Eggs Archive

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

spinach and smashed egg toast

spinach and smashed egg toast

What do you make yourself for lunch, if nobody else is around? I bet you’re hoping I’m going to say something ambitious, like “a gently poached chicken breast, cooled and sliced across a vegetable salad with a hand-whisked vinaigrette,” because that happens, ever. Or maybe you’re hoping that this is where I tell you about my secret peanut butter fluff with crumbled potato chip sandwich habit, alas, I’m not even interesting enough at lunchtime to be scandalous. The sad truth is, if I’ve by some miracle found a couple hours to get work done in relative peace, I’m ecstatic, and I find hunger an inconvenience. If I must succumb, whatever I make for lunch must be quick, and tends to fall into the Stuff On Bread category: avocado, olive oil, lemon and sea salt, peanut butter (always low-brow) and jam (always fancy), or, smashed soft egg.

bread, spinach, dijon, shallot, goat cheese, eggs
minced shallot

I made a big fuss about poaching eggs a few years ago because I loved them but had a hard time getting them right at home. Once I did, I was triumphant, but nevertheless, have probably not made one in over a year, or not since I discovered that there’s an even simpler route to that cooked-white-loose-yolk-soft-edge nirvana. Soft-boiled eggs require no vinegar, no teeming water and no whirlpools, but they peel like a dream. My favorite way to eat them is broken open on toasted and buttered whole-grain bread, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

two ounces of baby spinach

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

egg salad with pickled celery and coarse dijon

egg salad with pickled celery and coarse dijon

Someone pointed out to me a few weeks ago that this site has not a single recipe in the archives for egg salad. However, unlike the time I realized the broccoli archives boasted but a single recipe (and quickly sought to populate it) or the time I accepted that a quickie from-scratch homemade chicken noodle soup deserves a place in every arsenal, the egg salad-shaped hole in the archives went unnoticed less due to editorial oversight and more because, well, you know: egg salad; it’s pretty dull. Could anything be more uninspired than an amalgamation of smashed-up hard-boiled eggs and the dreaded mayonnaise? I mean, have you seen the yellow, flavorless mounds of dubious origin and assembly date most delis scoop onto a slice of bread and try to pass off as lunch? It would hardly make an enthusiast out of you. Or anyone.

hoping they're perfect inside
whisking the pickling liquid + helper

But for those of us who see past the lack of beauty-queen stature and fervor around it, we know egg salad can be rather delicious if made properly, which is to say, at home, with perfectly cooked eggs and just enough dressing to cling, not drown them. At home, I make three small additions that I think transform it from the unglamorous status-quo to something I find crunchy, bright and absolutely perfect on a slice of whole-grain toasted bread in the middle of the day. The first is that I love to use coarse, or whole-grain Dijon mustard. Not only is it the prettiest thing in my fridge, the combination of the faintly crisp/crackly seeds and its milder flavor are heavenly here, adding texture and just enough kick to the eggs. The second is finely minced shallot, just a little. You could use red onion, too, but I think the texture is key. You want it to be noticeable enough that you enjoy it but not so loud that it upstages the star, kind of like surprise guests at a halftime show.

sad old celery from the back of the fridge

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Monday, May 7, 2012

bacon, egg and leek risotto

bacon, egg and leek risotto

Seeing as I once argued that rice pudding should be breakfast food (what? grains, milk, a bit of sugar, sometimes berries — just like oatmeal!) it shouldn’t be any surprise that I’m now wondering if risotto could also be welcome in the earliest parts of the day. I mean, what if contained bacon and eggs? What if I warned you that if you start making risotto with leeks and bacon and finish it with a fried egg that you might not be able to go back to eating it another way? You can’t say I didn’t give you a heads-up.

leeks, still gritty
cooking, not crisping, the pancetta

I got the inspiration for breakfast risotto from an article I saw a few months back. Okay, it was many months. And every time I was about to make it, I found something better to do. Like, flossing. Or chasing my toddler around the apartment with a comb, trying to explain that he would one day thank me for not letting him leave the house looking like an unkempt Muppet. (Obviously, it didn’t work.) Eventually I had to admit that risotto, while lovely to eat when someone else makes it, is hardly my favorite way to dirty pots and pans. It’s the stirring, and also the starchiness; it’s the sleepiness of the usual inclusions (maybe mushrooms, asparagus and other delicately-minded green things), and that always requires that you make something else (a salad, or maybe some protein) that will make it seem more of a balanced meal. Risotto: It’s awfully demanding.

prep: pancetta, leeks, rice, cheese

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, March 24, 2012

soft eggs with buttery herb-gruyere toasts

soft eggs with buttery herb-gruyere toast soldiers

I wish I could tell you that I had good reasons for sharing this recipe today, earnest ones. If I were a different sort of writer, I might dig deep into my past and crank out a few graphs about my late German grandfather, who ate a soft-boiled egg for breakfast every morning for as long as my mother remembers. (Also, brisket for dinner.) Maybe I’d tell you about the period of 2004 when I did the same, pining for the perfect crouton, perhaps buttered toast fingers raised to a previously unfathomable level of deliciousness, but didn’t get to it until this week.

romano and gruyere, finely grated
minced parsley

And while each story would be in some ways true, none are the actual truth, which is that we’re talking about soft-boiled eggs today because omg I found the cutest set of egg cups, egg cups with chickens! and I had to buy them. Yeah, shopping. I told you the story would be better left to more artful scribe. To buy them, however, I’d have to use them, and to use them, it was time to consider the crouton, and not just any crouton but the very most intensely delicious crouton I could dream up. There’s an ample amount of melted butter and a slip of Dijon mustard, there’s Gruyère and a tiny bit of Romano cheese, whose kicky/nutty saltiness has me fixated lately. There are herbs, too, and this whole mixture is literally caked onto fingers of sourdough bread, then roasted in the oven until bronzed, fragrant and tormenting.

sliced sourdough

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Monday, February 27, 2012

fried egg sandwich with bacon and blue cheese

fried egg sandwich lyonnaise

Due to a delightful clerical error (a scheduled babysitter when we forgot Alex would be home from work), I got to have a weekday lunch with my husband on President’s Day. In a restaurant. With linens on the table and no sippy cups in a two-table radius! Oh, and maybe something petite, bubbly and pink in a glass. I admit nothing. But man, sometimes I think everyone should have kids just so they can get 80 times the joy out of excursions that would have been ordinary in another era. I am joking, of course. You should have kids because you detest sleeping past 6 a.m. Whoops, there I go again. It must be the pink bubbly.

what you'll need, besides hunger
frying thick-cut bacon lardons

It’s hardly a revolutionary concept, but like most parents, when away from a toddler’s totally respectably developed (his enthusiasm for both millet and cod, for goodness sake, far outweigh mine) but still quintessentially two year-old (“Mommy clean this” he said yesterday about a fleck of parsley on his carrot, while his father nearly fell off his chair laughing) palate, I go immediately for things he won’t go near, because, it’s cool, we can wait until your third birthday to introduce you do the joys of Sriracha. That day, it was a uber-bitter radicchio salad but quite often, it’s even simpler stuff — runny eggs, blue cheese, scratchy lettuces, sigh.

bacon vinaigrette so good you'll hate me

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