that are not farm-fresh will make them easier to peel (more air between shell and membrane).

 

Look closely and you'll see that blue color....

Egg Salad…Amped

4 hard-boiled eggs

2 Tbs mayonnaise

1-2 tsps prepared mustard

1 tsp minced red onion (optional)

1 tsp capers, drained

Five large pitted black olives, sliced

1 Tbs roasted red pepper, diced

Salt to taste

Dash of sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Salt to taste and add hot sauce if desired. Serve in a sandwich on toast or atop a salad.

Fast track Spanish-style tortilla (camping friendly, no potatoes)

22 Jul

I love me some camp stove scrambled eggs, but it is not hard to step up the game a bit and make something fancier and more satisfying, even in the minimalist camp kitchen. The following recipe makes for rocking outdoor breakfast/brunch eggs: a cross between an omelette and a tortilla.

This is where you learn that it doesn’t have to have potatoes to be a tortilla…this one celebrates the zucchini season, but amps up the wow factor with a bit of spicy chorizo. It does justice to that big appetite that the outdoor life gives you, but cuts cooking and prep time in half.

(Love that fresh local flavor: my eggs come from Makinajian Poultry Farm in Huntington. It is hard to mess up eggs when they are that good)

Take your omelette to a new level....

Shortcut tortilla for camping

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

½ medium onion, peeled and diced

½ medium zucchini, diced

3-4 oz Spanish (hot, dry) chorizo, peeled and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Set aside the lightly-beaten eggs in a large bowl.

Heat half the olive oil until fragrant in an 8 or 9 inch skillet, then add onion and zucchini and sauté until tender. Remove from heat and stir vegetables into the egg mixture.

Wipe skillet (leaving a bit of grease) and add chorizo, cooking at medium until it begins releasing its oil. Then add to egg mixture and allow to rest five minutes. In the meantime, wipe the skillet and add remaining oil. Heat the oil on medium high until fragrant and add egg mixture, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper.

Once the bottom of the egg mixture begins to set, shake pan to loosen and lower heat to medium. Cover and cook five minutes or until the whole egg mixture looks mostly set. Uncover and place a flat plate on top of the egg mixture and carefully turn skillet over so tortilla comes out. Slide tortilla back into the skillet and cook the other side till set. You may flip it several times until completely set.

Flip finished tortilla out of pan and onto plate. Allow to cool somewhat before cutting into wedges and serving.

Party Snacks: Devilishly Good Stuffed/Deviled Eggs

3 Jul

One of the keys to a good summer dinner party is to have plenty of cold (make ahead) dishes that will delight your guests, give them a chance to ease into the party and buy you time to serve drinks and get the grilled stuff on the table.

This is the first of several posts that will help you set up a beautiful and tasty cold appetizer table (with wonderful leftovers).

Deviled eggs may sound like a throwback to the days of dubious casseroles, mystery meat and hallucinogenically-colored gelatin dishes with — oh God — marshmallows, but please reconsider. Stuffed eggs have an illustrious history, have been popular since Ancient Roman days (at least according to www.devilledeggs.com) and were served in 13th century Andalusia, Spain.

So, we’re talking — not bad 70s potluck fare — but classic tapas of the highest order. That they are finger food only adds to their charm; I believe hands-on food brings guests closer and requires less fuss in setting the table.

My stuffed eggs are very simple to make and always disappear very quickly from the buffet table. Rather than incorporate hot pepper into the creamy center, I like to add a dab of sriracha hot pepper sauce to the top of half the stuffed eggs (so those who don’t like spice can enjoy them also).

Top up these tapas with hot sauce….

Devilishly Good Stuffed Eggs (makes 12-14 servings)

6-7 fresh eggs

3 Tbs prepared mayonnaise

1-2 Tbs nonfat plain yogurt

2 tsp prepared mustard

1 tsp minced parsley leaves

Salt to taste (not usually necessary because of the mayo and mustard)

Sriracha, if desired, or several pinches of ground cayenne pepper

Perfect hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs in saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil,  and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover  for ten minutes. Drain and place in ice water until cool.

When eggs are cool, peel and slice in half. Pop out yolks into a large bowl, placing whites on a serving tray. To the bowl add mayo, yogurt, mustard and parsley and mash into a creamy paste. Place in a ziplock bag, jamming into one corner. Snip off the corner point and squeeze into the holes of the egg whites (as if you were icing a cake; my son enjoys helping with this). Apply one dab of sriracha to each egg if desired or garnish with pinches of cayenne.

Serve with dry white wine, dry rosé (from Long Island!) or a dry sparkler.

Egg Salad: Classic Comfort in No-Time-Flat

28 Feb
I’ve been on a bit of an egg kick lately. While eggs can do marvellous food-science type things if separated and whipped just so and folded in just right at just the right temperature, right now I am celebrating their simplicity.

 

When was the last time you had a light and easy egg salad? This version is creamy and light and a bit tangy, thanks to the yogurt and the mustard. I took it to a friend’s for a playdate, where it met with success! It makes a good addition to any party buffet table too.
Egg Salad (makes four generous sandwiches or four big scoops to top green salad)

Eight fresh eggs*

3 Tbs mayonnaise

1 Tbs non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt

1 Tbs your favorite mustard

Pinch of salt/pinch of cayenne pepper/sprinkle of parsley/grating of pepper, if desired

Place eggs in a pot with cold water to cover. Bring the water to a boil. Lower heat to simmer for five minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Leave covered for ten minutes, then drain and soak in ice water.  The yolk turns green from overcooking, so if you find that your yolks are turning green, next time skip the simmer, remove from heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes.

When the eggs are cooled, crack them and peel. Chop roughly and place in bowl. Add mayo, yogurt and mustard and mix well. Play around with the amount of wet ingredients until you get it the way you like. Season to taste and serve on crackers, toast or salad.

*(if you are not sure whether your eggs are fresh, put them in water to cover. A fresh egg will sink. A fresh-enough egg will float up on one end while the other end stays on the bottom. A rotten egg will float.

Also, I purchase organic eggs regularly and farmer’s market/friend’s eggs when I can get them. Large-scale egg production in this country is way out of scale with what is safe. I don’t want to be the heavy on this one, so if you are interested, you can visit food expert Marion Nestle’s blog and read it for yourself. http://www.foodpolitics.com/tag/eggs/  In any case, if you are buying conventional/supermarket eggs, please cook them thoroughly )

 

 

 

You are just four ingredients away from happiness.

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