Tag Archives: Eggs

Scrambled Eggs a la Julia Child

11 Oct

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After I saw Julie and Julia this summer, I decided I had to get Julia’s cookbook, which has been on my cookbooks-to-buy list for years.  I’ve also been watching her show, The French Chef, on DVD.  Such fun!  Julia Child took such pleasure in food, which is something I strive to do every day.  We all have to eat, so it might as well be good.  Why waste a meal on something that’s not really very good?  I finally got Julia’s cookbook because my mom sent me Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and so far I’ve made a few of the basic recipes.

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First on my list was scrambled eggs.  The book has a great chapter on eggs, and I haven’t been brave enough so far to try poaching an egg…I bet it indeed is harder than it looks.  Scrambling, on the other hand, is not hard, even when Julia Child does it.  It seems that Julia’s secret to scrambled eggs is all about cooking temperature.  Her recipe recommends a stove temperature of medium low, while I have been known to cook away at medium to medium high.  The result of the lower temperature is, yes, a bit longer cooking time, but also much creamier eggs with an almost velvety texture.  Wow!  The ingredients here are as simple as can be, the key is really the technique.  The amounts and ingredients I provide below are not exactly from the cookbook, but just about.

Ingredients (for one)

2 eggs, beaten with a bit of salt and some pepper, and 1 tsp of water (1/2 tsp per egg)

1/2 tablespoon butter

chopped fresh parsley

a splash of heavy cream

Instructions

First, beat the eggs with a pinch or two of salt and some pepper.

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Heat the butter in a skillet over medium low heat, until it’s melted and foams a bit.

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Then, add the eggs.  It won’t appear that the eggs are doing anything for a few minutes.  After 2 or 3 minutes, they will look about like this:

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At this point, start stirring every 30 seconds or so.  After a few more minutes:

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Here, they are done:  eggs and granola 011

The last step is to splash your eggs with a bit of heavy cream (not really necessary, but so decadent!).  Alternatively, you can give your eggs a bit of butter to finish.  Then, add about 1 or 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.  You can cook the eggs over higher heat to cook faster, but you won’t get the same silky texture!

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Italian Egg Sandwich

11 Sep

This is a super easy, fast dish I’ve been making for several years as a way to prepare dinner quickly.  The Italian Egg Sandwich is a traditional Italian sandwich, which I found in Giada de Laurentiis’s Everyday Italian cookbook.  It has three basic elements:  a fried egg, some marinara sauce, and a piece of toasted bread.  Cheese is optional, because the sandwich has a lot of flavor even without it, but here I used grated parmigiano reggiano.  Giada’s recipe calls for rubbing the bread with a clove of garlic for added flavor, but I normally don’t do this because my marinara sauce already has plenty of garlic.

Italian Egg Sandwich

Time:  About 10 or 15 minutes

Servings:  1 (simply multiply the ingredients amounts if you need additional servings)

Ingredients

1 egg

1/4-1/3 cup chunky, thick marinara sauce (here I used the Salsa All’Arrabiata I featured in my last post, but use whatever you prefer)

Some grated parmigiano reggiano (you could alsouse any other type of grated cheese you have on hand, or none at all)

Salt and pepper to taste for the egg

A slice of good quality bread.  Below is a picture of the bread I used.  You can find bread like this at most grocery stores these days.  A ciabatta roll would work, as would a big slice of baguette.

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Step one: Heat some olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

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Step two: As the olive oil heats, slice the bread and toast.

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I used a serrated knife to slice the bread, as shown below.  If you use a straight-edged knife, you’ll just squish the bread.

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Step three: Crack the egg into a small dish and add a pinch of salt and pepper.  I do this instead of breaking the egg directly into the pan because sometimes I end up with little pieces of egg shell in the pan.  Then, pour into the pan and cover.

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The egg will take about 5 minutes or so, perhaps less.  I like the yolk to be a bit runny, with the white just set, but you may want your egg to be more thoroughly cooked.  If so, just add a few minutes to the cooking time.  Make sure the heat is not higher than medium, because the bottom of the egg will burn before the top is cooked.

Step four: Pop the sauce in the microwave to heat, for 1-2 minutes.  It is important for the sauce to be thick and not overly runny, because if it’s too runny it will make your bread soggy.  Spread on top of the toasted bread, and add the cheese on top of the sauce if you’re using cheese.

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Your egg will look about like this when it’s done:

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Step five: Place the egg on top of the bread, and voila, you have the Italian Egg Sandwich.  I find it helpful to use a knife and fork to eat this, but by all means eat with your hands if you want!  I found this sandwich to be just enough the night I made it for dinner, but if you need something more, make two, or pair the sandwich with a soup of some type or a salad.

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Sunday Challenge: Greek Zucchini Pie

26 Aug

This vegetable pie is the first of a series of “Sunday Challenges” I will feature on The People’s Gourmet.  Sunday is the day of the week when I normally attempt more complex or time-consuming culinary endeavors I don’t have time for the rest of the week.  This pie is very much worth the effort, and it’s a really great way to get a lot of vegetables into one dish.

This recipe is also from the New York Times, as were my bean tacos but I altered this dish a bit.  Here, I use parmesan cheese instead of the feta because that’s what I had on hand, and I reduced the cooking time.  The recipe indicates a cooking time of 40-50 minutes, but I cooked my zucchini pie for just 25-30 minutes.  Phyllo dough burns easily, so I think 40-50 minutes is too much.  I also did not grate my zucchini, but cut it into coins instead.  During the winter, I like making pies like this one, except with winter vegetables, like kale or swiss chard.  This pie will take a bit of time, but an hour of it is inactive.

Here’s what you need:

Time:  About 2-2.5 hours total

Special equipment:  brush for brushing olive oil onto phyllo dough (see picture below), 8 -10-inch pie pan or quiche pan

3-4 medium zucchini

Salt to taste

About 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauteeing onion, garlic, and zucchini, plus extra for brushing phyllo dough

1 medium or large onion

2 or 3 cloves of fresh garlic

2/3 cup fresh dill

1/3 cup fresh parsley

2/3-1 cup feta cheese or parmesan cheese

3 eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

10 sheets of phyllo dough (phyllo dough usually comes frozen, so make sure you leave it out to thaw several hours before you plan to use it)

Step 1: Slice the zucchini.

zucchini coins

zucchini coins

Step 2: Place the zucchini in a medium bowl, toss with about 2 teaspoons of salt.

Salted Zucchini

salted zucchini

Step 3: Place zucchini in a colander or strainer, and leave for about 1 hour.  The salt will extract a lot of water from the zucchini. You want to do this step so that the water in the zucchini will not make your crust soggy.

zucchini in a strainer over a bowl

zucchini in a strainer over a bowl

water collected after a half hour

water collected after a half hour

Step 4: Press zucchini between a few paper towels to remove any excess water.  Set aside for a moment in a bowl.

pressing the zucchini

pressing the zucchini

Step 5: Preheat oven to 350.  In a pan large enough to hold your zucchini with onions and garlic, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Chop the onion and garlic.  When your pan is hot, throw in the onion, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

chopped onions and garlic

chopped onions and garlic

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Step 6: Add zucchini and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

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Step 7: As the zucchini, onion, and garlic cook, chop the herbs and the cheese (I used a small block of parmesan that I chopped, but you can grate if you want or use pre-grated cheese), and beat the eggs.  Add freshly ground black pepper, then, combine with herbs and cheese.

dill and parsley

dill and parsley

beaten eggs with freshly ground pepper

beaten eggs with freshly ground pepper

herbs, eggs, cheese, and pepper

herbs, eggs, cheese, and pepper

Step 8: Mix about half a cup of the zucchini, onion, and garlic mixture into the egg mixture to heat up the eggs so that rest of the hot zucchini mixture will not produce scrambled eggs.  Then, mix in the rest of the zucchini mixture.

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Step 9: Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl.  Get out your brush.  My phyllo dough was a little large for the quiche pan I used, so I cut the sheets in half.

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sheets of phyllo dough

sheets of phyllo dough

Step 10: Assemble the crust.  Brush each sheet of phyllo with a bit of olive oil, and layer 5 of these sheets in the bottom of your pan.

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Step 11: Fill crust with zucchini/egg mixture.

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Step 12: Brush 5 more sheets of phyllo dough with olive oil, and layer on top of the pie. When done, tuck in the sides of the dough.

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Step 13: Bake for about 30 minutes.  Your pie will look about like this:

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