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Tag: eggs (page 1 of 2)

Eggs with Garlic Scapes, Mushrooms, & Asparagus

While brunch is basically a gay sacrament and thus something of a big deal in DC, there are times when breakfast is called for instead. Smaller, mellower, less boozy, and–oh yes–earlier, breakfast it not a meal I’m frequently involved with, unless you count a few bites of something leftover straight from the fridge while I’m trying to tie my tie in the still-dark of morning. Saturday, however, we had need of a breakfast, not a brunch.

A dear friend was swooping through town, and first thing on Saturday morning was the only place we elbow our way onto her dance card as she was in DC for only a day and a half. So, breakfast it was, and what better breakfast than scrambled eggs? Of course, not just any scrambled eggs, perfect ones, tossed with a vibrant mix of earthy mushrooms, pungent garlic scapes, and verdant asparagus. And since said friend was coming from six porkless months in Cairo, bacon. A big heap o’ bacon. Also, coffee, challah toast, and a pretty yogurt berry granola parfait. Perfect!

Of course, this means we need to discuss the proper approach to scrambled eggs. We want to avoid, at all costs, those buffet-bound, bouncy yellow clods swimming sadly in a steam tray of their own tears. Those are not scrambled eggs; those are nuggets of sofa cushion. Ech. Well-made scrambled eggs are a creamy mass with small, barely noticable curds that stays all together in a hot, silken heap till they’re eaten–which shouldn’t be long at all.

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Gyspy Eggs, Peas and (basil) Leaves!

Baked eggs, with spicy ground pork, tomato sauce, peas, opal and genovese basil.

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“Do You ALWAYS Eat Like That?” Um, No.

Mr. T frequently gets asked, after a dinner at our place, if he eats like that everynight. Generally, he’ll gleefully say yes, just to the awed / horrified / jealous reactions that flit across our guests’ faces. I’ll be the first to tell you, however, that this isn’t QUITE the case. I’d wager too that Joe’s not always to be found noshing on expertly-crafted dishes when he doesn’t have guests to entertain. That said, I make dinner most nights and–particularly on a weeknight–it’s going to be pasta, or a stirfry, or some combination of the basic food groups that come together into a tasty and balanced, if somewhat random, whole.

This little dish of cous cous, tomatoes, and beans zipped up with a tasty salsa verde, then, is a perfect example of the standard <grain> with <vegetables> and <protein> I frequently prepare for weeknight suppers. Sometimes they stay separate in the traditional “meat & two veg”, but more often than not they’re mixed together into a salad or stacked on top of each other in a chirashi zushi or bimbimbap-like pile. (This will come as no surprise to college friends who were very used to me wandering forlornly around the cafeteria looking for things that wouldn’t make me sick and mixing them all together in a salad bowl–regardless of their inherent saladity…)

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Opinions (And a Chorizo Frittata) That Just Won’t Stick

As you’re undoubtedly aware, we here at the PassionFruits have opinions. Lots of them. Sometimes they’re expert, sometimes they’re nebulous, and sometimes ill-informed, they’re strongly held nevertheless. One of MY opinions, which may fall into all of the above categories, is that non-stick pans are the work of the devil. And not in a good way. Ergo, I do not own a non-stick pan. This became a challenge last time I tried to make a frittata/tortilla. It wasn’t a disaster, by any stretch, but I’m not the “not-a-disaster” guy so that didn’t quite work for me.

And, since I had a lovely piece of cured Spanish chorizo and a serious yen for a nice little frittata for dinner on Friday, I felt the need to revisit and vanquish this little problem with the help of my beloved parchment paper. Of course, the ever-helpful Mr. T opined that people are much more likely to have a non-stick fry pan than they are to have parchment paper. Moving on from that minor distraction, I went ahead and made my chorizo frittata, sauteing the filling ingredients before wiping out the pan and fitting it with a round of parchment and pouring everything back in, heating it back up, and heaving it all in the oven. The resulting disc of potatoe-y, eggy, sausage-y goodness was very tasty indeed, and slipped from the NOT non-stick pan like a champ. The smoky, meaty chorizo was an excellent foil for the sweet onion and the parsely’s green pungency was lovely.

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Brunch Bonus: Earth-Shatteringly Good Eggs Mornay

Ok, people. This is it. The last egg dish you’ll ever need. These are the eggs that saved Christmas , the eggs that impressed the mother-in-law, the eggs that get everyone out of bed on Saturday morning, the eggs that could broker a Mid-East peace agreement. When extending brunch invitations, friends in-the-know invariably ask if I’m “making THE eggs?”

Apparently originating in the Saddle River, NJ, kitchen of Mrs. William T. Knight, III, at some point in the ’60s (?), this easy dish of hard-cooked eggs draped in a rich Sauce Mornay (culinary French for “cheese sauce”) is the de rigeur centerpiece of any major holiday breakfast a la Family J. Of which there weren’t many, which is a good thing. This is a dish of lethal proportions. But so, so good.

Don’t be tempted to add more cheese to the sauce. Having succumbed to such greedy impulses in the past I can say with authority that doing so will cause the sauce to break in the oven and you’ll end up with separated slicks of oil on top of your eggs. Ick. And, in any event, if you’re using a nice aged Gruyère (and, really given the caloric impact here, you should) you don’t need that much. The cheese’s nutty, pungent flavor is quite pronouncedly delicious when the sauce is made according to the proper proportions.

You can use the other half of that chunk of Gruyère to make gougères for a suitably swingin’ cocktail hour… which you should pretty much be ready for by the time you’ve finished brunch.

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Carbonara Redux

CarbonaraWithBacon2

I’m going to write something that I never thought I’d write before: I found myself with a fair amount of left over bacon from a recent brunch I hosted. This strange-surprising newfound kitchen bounty was akin to spotting a rare, white elk–it don’t happen!

Everyone loves bacon. Bacon is the first thing to go when it is served. Who refuses leftover bacon?

My guests, apparently. So, I squirreled it away in a plastic bag and decided to engage it in a few days.

Well, here I am. A few days later. Read more

For Some Elegance, Bake Your Eggs!

BakedEggsEggs=Breakfast.

There is no finer–nor more appropriate–food to serve in the morning. Though most egg dishes–in any significant quantity for a large number of guests–are impossible to pull off successfully. There is nothing worse than an overcooked egg. Scrambled eggs must be served and consumed immediately, most appropriate for two, no more than four people. Frittatas are excellent but keep said dish in mind for no more than four guests. And omelettes? Just make them for yourself.The last thing you want to do is become a short-order cook on Sunday:

“Two more sunny-side up eggs, Charlie? *smack* Coming right up!”

So,  how do you still manage to serve eggs provided you have six or more guests over in the morning? Enter, the baked egg.

It’s elegant, classy, and giggly; easy to make an army of them all at the same time, from 6- 20.  Read more

My Unfertilized Eggs

Eggs&ParsleyOil

Cooked properly (with great eggs, too), scrambled eggs are extraordinary. Since my diet yesterday consisted of a handful of granola and 3/4 of a salad from Chop’t–I had NO appetite AT ALL–I needed fuel.  Oh, yeah. The 17 mile bike ride I went on last night didn’t help, either.  I whipped these up this morning for myself and made a little parsley oil (Uh, yeah. Why the hell not?). I was bound and determined to have a proper breakfast.

You do NOT need to add any dairy (milk, cream) to your scrambled eggs. Honestly, if you just whisk them on low-heat, you will end up with lovingly heavenly curd after lovingly heavenly curd.

Fluffy. Creamy. Ethereal with a little bit of Emerald City courtesy of the wonderful parsley oil which elevated the dish even higher. Tasty stuff, indeed.

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