Category Archives: eggs

Baguette Guilt and Fried Bread Frittata

So the story goes: I had a half-baguette lingering on top of the microwave, sad and pitiful in a crinkly foil collar that was wrapped around it to help keep bread rigor mortis at bay. It stared me down whenever I checked the time or went to grab Nutella from the pantry (which happens all too often in my house). This weekend has been all about greedy excess: warm chocolate chip cookies on a gray afternoon, hot dogs and cheese fries, fresh-fried donuts, an easy dinner of good bread and triple creme cheese. Why not turn that leftover half-loaf into a frittata crowned with olive oil and butter-fried bread? Keep the good times going, yes, why stop the fry party just because it’s Sunday?

With some beautiful eggs from a local farm, I made a frittata. The eggs were fresh and perky (old eggs lose their tightness; the raw whites slouch like a teenager); I lightly beat them with some salt and cream. After frying the bread cubes in olive oil, butter and salt, I turned them onto a plate and used the hot pan to charm some garlic–egg mixture went back into the pan along with a cup of chopped roasted broccoli, a crumbled knob of goat cheese and a good handful of Parm. I sprinkled the olive oil and butter-fried bread cubes over the top and placed the skillet under the broiler. A few minutes later, there she was, a frittata suitable for breakfast or dinner, and crowned with butter and olive oil-toasted jewels. It was like eggs and toast yet so much more magnificent. Smiling, I brought the skillet to the table, happy with my discovery and knowing that a new era of frittatas for dinner had commenced.

Fried Bread Frittata

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or crème frâiche (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 1/2-inch thick baguette slices (day-old or fresh), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped roasted, steamed or sautéed vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, onions, green beans. fennel, artichokes–the list is endless)
  • 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) cheese, crumbled (such as goat cheese, blue cheese, cheddar, fresh mozzarella)
  • 3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, or 3 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Whisk the eggs and heavy cream together with a good pinch of salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Melt the butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 9- or 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the baguette cubes and a generous pinch of salt, toss, and cook, turning often, until golden-brown and crunchy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Add another tablespoon olive oil to the pan along with the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring often, for about 30 seconds. Stir in the vegetable(s) and pour the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the frittata followed by 2 tablespoons of Parm, then the croutons and lastly the final tablespoon of Parm. Cook until the edges of the frittata are set, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and turn the broiler on to high.

4. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over the frittata and place it in the oven. Broil until the eggs are set, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.

Woah, It’s Roasted Broccoli

Serves 4

Works great with cauliflower too.

  • 1 head broccoli, ends trimmed, stalks peeled and thinly sliced on a bias, crowns divided into florets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Heat the oven to 350°. Place the broccoli stems and florets in a large baking dish. Toss with the oil and a good few pinches of salt and roast until the florets are browned and frizzled, about 1 hour and 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve sprinkled with Parm.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, eggs, Quick Food, Recipe, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Main

Nachos for Grownups: Pork Chop Chilaquiles with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce and a Fried Egg

Before we got married, my husband Matt and I used to eat nachos all the time. There was a little dive Mexican joint in Somerville, Mass. called Taqueria La Mexicana. It was ugly and barebones, but they did a mean nachos: crisp and fresh-fried tortilla chips, a smooth and thin swipe of refried beans, rojo sauce, and a slick of molten cheese with a crust of golden-brown goodness that ringed the platter’s edges. It was super cheap and outrageously delicious.

We got engaged and moved to Brooklyn. I can’t recall eating nachos here. Maybe for us, nachos, like JP Licks and candlepin bowling, were a Boston thing. All I know is that I grew out of nachos and started ordering dishes like chicken and smoky mole enchiladas or grilled quail with red pipian. Nachos? I loved them, I left them.

Then I met chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are a Mexican breakfast dish of day-old tortilla chips, shredded cooked chicken, green or red sauce, grated cheese, raw onions, crema, and often times a fried egg to top it off. It’s one of those, “hey, I’m starved, what can I do with last night night’s leftovers” dishes born from frugality, common sense, and hunger. And they’re a heck of a lot like nachos.

Matt and I ate chilaquiles the day after we got married. The day we got married, Hurricane Ivan tore threw Brooklyn (I have now survived a hurricane—okay tropical depression—a tornado, AND an earthquake in Brooklyn). The rain came down in angry sheets. Our plans for a little garden party and movie screening in our backyard were kaput. We got married under a canopy of heavy clouds, but during and after the ceremony the sky didn’t shed a tear. It was cool and lovely with a stunning Brooklyn Bridge sunset that made up for the earlier turmoil.

Most East Coasters can tell you that the day after a hurricane is a stellar one. Shockingly blue skies, piercing sun, a calm and civilized breeze. That was how it was the day after our wedding. Matt and I walked down the street to Moe’s, a little bar in Fort Greene where there was a guy who made a mean bloody Mary. It was Sunday. Perhaps past noon. We ordered a round of drinks and took them outside. We ordered chilaquiles. We began.

Pork Chop Chilaquiles with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce and a Fried Egg

Serves 4

To make this a vegetarian dish, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and lose the pork. Simmer the sauce uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. To gild the lily, sprinkle shredded mozzarella or Mexican melting cheese like Asadero, Oaxaca, or Chihuahua over the sauce-covered chips and broil to melt. Top with the egg before serving.

For the sauce

2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved

1 large red onion, halved and sliced into wedges

6 unpeeled garlic cloves

1 jalapeño

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if your tortilla chips are heavily salted)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

For the chilaquiles

2 thick bone-in pork rib chops (8 to 10 ounces each)

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 cups (6 good handfuls) good-quality thick-cut yellow corn tortilla chips

4 large eggs

For the tomatillo sauce: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the tomatillos, red onions, garlic, and jalapeño in a large baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with the salt, and toss to combine. Roast until the tops of some of the tomatillos and onions are blistered and blackened, about 1 hour (there will be a nice amount of liquid in the pan).

Remove the pan from the oven. Use tongs to pull out the garlic cloves and jalapeño and, once cool enough to handle, slip the garlic out of their papery husks (gently press one end and they should pop right out) and split and seed the jalapeño (if you want a fiery sauce, skip this step and add use the jalapeño whole). Transfer everything to the bowl of a food processor and buzz until pretty smooth. Pour in the chicken broth and add the cilantro, and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the chilaquiles: Place the pork chops on a cutting board and use a paper towel to blot both sides dry. Mix the paprika, coriander, cumin, oregano, and salt in a small dish and use it to season both sides of the chops. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Reduce the heat to low and pour in the tomatillo sauce. Use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, cover, and cook, gently scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally, until the pork is very tender, for 1 to 1 hour and 15 minutes, and shreds easily (test this by removing one chop and slicing off a piece of meat—if it shreds into thin-ish strands, it’s done). Turn off the heat. Use tongs to pull the chops out of the sauce and set aside on a plate. Once cool enough to handle, use your fingers to shred the pork. Set aside.

Add the chips to the pot and use tongs to turn them to coat in the sauce (if you use thick tortilla chips they won’t get soggy). Divide the chips between plates and top with some of the shredded pork.

Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook until the white is turning golden brown around the edges. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the white is cooked through and the yolk is still runny (or cover and cook to get a white film over the yolk if you like your eggs basted).  Use a spatula to slide an egg on top of each pile of tortillas and serve.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, eggs, Pork, Recipe, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Main

Sunday Brunch: Deviled Tea Eggs with Duck Rillette

Have you ever been whiplashed by inspiration? Like rocked so hard by an idea that you not only can’t get it out of your head, but can’t get to sleep at night because you are so excited about the possibilities? That’s what happened to me when I dreamt up these deviled tea eggs (it has also happened with my oil-brined fried chicken, but that’s another story).

Do you know tea eggs? No? I didn’t until recently either—but now I love them. Like want to marry them, love them. You soft boil eggs, crack the shells, then add them back to the pot along with tea bags, some garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and spices. Boil 30 minutes, cool to room temp, then into the fridge overnight. The next day, you peel them and lo and behold, you have a marbled masterpiece worthy of a domestic goddess! But don’t stop there. Take the eggs further into the tasty abyss by deviling the yolks with a little mayo, crème fraiche, scallions, five-spice powder, purple basil, and a few loving spoonfuls of duck rillette (essentially duck legs slow roasted in its own fabulous fat and then mashed with more fat and salt to make the duck buttery and spreadable). I got my duck rillette at the Fort Greene farmers market. If you don’t have a friendly duck farmer to break bread with, I suggest using pork rillette instead (available at most cheese shops, often in the showcase alongside the patés).

I’m really pleased with these. They’re a great make-ahead-friendly way to shake up a weekend brunch and, if kept chilled (even when transporting), are great picnic fare too. And by the way, why stop at tea for your staining medium? Beets and turmeric work nicely too. I think I’ll do the former with a potato and dill filling (a la borscht) and the latter with a curried roast chicken salad…looks like more late nights are in my future.

Deviled Tea Eggs with Duck Rillette

Makes 24 deviled eggs (12 whole eggs, halved and filled)

For the eggs

12 large eggs

2 Lapsang-Souchong tea bags

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced

6 green cardamom pods

3 star anise pods

2-inch cinnamon stick

For the deviling

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 scallions, white and light green part finely chopped plus dark green part sliced crosswise into thin rings

2 tablespoons chopped basil (preferably purple basil)

3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder

1/3 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup duck rillettes (pork rillettes also work nicely)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs, one at a time, settling each into the boiling water slowly so the shell doesn’t crack. Boil for 7 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to medium bowl (leave the water in the pot). Cover the eggs with cold water and once the eggs are cold enough to handle (after 3 to 5 minutes) place them on a kitchen towel. Gently roll each egg on a hard surface to crack the shell, using your thumb and forefinger to press the shell even further, getting deeper fissures and cracks.

Return the eggs to the pot. Add the tea bags, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon stick, return to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes, adding more water to keep the eggs fully submerged if necessary. Turn off the heat and let the eggs cool in the tea stock until they’re at room temperature, 1 to 2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

Take the eggs out from the refrigerator and pull each one from the liquid, setting on a paper towel. Carefully peel away the shells, taking care not to mar the marbled white (and take a moment to marvel at how gorgeous it is!). Halve the eggs and gently pop out the hard yolk, placing the yolks from 16 of the halves in a medium bowl (save the rest of the yolks for sprinkling over a spinach and bacon or chopped salad). Add the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, mustard, chopped scallions, basil, five-spice, salt, and pepper and mash with a fork to combine. Stir in the rillettes and using a teaspoon, fill each egg half. Finish with sliced scallions, tent loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving. The eggs can be boiled up to 3 days ahead of time (store in the tea broth—the eggs will get more flavorful the longer they sit) and the deviled filling can be made up to a few hours in advance.

Note: Lapsang Souchong is a kind of Chinese black tea that is traditionally smoked in bamboo baskets over pine wood fires. Regular black tea is fine, too.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, duck, eggs, Recipe