This weeks Meatless Monday post on Whole Living features farm fresh eggs whipped up and cooked into a dinner worthy omelet. Filled with arugula, fresh herbs, a bit of créme fraiche and topped with crispy shallots, it’s a light meal that requires minimal cooking, but lots of flavor. Find the full recipe here.
Posts Tagged ‘eggs’
There are moments in life when you really just need to laugh at yourself. I was in my early 20′s when I adopted this mentality because I realized embarrassing moments will and do happen and they really are funny and making light of the situation is probably the best way to go. This was put to the test around the same time and brings me to a story about eggs. Soft-boiled eggs in particular.
About 4-5 years ago, when I was still working for someone else, I had the chance to go to England and Germany to set up for a huge trade show that our company was attending. The trip was covered completely by the company and we stayed in a couple of extremely nice hotels, at least for me they were. Another girl (hi Alison!) and I shared a room with an Italian girl who was to be like our translator (although her English was only slightly better than our Italian) because we were going to be working with an entire team of Italians that the company worked with.
The morning after arriving we were supposed to meet down in the breakfast room and be introduce to one of the head coordinator men that we’d be meeting every morning. So the 3 of us shuttled downstairs and into the dining room. The buffet was incredible. Think of everything you’d ever want to eat in the morning and it was there, hot and ready for your grumbling tummy. I was kind of excited about this happening every morning.
We each grabbed a plate of food and headed over to the table where they were already sitting. We introduced ourselves to this extremely kind man, who spoke zero English and was only drinking espresso; we soon found out that none of the Italians ate breakfast, but instead preferred espresso by the gallon and maybe the occasional pastry. I looked down at my plate of croissants, fruit, and whatever else I managed to grab and thought how funny this small cultural difference was. Then I remembered seeing that they had hard boiled eggs and walked over to get one so I could get a little protein in my system since I new it was going to be a very long day. There were 3 sections, soft, medium, and hard cooked eggs. I grabbed one from what I thought was the hard-boiled bowl and placed it in one of those super cute little egg cups.
All 4 of us were sitting at the table, Alison and I talking with each other and the Italian’s to each other, when I decided to crack into my egg. As I struck the egg, I was immediately covered in runny yellow yolk! Luckily nobody else got sprayed, and as I was dabbing napkins into water and scraping the egg off my sweater I was trying very hard not to make eye contact with the Italians who, you could tell, were trying to help, but had no idea what to do either. Later I laughed about it, but seriously, I’ve never picked up another “hard-boiled” egg in a public place since.
I’ve always enjoyed eating the occasional egg, but always hard cooked; nothing could be runny or under-cooked otherwise it just grossed me out. Jump forward to around a year ago and something changed. I started to leave some of the yolk slightly under-cooked and gradually it became runnier. I enjoy eating them this way now and sometimes I wonder if I waited so long because of the slightly dramatic egg moment in my life. My husband on the other hand still will only eat them cooked all the way through, you can see his plate in the upper part of the image.
This recipe was certainly inspired by The Food Matters Cookbook, but also inspired by a pizza sauce I enjoy making and two of my favorite things, greens and socca. I love how they all came together and worked out perfectly. Joanne of Eats Well With Others chose this recipe and you can see everyone’s version here.
Curried Tomato Sauce with Sauteed Greens & Egg Over Socca / serves 4
This recipe has many steps and a long list of ingredients, but really they’re all pretty simple when broken down. You can prepare the sauce and hard-cooked eggs a day before too. I make something similar to this sauce for pizza, but instead of using Indian spices I use basil and oregano and puree the sauce at the end.
for the sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch red chili flakes
pinch of salt
14oz. tomatoes with their juices or 3 cup chopped fresh
for the greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 big handfuls of mixed greens (kale, chard, collards, spinach), washed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 clove garlic, sliced
pinch of salt
4 medium to hard cooked eggs
cilantro, for serving
Prepare the socca as directed and cook while making the tomato sauce below. Also cook the eggs at this point too if you haven’t already pre-cooked them.
For the sauce
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in all the spices and salt, then pour in the tomatoes along with all their juices. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
For the greens
Heat the oil in a heavy pan, once hot toss in the greens, garlic, and salt. Cook until the greens begin to turn a brighter green and wilt down. Remove from heat.
To assemble, place each socca on a plate, divide the tomato sauce equally and spoon over the socca. Then top with greens and an egg sliced in half and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.
The last couple days have been beautiful around here. They’ve been the kind of days that are full of sunshine, but also full of winter’s brisk temperatures that keep my hands wrapped around my endless mug of tea. The cold had me thinking about casseroles and baked dishes and asking myself why I rarely ever make them.
I do love the idea of a casserole. I always picture a gathering of people around a table, each helping themselves to their corner of the hot dish. A casserole is the perfect way to feed a hungry crowd or to stash away any leftovers in the freezer for those days your pressed for cooking time. Plus they seem like the perfect way to rid your fridge of any leftovers you may have. I think the reason I rarely make them has more to do with the stereotypical style of casserole I grew up knowing. The kind that are possibly only good because of the gobs of cheese, layers of pasta, and starchy potatoes, which all lead to little room for my favorite thing… the veggies.
I could easily have taken these same ingredients and made my usual fare of whole grains, combined with sauteed leek and mushroom, tossed in a handful of almonds, rounded it out with a bit of Parmesan and topped it with a crumbled hard boiled egg or two, but I didn’t. I wanted to make something different from my regular routine and something that would keep me satisfied and warm at the same time.
Another magical thing I discovered about casseroles; how much I can get done in the 30 minutes or so it takes to bake! I’m not kidding. Once I popped it in the oven, I washed the sink-full of dishes (I don’t own a dishwasher), scrubbed the sink, and swept the floors. It had me feeling like I should make casseroles every night, just to keep the chores from piling up!
Really though this casserole is delicious, simple to make, and perfect for using up leftover grains. I used barley, but I imagine rice would make a great stand in as well. Have a beautiful weekend and stay warm!
Mushroom Leek & Barley Bake / serves 4-6
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups cooked pearl barley (about 1/2 cup dried cooked in 1 1/2 cups water)
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup Parmesan, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 1 3/4 qt. baking dish.
In a large frying pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, cooking for about 3 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Stir in the leeks, cook another 2 minutes, then add in the garlic. Continue cooking until everything is softened and the mushrooms are a nice brown color, about another 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Place the barley in a large bowl. Stir in the mushroom mixture, the almonds (reserving some for garnish), and half the Parmesan.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and salt. Fold the eggs into the barley mixture, then pour into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the last half of the Parmesan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the left over almonds and serve.
Oh and, I promise you, this beauty of a tart is anything but a sugary toothache. It’s fresh, light, tangy, and creamy all at once and has an added surprise of rosemary in the crust. You’re in for a real treat!
I’ve read more books so far this year, then I feel I have in a long time. When I was younger I used to go through the scholastic reading newsletter that came every month at my school and barely be able to contain myself for the books I would soon receive. When they came, I devoured them. Summer always seemed to involve a long reading list and if I remember right, I had to keep track of each one and the time I spent for credit that would lead to a prize or reward of some kind for my efforts.
These days I feel lucky if I get the chance to read more than a few pages before slowly nodding off to sleep each night. But this Summer I found time, or at least I made the time. The funny thing is that three of the books just so happened to be food memoirs that I finally got to catch up on.
The first was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, where I instantly wanted a plot of my own land to live off (and which may or may not have given me the canning bug this year). I was inspired to make things like my own cheese and yogurt, so far only the later has happened and with surprisingly good results.
Then I moved on to The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz. This book had me laughing out loud and even reading sections to my husband, who got a kick out of it as well. Recipes for apple tarte tatin, crepes, brownies that the French went nuts over, and of course a recipe for a perfectly simple, but oh so delicious, chocolate cake, which is what I’m sharing with you today. More on that though in a minute.
My most recent read, was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette. Another one that was hard to put down. When she described even the most simple moments where food was involved, I felt like I was there eating right alongside. She also has a chocolate cake that I want to try next. But what I first enjoyed was a big plate of roasted eggplant ratatouille because I just can’t seem to get enough eggplant this year. It was delicious.
So I’ve been a busy reader this summer, but more than any marks or points I can mark down on my check list, I have good food to eat, share, and enjoy. I think that is better than possibly any of the prizes I received as a little girl and ones I want to keep and share. What have you been reading this Summer? I’d love recommendations!
Simple Chocolate Cake / serves 8-10
Adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz
This is my idea of a perfect chocolate cake. No frosting, a slight direction into the brownie category, rich chocolaty flavor, and simple to make. David mentions that the cake is often made a day or two ahead of time so the flavor has time to develop. Ours lasted exactly into day two and I can say it really was a bit tastier. Odd how that works. The cake puffs up real high when first pulled from the oven, but quickly flattens and sinks down when cooling. I made mine in an 8-inch spring-form pan rather than a 9-inch loaf pan and it made for easy removal.
9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cane sugar
4 eggs at room temperature, separated
2 tablespoons spelt flour or plain flour
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch spring-form pan or alternatively use a 9-inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment.
Place the chocolate and butter in a double broiler, melt until smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in 1/2 the sugar, the egg yolks, and the flour.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt. Keep whipping until soft droopy peaks form. Whip in the remaining sugar gradually until whites are smooth and hold their shape.
Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites just until the mixture is smooth and no white streaks remain.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center feels slightly firm. Don’t over bake. Let cool before serving. Keeps for 3 days wrapped or covered and frozen for up to 1 month.