Monday, February 8, 2010

The Incredible Edible Egg

Growing up; the only egg dishes I knew were hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny-side up. Mom started by heating bacon grease in a cast iron skillet. She then cracked the eggs into the hot grease. If more than one yolk broke, she just scrambled them all together. Since I didn’t like scrambled eggs, you can taste the nasty white, she would fix me a sunny-side up. I would pull the white off and give it to anyone who wanted it. Then dip my toast into the runny yolk.
Yes, I was a picky eater. Mom and Dad put up with it because until I was 11, I was underweight. I had spent most of my youth as a sickly child. At 11 I discovered food tasted good. And that was the beginning of my life long weight problem.

Just before Scott and I got married, I started collecting cookbooks. Cheese omelets became an obsession with me. I wouldn’t eat one but I was bound and determined to make the best cheese omelet ever. I read over the techniques and practiced on poor Scott. I imagine I sent his cholesterol sky high during that time.

Our favorite restaurant, way back when, was at the Myrtle Point Hotel. It was a little Chinese place. The owners were very nice and could cook up a storm. On their suggestion, one night I tried Char Shu Chow Dun. It was a Chinese omelet and I loved it! Barbeque pork, onions, and lots of vegetables cooked with eggs. I was eating eggs.
I began to make quiche. Again, yum, I was eating eggs.
Now I know why, by adding other ingredients you don’t really taste the yucky white. No, I still don’t like egg white.

A few years ago I was watching ‘The Barefoot Contessa’ when Ina fixed a frittata. Oh, a quiche without the crust. I tried it. Easy peasy. The taste and texture were far superior to quiche. We alternate between quiche, omelet, and frittata. We eat sunny-side up with pancakes and waffles. Scott likes ‘poached’ (in little cups coated with butter and steamed) with toast. We eat hard cooked in salads and Scott likes them for snacks.

By the way, if you want to know how to make the perfect hard cooked egg; just check out Julia Child and Company

Pre-heat oven 350F

1 cup chopped ham
¼ cup onion, chopped fine
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1 cup fresh broccoli florets, steamed
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sharp cheese, grated

Heat an oven-proof medium skillet over medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil
Add ham, onion, and mushrooms
Cook until the meat and mushrooms are browned
Add the broccoli
Whip the milk and eggs together, and then pour over the other ingredients
Sprinkle the cheese over all and put into the oven

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the egg is set.

Serves 4

Cheese Omelet
Preheat a medium nonstick skillet

1 tsp butter
6 eggs whipped with
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mixed cheeses grated; sharp cheddar and romano pecorino or parmesano reggiano

Melt the butter in the skillet
Add the whipped egg and milk mixture
As the bottom layer of the eggs cook, lift it up to let the uncooked egg flow under the cooked egg. When the top of the eggs will not flow any longer, I put a lid on the pan for about a minute to set the upper layer.
Then I place the chesses on one half the eggs and gently lift the other half folding the eggs into a nice taco looking half moon.

Serves 4

Char Shu Chow Dun (Barbeque Pork Chow Dun)
Preheat a medium nonstick skillet

1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup chopped Chinese Barbeque Pork (I buy mine at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I have yet to successfully make good Chinese Barbeque Pork. I keep trying.)
2 cups fresh vegetables – mung bean sprouts, chopped onion, chopped celery, peas
¼ cup bamboo shoots
¼ cup sliced water chestnuts
6 eggs, whipped together
Soy sauce to taste

Heat the sesame oil until shimmering
Add the meat and all the vegetable and allow to brown a little bit
Add the eggs and cook without stirring until the eggs are set.
Add soy sauce to taste

Serves 4

With these basics it is easy to cook up any egg dish with the addition of any flavors you prefer.

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