Tag Archives: egg

Shirred Eggs

 

The first ever food challenge is EGGS! I chose eggs because they are versatile and cheap. They also appeal to vegetarians and meat eaters. They are a superfood, a near complete protein with plenty of vitamins and nutrients. They can be incredibly easy in the form of hard boiled or scrambled, or some of the most complex intimidating dishes people encounter: souffles and quiches.

My entry is the shirred or baked egg. This is a yummy, easy dish to make that is very versatile. It can use up leftovers and makes for a quick weekend breakfast; it may be a little on the slow side for weekday breakfasts.

In my version I buttered the small baking dish then cut a slice of sourdough to fit in the dish. I cracked two eggs into the dish then put green salsa on top. Finally I sprinkled “Mexican Mix” cheese on top. these baked in the oven for about twelve minutes at 375 degrees. I would have liked them a little more cooked and I think I should have toasted the bread first because it got slightly soggy. Otherwise it was really tasty!

Saffron Omelet

A couple of months ago I splurged on some saffron. I think I’ve used it once or twice and forgot about it in my spice cabinet. I’ve been afraid to use it since saffron is incredibly expensive. The other night I was hungry, it was late, and I was slightly inebriated so I decided to make an omelet. Have I also mentioned that I’m really poor and don’t buy meat? Eggs are cheap, simple, and quick. I’ve recently figured out the key to making delicious omelets: lots of margarine or butter and a non-stick pan.

This was two eggs beaten with salt, pepper, and a pinch of saffron threads. I heated up about two tablespoons of margarine (this was more than enough, I had to pour some out of the pan when I was finished) and then added my eggs. I was able to slide my omelet right out of the pan and onto my plate this time. Amazing!

Two Egg Omelette

This morning after my walk I decided I wanted to make an omelette for breakfast. I had in my mind that I would make a duck egg omelette. I don’t know why, but I wanted to try duck eggs. I drove over to Whole Foods because I believed they sold individual eggs including duck eggs. Disappointingly they do not sell individual eggs anymore and they do not sell duck eggs. I bought organic eggs instead. I also organic loose leaf spinach, a snack sized piece of kerrygold cheddar, and an avocado.

I have tried to make omelettes before and have always failed, ending up with scrambled eggs and toppings. This time I used a non-stick skillet, plenty of margarine, low-temperature, and patience. I came out with a pretty nice looking and delicious tasting omelette.

Two Egg Omelette

  • two eggs
  • 1 tbsp. margarine
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 oz. kerrygold dubliner cheddar
  • 3/4 cup spinach

1. Heat non-stick skillet with margarine on medium low heat. Whisk eggs until frothy. Add eggs to the skillet once margarine is melted and make sure the eggs are evenly spread on the surface of the pan.

2. While the eggs are cooking, cut the avocado, shred the cheese, and tear up spinach into smaller pieces.

3. It will take about five to seven minutes for the omelette to cook. Once the eggs are set, add filling on one side. Add cheese first, then avocado, and then spinach. This will ensure that the cheese melts. To fold the omelette, gently work the spatula underneath the non-filling side of the eggs, lift up carefully, and fold over the filling side. Slide the omelette off the skillet onto the plate.

It’s just another egg in the hole

Sorry I had Pink Floyd running through my head while I was writing the title of this blogpost. I made another egg in the hole this weekend. I love egg in the hole. It’s super quick and tasty. I don’t have to toast bread seperately. I cook everything in one pan.

This time I used California Black Bread and an organic, free range egg and coated my pan with spicy chili oil. I only use organic, free range eggs not just because I’m a hipster snob about food but because they taste better, their yolks are bigger and prettier, and I don’t have to think about the freaky chicken blobs laying eggs. I’m totally weirded out by the chicken blobs.

I served this with half an avocado and chili powder.  A spicy and delicious start to the day.

Rice with Poached Egg

I am terrible at making rice without a rice maker. I can never seem to get the texture correct. The outside is mushy and the inside is undercooked. I always do the right proportion of water to rice, I cook it the amount of time that the recipe says, yet I am a failure at making rice. However, the rice is not inedible so I will end up eating at least one serving of it and throwing the rest out.

This week I made brown rice with a broth, blanched asparagus, and a poached egg. The egg, broth, and asparagus came out nicely. I will have to keep working on my rice cooking skills.

Rice with Poached Egg

  • one serving of cooked brown rice (you can also use white rice, if you like)
  • one egg
  • water
  • soy sauce
  • sriracha sauce
  • not-chicken chicken broth (this comes in a powder at one of the grocery stores I shop at)
  • nutritional yeast

Note: I made this broth on the fly and I didn’t measure anything. It definitely came out with an Asian influenced flavor.

1. Boil water and add chicken broth powder. Stir in the rest of spices and nutritional yeast. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer. Crack egg into broth. Do not disrupt the egg at this point. You want to keep your white and yolk whole.

Note: To make sure an egg is fresh fill a cup with cold water. Add the egg to the cup. If the egg floats then the egg is bad. If it sinks to the bottom it is still good to use.

2. Remove the egg from the broth with a slotted spoon once the white has set and the yolk gives but is slightly firm to the touch. If you prefer a harder yolk then let it cook for longer. Put this aside with your rice.

3. Add chopped asparagus to the broth and cook briefly. Put in a cup of cold water to cool it down and stop the cooking the process. This is one of those things that I keep checking for doneness. I like my asparagus still fairly crisp, but not bitter the way raw asparagus can be.

4. Place rice in a bowl, top with poached egg, pour broth over egg and rice. Then add the asparagus. Enjoy!

Don’t Let the Cat out of the Bag Eggs

There are many names for this kind of dish. I mostly call it Egg in the Hole, but I’ve heard it called a number of names: egg in the basket, toad in the hole, and bird’s nest. I looked it up on Wikipedia to see what other names they had:

Rocky Mountain toast, egg-in-a-basket, moon egg, egg-in-the-hole, one-eyed Jack, bird’s nest, gas house eggs, the Elephant Egg Bagel, frog in a hole, camp eggs or camper’s eggs, bull’s eye, egg in bed, egg(y)-in-a-bread(y), moon toast, Moon over Miami, Popeye, Lone Ranger, Wink Eye, and Cowboy Eggs.

Essentially its a fried egg in a hole in a piece of bread, a waffle, or even a bagel. I used California Black Bread from a local bakery. I love this bread. I love this bread even more when there is a delicious egg in it. I love this bread even more when there is a delicious egg on it topped with avocado topped with pesto. I think somewhere in the dictionary next to the definition of love are those things put together.

Now this is a dish that unfortunately can never be vegan. Don’t even try. Don’t even try with your tofu scramble. It won’t work. It is not the same. You can never replace eggs this way. There is no oozing runny yellow egg yolk in a tofu scramble. In fact, in my humble opinion, there is nothing but rubbery weirdness in a tofu scramble. Here come the protests…

I want to tell you the story as to how I came to like runny egg yolks. Growing up, I detested eggs in all forms except for scrambled or omelets. I did not like hardboiled eggs because my mother would boil them until the yolks were greyish-green. I thought that was what all hard-boiled eggs looked like. I would refuse to eat the yolks and just eat the whites. I believed I did not like runny egg yolks into my adult years. It was not until I was drunk one night at Santa Cruz Diner that I decided I needed to try runny eggs. So I got eggs over easy with pancakes and bacon. OH MY GOD. Why had I not been eating these? For a while after that I had to try everything with runny egg yolks, the most important of all was egg’s benedict. That’s right, until I was twenty-two years old I had never had egg’s benedict because I was convinced that runny egg yolks were disgusting. I was missing something very vital and important in my life until that point. People, do not be afraid of the runny yolks.

My egg in the hole today is named Don’t Let the Cat out of the Bag Eggs because I used a cat cookie cutter and the bread is the bag. What came out was pretty damn delicious, quick, and filling for lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread (I used California Black Bread)
  • margarine, butter, or oil (I used olive oil spray and a non-stick pan)
  • half an avocado, sliced lengthwise
  • pesto sauce
  • alfalfa sprouts

You can top your egg with anything you want or not top it at all. I bet you could make a killer hollandaise sauce to go on it or use salsa and cheese. I used to go to this coffee shop that would do the egg-in-the-hole with avocado, smoked cheddar, salsa, and your choice of Canadian bacon or bacon. It was pretty damn good and that was back when I was doing hard yolks (I’d always ask for it hard and they would look at me like I was missing a significant part of my brain).

1. Heat a skillet on medium with margarine, butter, or oil. Cut a hole in your bread. I used a cat cookie cutter, but you could use a glass. You want to use a large piece of bread not, a small piece or your egg is going overwhelm the bread. This would be a great way to use the heel of the bread because face it, no one eats the heel of the bread. Place the bread in the skillet and crack the egg into the hole. Put a lid over the skillet to cook the top of the egg.

2. When the bottom part of the egg is cooked (you will smell it, if you can’t then use a spatula to lift up and check it), flip your basket over and to cook the white. This will take very little time. Don’t forget to add your cat or circle or whatever shape you used and toast it in the skillet.

3. Carefully remove the bread and egg from the skillet. Place the alfalfa sprouts on top of the bread. On top of the alfalfa, add the avocado, salt, and pesto sauce. Then place your cat (or circle, you totally boring unimaginative person) on top to make it look like there is a dead animal on your food.

Tri-Grain Salad

Today I showed up for babysitting and my clients were not home. They had not called me or texted me or emailed me. I thought that I was supposed to come today, but the driveway gate was closed and no one answered the door when I rang. So, I had the evening off to cook. I went straight away to Staff of Life Market in the mid-town area of Santa Cruz. For the vegans and veggies out there, Staff of Life is amazing. They have vegan hot food bar choices, baked goods, and tons of supplements, flours, and starches. Amazing.

I decided I wanted to make a multi-grain, multi-pulse salad. What came out was delicious, though a little soggy. My landlord thought it even looked, smelled, and tasted great. She usually looks at my food with a big “Huh” on her face and says “oh, that looks interesting”. It was salty, sweet, tangy with a variety of textures.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup soft wheat berries
  • 5 medjool dates (you could use dried apricots instead)
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries (you could use raisins if you prefer)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 pkg. steamed yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pineapple salad vinegar (use whatever vinegar you have on hand)
  • sunflower oil
  • agave nectar

1. Boil a large pot of water. While water is boiling, chop carrots, dates, and avocados. Put wheat berries and rice into pot. Let boil for five minutes. Add red lentils to the pot. Boil another five minutes. Add carrots to the pot and boil. After five minutes, add millet and boil all grains until done. Then add an egg and stir. The egg is definitely optional if you want a vegan dish.

2. While the grains are cooking, microwave steam in the bag corn. You could definitely use fresh corn and I recommend doing that, but I had the frozen corn handy. Do not use canned corn. Do not use canned corn ever. If you use canned corn I will stop speaking to you because it is revolting.

3. Add dates, corn, cranberries, avocado, and chickpeas to a large bowl. Add some salt and pepper to this mix. Add minced garlic to this mix.

4. When the grains are done cooking, drain them over the sink very very well. Like through a flour sifter. I did not do this and my salad came out a little wet. Then add them to the dried fruit and chickpea mix. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add salad vinegar (I think this would be bomb with balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar) and sunflower oil. Mix until combined. I let mine cool a bit. I think it would be even better refrigerated. Then I added pesto on top of this and mixed.

Restaurant Reviews

As a recent traitor to omnivorism and convert to cooking vegan, I feel very lucky to live in an area with as many options as Santa Cruz has. Going out to eat is not difficult, it’s not as easy as it was before, but it’s definitely do-able and delicious. There are a couple restaurants in Santa Cruz that are purely vegetarian/vegan: Saturn Cafe, Malabar/Asian Rose, Charlie Hong Kong (I think, though I’m not 100%), Alfresco, and Dharmas.  There is also Black China Bakery which has a great variety of fine vegan desserts. I have only been once to the actual bakery, but they sell their desserts at some local grocery stores and coffee houses. Many of the restaurants have a large variety of vegetarian items.

This weekend Andrew and I got food from Yan Flower, Zachary’s, the Falafel House, and Sitar. Ugh, that’s a lot of eating out, but we almost always cook. On Friday night we got food at Yan Flower before going to see Robin Hood.  Before this weekend Andrew was convinced that there was no Chinese food restaurant that was better than competent. I told him that Yan Flower was pretty good compared to all others in Santa Cruz and therefore could possibly be considered “good”.  We got hot tea, vegetable potstickers, white steamed rice, salty and chilli pepper tofu, and Andrew got Mongolian Lamb. The potstickers were very good, but a little hot (as in temperature) and I almost burned my mouth. The rice was actually good for steamed rice: fluffy and tender. The salty and chilli pepper tofu was fried tofu, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and onions. It was not as salty or spicy as I remember it, but the tofu texture was great. Andrew described it as “egg like” and he enjoyed it as much as he could enjoy tofu. He said the Mongolian Lamb was very good as well.

After taking the night to recover from the mediocrity that was Robin Hood (or Gladiator 2010: Time Travel to The Dark Ages), Andrew and I got breakfast at Zachary’s. Zachary’s is an insanely popular breakfast venue on the main drag downtown. It usually would be insanely crowded at 9am on a Saturday, but we were lucky due to the craptastic weather that we are experiencing mid-May.

I got coffee with soy milk, tofu scramble with avocado, vegan home fries, and oatmeal molasses bread. They make their breads in house and they are all amazing, but oatmeal molasses is my favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed the bread with the avocado spread on it and the home fries were tasty. Tofu scramble just isn’t my thing and this had a rotting garlic scent to it. Andrew enjoyed his scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes with Earl Grey Tea.

Later that day we went to check out the Greek Festival in downtown Santa Cruz. There wasn’t anything to it this year: just a bunch of different food booths. This was mostly desserts with a gyro place and another place where you could get souvlaki. There was no falafel which was what Andrew was looking for. Instead we ended up going to the Falafel House on Walnut Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. The Falafel House is a Syrian/Middle Eastern restaurant. I got the vegetarian combo platter which consisted of baba ghanoush, pita bread, taboulleh salad, falafel, and hummus. Now, I fucked up. I ate the regular yogurt sauce on the falafel instead of the vegan tahini sauce. I didn’t know that they were going to put the yogurt sauce on the falafel and I didn’t feel like bothering them to change it.

I enjoyed the falafel, hummus, and pita bread. I liked the baba ghanoush as well which surprised me since I don’t like eggplant. I definitely think I make better hummus though. I didn’t like the taboulleh salad too much, but I still tried to eat it and it wasn’t wretched. I think I don’t like taboulleh. Another great thing about the Falafel House is the fact that they are always playing Syrian MTV or some other music video channel. Oh and they’re onion rings are amazing.

Today we went out for lunch/dinner instead of cooking because we were bummed after the Sharks losing the first game of the conference finals. Andrew got pizza at Pizza My Heart (a local San Francisco Bay Area chain that began in Capitola). My favorite slice at PMH is pesto. It was the first thing with pesto that I ever liked and converted me to a pesto lover. Screw you campus dining halls for making me afraid of pesto for so long.

At Sitar, I got Chana Masala (vegan chickpea/garbanzo bean curry), vegan naan, basmat rice, ice berg lettuce crap in a compartment, and raita (which I didn’t eat since it’s made with yogurt). The chana masal had wonderful texture: thick sauce, creamy garbanzo beans, melt in your mouth pieces of onion, but it the curry could have been spicier. The rice was a good texture and the naan was good.

Scrambled Eggs and Cinnamon Toast

I have not been much in the mood to cook lately. I’ve taken on a new client and am working more hours after my school job. I did have the chance yesterday to make myself a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs with mozzarella cheese, cinnamon sugar toast, and coffee.

First I mixed two eggs with cayenne, salt, pepper, tapatio, and a teaspoon of minced garlic. I scrambled them over medium heat and then folded in reduced-fat mozzarella cheese.  I used white bread for the toast. I buttered it, sprinkled some splenda and cinammon on top and enjoyed. My coffee is a butterscotch toffee flavor that I would never buy again, but will endure because I need a caffeine fix every morning.

I have to say it turned out pretty darn tasty. It was nice to eat a breakfast that wasn’t bought standing in line or from a cardboard box.

Last Day of Leftovers

Today was my last day of using the leftover jambalaya rice mixture. Today dinner consisted of scrambled eggs, jambalaya rice, ranch style pinto beans, babybel cheese, and avocado. I love avocados. They’re my favorite food.

I always mix my eggs before putting them in the skillet. Today I mixed them with garlic salt and pepper. Sometimes I add cayenne sometimes garlic powder or chili powder. I scrambled these in a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. While those were cooking I microwaved the rice, beans, and cheese. When the eggs were done I added the rice and bean mixture on top and added sliced avocado. It was tasty, but I’m glad I’ve gotten through the jambalaya leftovers.