Post # 310 The Latest New/Old Superfood

November 17, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

In The Hobbit, Gollum and Bilbo engage in a riddle contest to determine if the Gollum is going to eat Bilbo or show him the way out of the caves.  One of those riddles is, “A box without hinges, key, or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid.”  The answer to that riddle is the subject of today’s post.

egg

I’ve written about eggs before, and undoubtedly will write about them again.  Eggs are good, and we’re finding out that they’re good for you.  I won’t go into the studies, science, or details, but nutritional experts everywhere are changing their minds about eggs.

Good.

I like eggs.

I know lots of funny stories about eggs.  Steven King once lost a babysitter because of eggs.  My little brother once tried to make green eggs and ham, with mixed results.  A coworker in Frankfurt, Germany could not peel a hard-boiled eggs correctly to save his life and earned the nickname “Egg Wrestler.”

But that’s not what I’m about today.

We’re going to talk about having eggs for dinner.  We do this a lot in our household.  About half the time, it’s good ole bacon and eggs with whatever else we feel like.  But the other half of the time, it gets a lot more complex, but still as tasty and simple as bacon and eggs.  Eggs are inexpensive and can go a long way.

Ever had Pasta Carbonara?  It’s a pasta and egg dish where the egg is cooked by the hot pasta and creates an unctuous sauce.  It’s totally simple.  Start water boiling for whatever pasta you’re going to use.  Traditionally, a long thin pasta is used like spaghetti or fettuccini, but whatever you have on hand is going to be okay.  Cook your pasta according to the directions.  While it’s cooking beat one egg per two servings of pasta.  Into the egg, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and about a quarter cup of parmesan cheese.  Fresh grated is best, but the powdered stuff in the jar works just as well.  Beat it all together well.  When the pasta is done, drain it and put it immediately in a large bowl.  Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss with wooden forks until all the pasta is completely coated and the egg has turned into a sauce.  Serve immediately.  Most of the time, I sprinkle it with extra cheese, and I toss fresh bacon crumbles into it while tossing the egg.  I’ve also seen some recipes that call for fresh steamed peas, or other vegetables.  I’m thinking sautéed mushrooms would be good, too.

pasta carbonara

 

However, eggs on top of pasta works for a ton of different dishes.  I’ve seen a poached egg put on top of plate of pasta.  When the diner breaks the egg, the yolk runs into the pasta and whatever is dressing the pasta to create a rich sauce.  The judges on Chopped seem to love this technique.

The Brits have a wonderful dish called Toad in the Hole.  It can be made many ways with sausages, meats, or eggs.  I’ve talked about it before on the blog, but it bears repeating.  Take a slice of good bread.  Cut a hole or a shape in the middle but save the piece you cut out.  Butter both sides of the bread.  Heat a non-stick skillet.  If you want sunny side up eggs, toast one side of the bread in the skillet, then turn it over.  Pour the eggs carefully into the cutout so they are directly on the skillet.  Cook carefully until the eggs are set.  Eat hot.  If you like your eggs fried solid, put the bread in the hot skillet and put the egg in immediately.  Flip the bread carefully with the egg in it.  Cook until done to taste.  You can also toast the cutout at the same time and serve it as an extra piece of toast to sop up the yolk.

toad in the hole

However, you take this up a few levels by making a crostini, or toasted cheese sandwich, or a mock cheese soufflé on toast and putting a poached or sunny side up egg on top of it.

Shirred Eggs is just a fancy way to say baked eggs.  They’re actually really good, and really easy.  I posted once about shirred eggs in a ramekin “nest” made from cooked spinach and cheese.  But then I found another recipe that sounds just as good and only requires two ingredients.  This recipe makes one so adjust as needed.  Heat your oven to 350.  Take one medium ramekin and spritz a little cooking spray or olive oil in it.  You only need a little.  Place the ramekin on a baking sheet.  Then take two pieces of prosciutto and line the ramekin folding in as necessary.  The prosciutto should not go over the top of the ramekin or it will burn.  If you do have burnt prosciutto, just use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to trim off the burn.  Cook the prosciutto in the ramekin by itself until it’s crispy, about five minutes or so.  Remove the ramekin from the oven and carefully place an egg into the ramekin with the prosciutto in it.  Cook in the oven until done to desired state.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.  Be careful as the ramekin will be hot.  If you’re very adept and careful, you can remove the prosciutto “cup” and serve it that way.

shirred eggs with prosciutto

The list goes on and on, but I’m going to leave you with a couple of vegetable dishes.  It’s easy to cook your favorite veggie and put a cooked egg on top just before serving.  I like to steam asparagus, squeeze some lemon over it, and add a lightly fried egg.  The picture shows it with a piece of prosciutto underneath which I’ve never tried, but I can’t imagine it being anything but good.

egg and asparagus

Finally, I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite ways to dress up Brussels Sprouts.  Lots of people don’t like them, but I’ve liked the “little baby cabbages” since I was five.  My favorite way to eat them is to steam them up with some salt, put them in the fridge to chill, and eat them icy cold with that touch of salt and juiciness from the steam.  Partner/Spouse introduced me to Brussels Sprouts Hash.  You take as many Brussels Sprouts as you want and cut them into shreds.  Then add chopped green onion, chopped regular onion or chopped leeks.  Fry some bacon in a large skillet and break into pieces.  Drain all the grease except 1-2 tablespoons, depending on how many vegetables you have.  Heat the grease and put all the chopped veggies in and stir fry until crisp tender.  Serve hot, BUT if you have a mind to, lightly fry or poach an egg.  Leave the yolk runny.  Gently place the egg on top of each serving.  As the yolk breaks and runs into the hot veggies, it creates a good sauce, similar to Carbonara.  Good stuff.

brussels sprouts hash

Enjoy!

 

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2 Comments

  1. What do you think about using bacon instead of the Prosciutto? You know I love me some bacon and one could even make a little cu too.

    • I’m all for using bacon in anything! Hell, chocolate cake with bacon sprinkles sounds good to me! But prosciutto and bacon are essentially the same thing, just different processing. Bacon would add a boatload more grease to whatever dish you were trying to make. That’s one consideration, apart from bacon’s flexibility in flavors, ie, smoked, maple, etc.


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