Eggs in Purgatory

This is a fitting recipe to describe my life currently let me tell you. Eggs in Purgatory.

Scratch that, I realize that the egg bit makes it seem like I’m going through menopause or trying to get pregnant maybe. Neither of those things is happening.

What I meant is that work has been hell for me right now and the weekend is like purgatory before I have to go back to the hell on Monday.

Purgatory isn’t so short and oh so sweet for most people, so I suppose I should feel lucky in that regard. I mean have you read Dante’s The Diving Comedy? 

Whatever purgatory you’re in right now, the good news is that this recipe is from Cook This, Not That which should help your case if you’re hoping to go up instead of down.

What you’ll need

  • 1/2 cup of farro or barley
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 ounces of pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mince
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (feel free to up the ante on this one if you enjoy spice as well)
  • 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs

The first step is to cook your farro or barley. To do so, follow package instructions which will most likely tell you to boil in water for x amount of time.

While x amount of time is occurring, heat the oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, cook the pancetta and let it brown slightly. Next, add the onions, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook this until the onion has softened which should take around three minutes and then throw in the tomatoes and your grains from before. Provided said grains are ready to be cooked that is.

Cook this until the tomato juices have slightly reduced. This should be about 5 minutes and once these 5 minutes are up this is your time to season with salt and pepper to your likeing.

We are now ready to cook the eggs and will do so by creating 8 large wells in the sauce. It’s going to be difficult to do this perfectly, but try your best. Our goal is to make a well that will fit an egg. Once you’ve made eight that can accommodate start cracking your eggs into each of their little wells.

Cook the eggs under low heat for about 7 minutes until they’re cooked, but still slightly runny. You can poke your eggs with a pitchfork to make them cook faster if necessary. That might earn you points down instead of up though. Choose your own adventure.

Once those eggs are cooked, you’re ready to enjoy!

Cook This, Not That recommends consuming this dish by scooping it up with some bread and I say don’t make it just any bread. Make it garlic bread!

That would be straying from the low calorie breakfast goal intended unless you incorporated the crostini from Light and Healthy. Seems like a good option here to me. Again choose your own adventure, but depending on your current state of health garlic bread could be the devil on your shoulder. Tread carefully.

This was my first experience with Eggs in Purgatory and I have to save I was not disappointed. It’s an Italian version of Huevos Rancheros which makes the list of breakfast favorites for this girl so I’m not too surprised.

It was fairly easy to make as well. I did struggle with not breaking up the egg when I tried to remove it from my pan. The picture below was the best result I could get and I recognize it’s not one of my better pictures.

I’m not a professional food photographer so if this offends you then I suggest you hire one for me.

Despite it’s looks, this was tasty and I suggest you give it a chance. It may not be beautiful but it’s got a good soul.

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Eggs in Purgatory

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Shiitake to me Scramble

When it comes to egg dishes, you can’t go wrong with goat cheese, spinach, and mushrooms. At least for me.

You also can’t go wrong with scrambles, because sometimes making omelets doesn’t work out for people and they become scrambles anyway.

Egg dishes tend to be healthy alternatives to breakfast as well and this scramble from Cook This, Not That ensures that you keep it that way.

What you’ll need

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup of frozen spinach, thawed
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup of fresh goat cheese

The first step is to get your favorite frying pan out, heat the burner to medium, and place 1 tablespoon of butter on top. Once that butter starts to melt almost completely, add your mushrooms. Cook those mushrooms until slightly browned and then set the mushrooms aside.

Get your pan back out, sans mushrooms, and add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and cook until spinach is nicely heated. Remove the spinach and drain the excess water.

We are now ready to prepare our eggs. Do so by mixing the eggs with the milk in a large bowel. Season with salt and pepper and whisky a go-go away.

Now go back to your empty pan and add the remaining butter. After the butter melts, heat the pan to low and add the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture continuously until egg lumps start to form. Once those lumps start to form in soft shapes add in the mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese. Cook and stir this mixture until the eggs seem fully cooked.

You are now ready to enjoy your scramble!

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Shiitake, spinach, and goat cheese scramble

As I said earlier, for me you can’t go wrong with mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese. Naturally, I enjoyed this meal immensely. The eggs were nice and fluffy and the shiitake mushrooms paired well in texture and taste. Then there’s the goat cheese. Mmmm, goat cheese is so good!

If you have time to make yourself breakfast in the morning, do make this dish. You will be satisfied on all realms.

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

When I was growing up, there were always TV shows were kids were like, “Ugh, Brussels sprouts! Why are you trying to kill me Mom?!”

I can’t recall if my mother ever made us Brussels sprouts, but I’m sure if she ever did I protested it. I’m sure I explained to her that t.v. had taught me that this was an evil green vegetable and was probably Jolly Green Giant’s mortal enemy.

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He’s probably just a double agent, right?

As I got older and more open, refining my taste for vegetables, I discovered that not only did I not hate Brussels sprouts, but that I freakin love them.

As I’ve stated in previous posts, this love of Brussels sprouts is not as passionate and as deep as my love for spice and cheese, but every once in awhile that green eyed beauty of a vegetable gives me a little wink and I can’t help myself. It’s an on and off again torrid affair, I’m telling you.

My first encounter with Brussels was when I was working at a pizza place that had seasonal menus and pizzas with toppings from local farmers. Every time we changed the menu, we had a special meeting where we would test out the food so we could give the proper recommendations to customers. That’s when I was introduced to Brussells sprouts and bacon pizza.

Yes, you read that right.

I know it sounds weird, but it was amazing.

We also had a side dish of Brussel sprouts sautéed in garlic with this slightly peppery ranch dressing that was to die for. Sometimes for my lunch meal, I’d get that and a side of meatballs.

Best perk working there was the food, let me tell ya.

If you reside in LA, that place is called Pitfire Pizza and you should definitely check it out.

Anyway, thanks to Pitfire, I developed a love for Brussels sprouts and this meal below, from Portlandia is similar to Pitfire’s Brussels sprouts and bacon pizza. It’s got bacon, Brussels sprouts, and it’s heavenly.

What you’ll need

  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts
  • 1 pound of medium-sized Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces of thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar

The first step is my favorite step. Pre-heating the oven to 350. If it was 400, it’d be my second favorite step.

Next step is to spread the hazelnuts on a pan and toast them for about 12 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when the shells are cracking a bit. Allow them to cool after the toasting and then rub them with a towel to peel off the shell skin completely. After this step, you will chop them into itty bitty bits.

Next, you will coat your sprouts with oil, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss this mixture until they are evenly glazed.

Meanwhile, place a skillet on your stove top and set that sucker to some high heat. Once the skillet is hotter than a Texas summer, place the sprouts in the skillet with the cut side down. After about 5 minutes, the sprouts should be sufficiently browned and flipped over. Once flipped, cover and cook until they are crisp, yet tender. This should take about 3 minutes.

Remove the sprouts from the pan and replace with bacon. Scale back to a California summer heat setting (medium in case you don’t know) and cook for about 5 minutes.

The shallots are the next item to add to the pan. Cook those puppies while stirring for another 5 minutes.

We are now ready to tag back-in the Brussels sprouts. Toss and combine a couple of times and then add the vinegar. Cook the vinegar until it just about evaporates and then add the nuts and serve right away!

Or…..

You can add an egg, over easy or over medium, however you prefer on top. I did and I highly recommend it.

It’ll probably come to no surprise that I loved this recipe. As I mentioned, bacon and Brussels sprouts pair nicely together. They are both crisp and crunchy but in different ways that compliment each other.

The hazelnuts give it even more texture and add a bit of a salty taste which settles in nicely with the vinegar.

Then there’s the egg. You can’t go wrong with an egg in a skillet dish. At least for me anyway.

Since I’m plugging LA restaurants, I might as well add that this recipe is almost exactly like a breakfast item at The Brite Spot in Echo Park. It’s called the Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Hash and it is to die for!

The major difference is that this dish has potatoes. It’s basically a high end version of Denny’s breakfast skillets. I’m telling you, it’s a simple dish, but there is something they are doing that I can’t figure out and I need to, sorely.

For now, I am more than content with this recipe from Portlandia. 

How could anyone ever hate you Brussels sprouts?

 

 

Huevos Rancheros or Rancher’s Eggs, for the Gringos

I was excited about this Huevos Rancheros recipe in Cook This, Not That. Even though it’s fairly simple to make, this gringa has never attempted to make it before. That’s not a huge shocker though. I love eating breakfast, but I don’t like making it. Why? I don’t why, I just don’t.

Ok fine, it’s because I’m terrible at making omelettes. I realize this is not an omelette, but it’s related. I either get impatient and don’t wait long enough or I wait too long. Plus, I’m not a morning person. I’d rather drink coffee and have people give me breakfast then make it for myself. Walt Jr, would hate me if I was his mother. I mean what would he do in Breaking Bad if I was his mother?

Anyway, this recipe is a healthy alternative, but it doesn’t require a whole lot of tweaking. Not frying your eggs and tortillas is the basic major change. I’m a gringa that grew up in the mid-west, but something tells me it’s not an authentic recipe either. Like I said though, I’m just a white girl, what do I know about these things?

What you’ll need to make this is, 1 16oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, 1/2 of a chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1 16oz can of black beans, pinch of ground cumin, 8 eggs, and 8 corn tortillas.

I should note that this serves 4, but you can still prepare most of it as it’s written. The eggs and tortillas can be adjusted accordingly.

Your first step is going to be making the salsa. To do so, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle, cilantro, and half of the lime juice in a food processor. I should note that I just had some lime juice in a bottle. I think I added two tablespoons, but I admittedly don’t remember exactly. It’s not something that’s too difficult to eye though. Anyway, you will blend those ingredients until it’s slightly chunky.

The next step is to prepare the beans. The beans don’t require much, you just need to mix them with cumin and the remaining lime juice. Again, you can eye this if you don’t have a fresh lime. Once that’s mixed, feel free to season with salt and pepper and then mash lightly with a fork.

You are now ready to assemble your eggs!

Coat your skillet with some Pam and break open however many eggs you want. Cook the eggs over easy style.

Meanwhile, on another skillet, heat up your tortillas. Generally a minute on each side will do the trick.

Once that’s done, you add it all together for heavenly egg glory. To do so, spread the beans on the tortillas first, then the eggs, and finally the salsa.

If you’re feeling frisky, you can also garnish with cilantro. I do recommend this.

I also recommend stocking up on as much cilantro as possible when you visit El Pollo Loco if you are cheap like me. I mean, why not? You can have some tasty chicken the day before and then the next day use your free cilantro for whatever you need it for.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you enjoy this recipe, because I did.

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Rancher’s Eggs!

Salt-Cured Eggs, Mr. Yuck Approved

This is more of a suggestion and less of a recipe as well. It comes from my Everything Thai Cookbook and requires a month of preparation. Thankfully I was getting excited about my future recipes and noticed this, so a month ago I went ahead and salted my eggs. The process is easy, but I think it’s a little unnecessary and strange.

What you do is pour one in a half cups of salt into a pan filled with 6 cups worth of water. Then you boil the water. You let the water cool and then pour it into a container with your eggs. Seal that up nicely and then wait a month. Once the month is up you just boil your eggs like normal.

I tried two eggs this morning and they were soooooooooo salty! I was not a fan. I’m going to give it another shot tomorrow, but as of now I feel a great wave of depression and disappointment that is akin to how I feel about all of my romantic endeavors.

Son-in-Law Eggs or Subtle Ways to Let Your Son-in-Law Know You Think He’s a Dick

Son-in-Law eggs come from my Thai cookbook. They are basically Thai deviled eggs, which I find intriguing. What is it about the deviled egg dish that different cultures have to give it such odd names? Also why son-in-law? Are they implying young men really love deviled eggs? Is it tradition to serve your son-in-law these eggs when they come to visit? Why? Why the strange names for boiled eggs that are cut in half with random stuff on top?

Don’t fret readers, because I looked this up for you and the story behind it is far better than what I thought. If a mother thinks her son-in-law is being an artichoke dick to her daughter she will serve this dish to let him know that his dick behavior could inspire her to serve his dick in a similar fashion. In other words she will pull a Lorena Bobbit on you.

I was hoping that westerners were inspired to call deviled eggs, deviled eggs, because of this story. Alas that isn’t the case! Western deviled eggs do originate from Rome, though, and the modern name originates around the 17th century because deviled was a term to describe food that had been boiled and/or was spicy.

Back to son-in-law eggs though. The process is very similar to deviled eggs, except after you boil and peel the eggs you fry them. By the way, I solved my boiled egg problem because the Thai cookbook actually gave me tips on how to boil an egg well. Thank you Thai cookbook.

Anyway, you fry the eggs until golden brown and then set them aside. The next step is to saute two diced scallions until they are nice and crisp. Set that aside and then make your tamarind sauce. The tamarind sauce consists of tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, and brown sugar. You let that boil and then simmer for 5 minutes until it is nice and thick.

Once everything is cooked, you slice your eggs in half and add your scallions and sauce on top. The final step is to garnish with chili flakes and cilantro. I omitted the cilantro, but I imagine it would be delicious on top.

I wasn’t a big fan of this dish. I thought it was ok. I think it’s because I’m not really a fan of tamarind. It’s a bit too tart and sweet for me. I loved the scallions on top, though. If I ever feel like making my own deviled egg combo, I would probably put scallions on it.

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The sauce represents the blood clotting that will ensue if you keep mis-treating your wife.