How you want them eggs?

When we are out and about in the world, I notice a number of people dining in restaurants who are unsure of how to order their eggs. They ask a lot of questions, then simply default to scrambled if they still don’t get it.

To alleviate some of this, I’ve gathered together terms and descriptions of some of the most common cooking styles for eggs.

The first thing I notice is that a lot of folks don’t know the proper names for the parts inside the egg. What most people call “egg whites” is the clear protective jelly albumen. The “egg yellah” is the yolk. For the sake of clarity in the descriptions below, I’ve stuck to albumen and yolk.

SCRAMBLED –  Scrambled means that the albumen and yolks are broken and mixed together, cooked quickly in a hot skillet. Most restaurants serve them “hard” which is often a little dryer than one might prefer. Ask for “wet” and you should get scrambled eggs that still look a little shiny.

SUNNY SIDE UP – An egg that is fried only on one side. The albumen should be slightly browned at the edges, while the yolk is warm and runny. Also known as “runny eggs” or “dipping eggs” as the yolk will go everywhere and is tasty when sopped with toast or biscuit.

OVER EASY – This is most often a Sunny Side Up flipped over int he skillet just long enough for the raw egg to seal itself up with a thin film of cooked albumen. The yolk, and sometimes part of the albumen, are still warm and runny.

OVER MEDIUM –  The next step after Easy, this egg is flipped and allowed to cook until the albumen is mostly hardened up, leaving the yolk mostly runny.

OVER HARD or OVER WELL –  As it’s name hints, this egg has been fried, flipped, fried some more, until both the albumen and yolk are “hard”.

POACHED – This is an egg that has been boiled without the shell. It may have been added directly to the boiling water, or with the use of a ramekin. The albumen is cooked while the yolk remains runny. Poached eggs are usually offered as part of Eggs Benedict.

SOFT BOILED – The albumen is partially cooked, with the yolk warm and runny. This is also known as a “six-minute” egg.

HARD BOILED –  The albumen and yolk are both solidified.

SHIRRED or BAKED – This refers to an egg that has been cracked and baked in a flat-bottomed pan, or added on top of a dish.

 

Hopefully this will help anyone who is unfamiliar with the wide range of how eggs are prepared, whether ordering breakfast or reading descriptions on a menu.

— Ann Cathey

 

2 Ingredient Pancakes?

Can this be for real? Apparently it is. The “two-ingredient pancakes” recipe has been bouncing around the internet for a while, and I finally decided to try it. It fits into my dietary requirements, and I wanted to find out if it fit my palate as well.

Apparently, it did. These pancakes are super quick and simple to whip up, and are tasty enough that they don’t need any other ingredients – not even syrup!

Ingredients:
dsc_02101 banana
2 eggs

For a larger batch:
dsc_02112 bananas
3 eggs

 

dsc_0209

Whole peeled banana and second banana mashed with a fork.

Mash your banana(s) in a mixing bowl. *Add any spice(s) at this time and mix well.

 

 

dsc_0214

Well mashed bananas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk until yolk are broken and the mixture is slightly frothy.

dsc_0215

Add eggs to mashed banana(s) and mix thoroughly.

 

 

Heat griddle to 300F, and butter lightly.

 

Spoon batter onto hot griddle, allowing each puddle of batter to spread to about 4″ across.

 

Cook on first side until firm enough to flip, about a minute and a half. Cook on second side for same amount of time. 2-3″ pancakes may only take one minute on each side.

dsc_0219

Turn pancakes carefully onto a plate as they can be quite delicate.

Butter them up and chow down!

dsc_0220
*A dash of cinnamon adds another dimension to this recipe. I imagine that a tiny dash of things like nutmeg, cocoa powder, white pepper, ginger, and even cardamom will give each batch something special. You can also use protien powder or peanut butter powder, but do so sparingly so as not to foul the liquidity of the mix. I plan on a lot of experimentation in the future.

If you are so inclined, you may add a bit of baking soda for fluffier pancakes.

As there is no wheat or other flour in this recipe there is little to hold them together before they start cooking. Be sure to keep them small so they maintain their integrity. You may need to experiment a bit (like I did) to figure out just how to handle them on the griddle.

If you want to add nuts or chocolate chips, make sure they are chopped small and only add them after the batter is spooned onto the griddle, and before the flip.

When the recipe says “serve hot” beleive it. The banana sweetness is definitely in the forefront while they are hot. The egginess, in both flavor and texture, become predominant as the pancakes are allowed to cool. Be sure to have your add-ons, such as butter, syrup, yogurt, or sliced fruit, ready to go!

Using this batter in a crepe pan should also result in super thin, delicate crepes that may be rolled around your favorite ingredients. As mentioned above, this recipe results in tender, delicately textured pancakes.

Because of the ingredients, or lack thereof, these pancakes are paleo, gluten-free, dairy free, grain free, and have no added sugar.

Enjoy!

— Ann Cathey

Corned Beef Hash Quiche Tarts

My partner is Irish and has a distinct affinity for corned beef and potatoes. I wanted something that I could serve for breakfast that wasn’t just hash on a plate with a biscuit and eggs. The idea for this dish came to me one evening in the grocery, where I wound up hunting down the individual ingredients for availability.

Corned Beef Hash Quiche TartsDSC_0024
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 tarts

Ingredients
1 15oz can corned beef hash
8 eggs
1 can crescent roll dough, large
8 tsp heavy whipping cream
8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
baking spray or olive oil

Preheat oven to temperature required for the crescent roll dough. If using a toaster oven, increase heat according to your experienced usage. (My toaster oven requires a 50 degree increase.)

Spray insides of cups on a standard 12 cup muffin tin. Adjust size of tray for your oven or for larger individual cups.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and cream until you have a uniform color and consistency. You should have some froth appearing.


Open crescent  roll dough and roll out on a glass board. Do not use flour. Separate dough in pairs, making long strips of 2 triangles each. Pinch seams shut. Cut each strip into three relatively equal squares.

Place one square of dough into each individual cup and pat with fingertips to ensure that the bottom of the cup is covered. You may push some of the dough gently up the sides if desired.

DSC_0014

Place one tablespoon of hash into each cup, spreading it out to roughly cover the bottom of the dough.

Place a hefty tablespoon of Swiss cheese into each cup. Make sure to tuck in any stray strand so that they are contained and will not melt onto the pan and make a mess.

DSC_0018

Whisk egg mixture again lightly to reverse any separation. Pour egg mixture in a thin stream into each cup, making sure to cover all the cheese with at least a thin layer of liquid. Do not over fill (as shown in photo). Leave about a quarter of an inch space in the cup above the level of the egg. The egg mixture will rise like a muffin, creating a lovely dome top that may spill over onto the connective tray.

DSC_0020

Place tray into the preheated oven and cook for the time directed on the package of dough.

When ready, remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Use a spatula or other plastic implement to loosen he sides for easy removal.

Serve with a spot of sour cream on top, or a sprinkle of cheese. You might also accompany with these Crock Pot German Style Potatoes, the recipe for which is coming up next week.
DSC_0025

As with most of my recipes, there are plenty of variations that may be used. Add a bit of garlic or salt to the eggs. Dice and toss in some bell pepper for a bit of color. Top with bacon. Be creative and combine flavor that please your taste buds. A sprinkle of parsley flakes on top before baking will help to differentiate any tarts with additional or customized ingredients.

Enjoy!

— Ann Cathey

Crock Pot Breakfast

With the weather being cool to cold in most of the United States, I thought these warm breakfast dishes might be appreciated.

There are an amazing number of things that can be cooked in a crock pot or other slow cooker. I bet you didn’t know that breakfast can be prepared in a slow cooker rather than on the stove top. Here are a few recipes that are sure to delight.

These recipes are written more like concepts than with the usual ingredients list due to the many variations that are available for each.

OATMEAL
Instant oatmeal is quick, true, but it’s also just not the same as the real thing. Steel cut oatmeal or whole oat groats are a great way to kick start your morning, but the hour they take to cook can make that difficult.Instead, you should prepare oatmeal the night before for that wonderful smell in the morning. First, toast two cups of oats in a dry pan for five minutes until you can smell them.Then put the oats in a buttered crockpot with eight cups of water, two cups of milk, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.Cook on low for eight hours and enjoy!

APPLESAUCE
Fresh applesauce is amazing served with a pork loin or just as a comforting snack, but it may seem a little intimidating to make. Never fear! All you have to do is peel, core, and dice 10 McIntosh apples and put them into a slow cooker with 1/2 cup of water, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and one cup of sugar. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours and enjoy the warm cinnamon smell that permeates your house. Eat warm, cold or freeze for later.

HUNTERS BREAKFAST
I think this concept has been covered before, but this blog is about breakfast and it bears repeating. Layer potatoes (sliced leftover bakers, diced leftover french fries, frozen or leftover tater tots, frozen hash browns), meat (crumbled sausage or bacon, diced ham, or any combination you may prefer), cheese, and diced bell pepper. Do as many layers as you have ingredients for. If your crock pot is half full, use 6-8 eggs, if it’s mostly full use 12-18 eggs. Crack your eggs into a large bowl and whisk them thoroughly with a splash of milk or cream for fluffiness. Salt and pepper the eggs to taste. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the ingredients in the crock pot. Sprinkle extra cheese on top. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (overnight). if the smell of a hot breakfast waiting for you in the morning doesn’t make your tummy rumble, you may have a cold. Serve as is or wrapped in a warm tortilla for breakfast tacos.

Give these dishes a try and let us know how you enjoyed them. See if you don’t agree that the crock pot method is a time-saving twist on these breakfast favorites.

–Ann Cathey

Fast Food Leftover Madness

Ever wonder what to do with those fast food leftovers in your fridge? Maybe you ordered more than you really wanted, or the kids didn’t polish off all their fries. If it’s substantial enough to warrant tossing in the fridge, it’s plenty to fix for a meal or side for the next day.

Note that wherever “french fries” are mentioned, this could be regular french fries, seasoned curly fries, waffle fries, or even steak fries. They all work wonderfully in your leftover madness.

FRIED CHICKEN SALAD
Cold fried chicken, de-boned and diced make a wonderful chicken salad for sandwiches or wraps with your favorite ingredients. Mayo, brown mustard, chopped onion and peppers are one variation. Another is mayo, yellow curry and purple seedless grapes served up in a pita half!

FRIED CHICKEN TACOS
Strip that chicken off the bone, toss it with garlic and chili powder in a skillet with a spritz of olive oil, then fill your tacos with chicken, cheese and whatever else you may desire.

HASH-BROWN FRENCH FRIES
Take those cold french fries out of the fridge and dice them. Give a skillet a spritz of olive oil and heat some diced garlic. Toss in those fry bits and treat them like hash-brown potatoes. They will cook up to whatever consistence you desire, from soft to slightly crunchy.

Crack and egg into the middle and serve it sunny side up in a ring of hash-brown fries.

CHILI CHEESE CHICKEN NUGGETS/STRIPS
Got some chicken nuggets or strips left over? Arrange them on a dish and heat in the microwave. Smother them in hot chili and your choice of cheese and enjoy.

Garnish with a bit of sour cream and sliced black olives for some complementary flavors and textures.

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
De-boned fried chicken makes a great filling for enchiladas. Wrap the chicken and some cheese into tortillas, cover in enchilada sauce, heat and serve with fresh guacamole and sour cream.

HUNTSMAN’S BREAKFAST
Start a skillet with a spritz of olive oil and some diced garlic and onion. Cook until the onion is just beginning to soften. Add in a meat, like diced sausage or chicken strips, and cook until hot. Dice the leftover french fries and add the to the skillet, stir this mixture fairly often to keep it from sticking. Whisk up an appropriate number of eggs for the contents of the skillet, adding your spices of choice. Add this to the skillet and cook until the eggs are done.

You might serve this up on a plate with a few dashes of hot sauce, or in tortillas with cheese as breakfast tacos. Either way, it’s a quick and simple breakfast plan.

MORE DICED DELIGHTS
Diced french fries, and other leftover potatoes, with or without onions also make filling additions to stews, bean pots, and even home-made chili. Diced onion rings are great in chili and in hashbrowns.

We’ve actually bought chicken nuggets from the Golden Arches specifically to take home and smother in chili and cheese for supper. It wasn’t the healthiest meal we have ever enjoyed, but it was so tasty we didn’t mind.

— Ann Cathey

Burger Wells

This little dish was the result of boredom, too much internet, and what was available in the kitchen. I think it turned out rather well, and the taste testers polished their plates.DSC_0607

Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef (or venison, pork, or turkey)
1 lb bacon
2 eggs
2 tb salsa
1tsp cumin
1tsp onion powder
1tsp garlic powder
1 tb dried parsley
1/4tsp paprika
1tb butter
2 cups brown rice, pre-cooked
1/2 cup diced mushroom (or 1 10oz can)
1/2 pound asparagus, pre-cooked
1/2 cup grated Manchego

Asparagus and Mushrooms, drained

Asparagus and Mushrooms, drained

Directions:

Beef Well

Beef Well

Mix beef, spices, salsa and one egg thoroughly. Roughly quarter into balls. Squash the ball with a greased slender cup or glass and form sides up the glass. Remove carefully and place in baking pan or on individual squares of foil for grilling. Shape the meat mixture further if needed to get evenly thick and tall sides for each beef-well.

 

 

Bacon Wapped Well

Bacon Wrapped Well

Wrap each beef-well in a slice of bacon (add a little if needed).

Mix pre-cooked brown rice, asparagus (chopped) and diced mushroom into a bowl with 1/4 cup cheese. Mix well. Fill the beef-wells with this mixture and set the remainder aside.

Stuffed Well

Stuffed Well

DSC_0605

Asparagus lined Well

NOTE: In the photographed version, asparagus stems were used to line the sides of the well. They were precooked and thus already tender.

Take the remaining bacon and slice into pieces approximately 1/5-2 inches long. Carefully place a layer of bacon pieces across the top of each stuffed beef-well. this will help to contain moisture so that the veggies don’t dry out.

Slide the tray into the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.

Into a skillet, toss the rest of the bacon strips and cook to preferred chewiness or crunchiness. Drain and set aside.

Drop butter into the skillet and allow it to melt. Add the remaining egg and stir vigorously. Before the egg is quite done, toss in the remaining stuffing and stir while the egg finishes cooking. Add the remaining bacon with a sprinkle of cheese and toss.

Emplate one beef-well with a quarter of the stir-fry, sprinkling remaining cheese on top.

We served with crescent rolls on the side, and this made up four lovely plates.DSC_0608

Give this a try and let us know how yours turned out!

— Ann Cathey

Food Porn Episode 6

This episode of Food Porn is brought to you by my kitchen. The food photos were, as they have been in this series, culled from stock photography. I’ve added a little info about each one, though I’m told they speak for themselves, especially the ones that scream, “BACON!”

DSC_0247Bunless bacon cheeseburgers! Broiled beef patties, hickory smoked bacon, shredded colbyjack cheese, and kosher dill slices.

 

DSC_0489Okay this one is not from my kitchen, but from a campout we enjoyed a month or so ago. Chicken Enchilada Lasagne with fresh diced tomatoes, a corn and black bean mix, with a side of French bread and butter.

 

Yellow curried chicken over white rice with mini pita on the side.

 

Scrambled ham with spices and ham sandwiched on a fresh butter croissant.

 

photoA heart attack on a butter croissant with coarse mustard, three layers of maple bacon, kosher dills, and colbyjack cheddar cheese.

 

DSC_0248Let’s get another look at that bunless bacon cheeseburger, shall we?

–Ann Cathey