Seven Ways to Jazz Up Your Morning Eggs

One of the best foods to start off a high energy day is the humble egg. And on many mornings at Casual Kitchen, we regularly boil up one or two eggs apiece for a quick, efficient and energy-dense breakfast.

The only problem is you can only eat eggs prepared the same way for so many days in a row before you start to feel like Cool Hand Luke (remember the scene where Paul Newman eats fifty boiled eggs in one hour to settle a bet?).

My goal with today's post is to bring you seven quick and easy egg-jazzing suggestions, so you'll never get sick of eggs--one of nature’s most efficient foods.

One brief note before we get started: I want to go beyond too-obvious solutions like suggesting the various basic egg prep techniques (e.g.: sunnyside up, scrambled, over easy, etc). Rotating through basic egg prep techniques like this doesn't exactly qualify for “jazzing up” in my opinion, and in any event each of these techniques, if overused, can quickly get boring too. At the same time, I want to avoid highly complex solutions like egg frittatas or eggs Benedict that are outside the scope of what I’d call a quick and efficient meal.

Let’s begin:

1) Tabasco
Instead of seasoning your eggs with run-of-the-mill spices like salt and pepper, why not shake a generous splash or two of Tabasco sauce on them? You can do this with eggs prepared in almost any conceivable way, fried, boiled, scrambled, etc. It will add a little fire to your morning and can make a boring egg seem a lot more interesting. You can also try Chipotle Tabasco--or if you have a truly asbestos-lined mouth, Habanero Tabasco.

2) Creative Spices
But why stop with Tabasco? Consider even more creative and unusual spices for your eggs. How about adding a few shakes of ground paprika? Or sage and marjoram--or even nutmeg? What about a ground hot curry powder? Eggs can be a vehicle for any of these spices. Try a few and see what works for you.

3) Fried Eggs, Spanish Style
I learned this technique from the blog In Praise of Sardines: In a small nonstick frying pan, add 1/4 inch of olive oil (preferably extra virgin) to the pan, and heat the oil until almost smoking. Crack the egg into the pan, turn down the heat to medium, and using a spoon, baste the top of the egg with the hot oil.

Essentially you give the egg third degree burns from the top down, while it also cooks in the pan from the bottom up. Season with a little salt or black pepper, and serve on a piece of toasted bread. Delicious!

4) Master a New Way of Preparing Eggs
Everyone has a cooking comfort zone, even with a task as basic as preparing eggs. But part of the mission of Casual Kitchen is to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and learn new recipes, cuisines and cooking techniques. So how about mastering a technique for preparing eggs that’s outside of your comfort zone?

For example, I’ve always considered poached eggs to be way out of my comfort zone. But the other day I found a site containing instructions on how to poach an egg that made me realize that it’s not as hard to do as I thought. So while you’re mastering your own new way to cook eggs, I’ll be attempting to master the art of the poached egg.

5) Add Beans
Let’s let Trent from the Simple Dollar take us to school on how to add an interesting tweak (and some extra protein) to simple scrambled eggs:

Beans and Eggs
“Easy as pie. Just crack four eggs, add half a teaspoon of milk and some pepper, and beat them rapidly until they’re consistent in texture. Pour the egg mixture into a skillet and add half a cup of cooked black beans (or a bean mix, if you prefer). Scramble the eggs by repeatedly moving the eggs around in the skillet as it cooks until it’s nice and fluffy and full of beans. Put some cheese and salsa on top and you have one of my favorite breakfasts in the world - plus it’s an ovo-vegetarian dish.”

6) But Why Stop at Beans?
Once again, let’s not just stop at simply adding beans to scrambled eggs--let's go further: How about adding chopped jalapenos? Fried onions or peppers? Or fresh herbs like parsley, dill or cilantro? What about something more exotic like avocado, or olives, sun-dried tomatoes or even nuts? Don’t let your mind stop at the conventional ideas.

7) The Omelet
Finally, let’s consider the blankest of all egg canvases, the omelet. You can put practically anything in an omelet. Let’s consider some ideas:

a) Dump a couple of tablespoons of hot salsa in your omelet.
b) Make a Fire Omelet with a lot of hot cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce.
c) How about a four cheese omelet with a separate zones each of brie, swiss, cheddar and feta cheeses?
d) And last but not least: one of my favorite omelets is the Greek omelet, but consider a greek omelet not just with spinach and feta cheese, but with additional ingredients, like dill, olives and even cucumbers. You could call it a Greek Salad Omelet.


What are your favorite ways to prepare eggs?

Related Posts:
How to Make a Perfectly Boiled Egg Every Time
The French Press
The History of Tabasco
When High-Fat Food ... Can Actually Be Healthy For You: Diet and Athletic Training Part 1

14 comments:

Rete said...

I love migas! Scrambled eggs with a handful of tortilla chips, salsa, and cheese... mmmm!

Daniel Koontz said...

Hi Rete,

A great coincidence: Homesick Texan (one of my favorite blogs) just posted an article with a recipe for migas the other day! Here it is.

Thanks for your comment!

DK

Anonymous said...

Egg Muffins:
http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2006/10/egg-muffins-revisited-again.html
These are made from your regular omelet ingredients, but cooked in cupcake/muffin pans. They look pretty neat straight out of the oven, but their added bonus is that you can make a batch at the weekend, put the cooled muffins in a baggie and zap them for a few seconds later in the week for a fast breakfast - I just ate them cold for lunch and they were pretty good that way too. Incidentally, the silicone muffin pans are not essential; I had some leftover mix yesterday and cooked it in a Pyrex custard cup, sprayed with Pam - this worked as well as those cooked alongside it in the silicone pan - both popped right out.
Mike in KC

Anonymous said...

Something I have always enjoyed is a unique twist on a simple egg and cheese sandwich. First get a small round cookie cutter, about 2" diameter (I use a juice glass). butter both sides of a piece of bread, cut a hole in the middle, place in a hot frying pan. Then break an egg into the hole. When you flip it over put a slice of cheese on top. You can also fry up the cut out so you can have something else to sop up the yolk... Yummy!

wirehead said...

I've reached the point with my breakfast that I can't just have eggs anymore. See, when I was but a wee lil Wirehead, I stopped being able to have breakfast cereal, so it's been homemade breakfasts every morning for all of my adult life.

Adding spices of all sorts held me over for all of high school, tho.

So I alternate between preparations. For a few months, I'll have homemade egg/sausage/cheese sandwiches with homemade bread. I'll space it out with breakfast burritos. And then I'll do omelettes.

Although migas sounds good, too. I may have to try that. :)

Also, I alternate eggs and oatmeal on a daily basis, which also helps make it a little less boring.

Daniel Koontz said...

I like the fried bread method! Thanks for suggesting.

Wirehead:
You've probably saved a fortune over your lifetime by not buying breakfast cereals. I have to do a post at some point on how most breakfast cereals are both criminally expensive and terrible for you.

Thank you for your comment!

DK

tommy salami said...

I cook my scrambled in a pot on very low heat with a chunk of butter, stirring constantly. When it gets too hot and solidifies, toss in a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, take it off heat, stir it in, and put it back on. Got this from a Gordon Ramsay bit on youtube. Excellent served with some on-the-vine cherry tomatoes seared in a pan with olive oil. Yum.

Poached is healthiest, but such a pain. I've tried vinegar, swirling the water, and other tricks and it's always a mess. I just fry them on the edge of the pan with a little olive oil until the inner white congeals, then give it a quick flip. 10-15 seconds later you've got the white all cooked and a nice oozy yolk. With some Canadian bacon on a whole grain (or sprouted) English muffin, it's a great start to the day.

The Sieve said...

CK,

Great bit on jazzing up eggs. I agree that it is good to mix it up and try a new preparation from time-to-time. Frittatas are fun and great for serving a crew when people are over. And unlike scrambled and fried, it's fine when it is at room temperature.

We have a lot of fun at the ski house with sunday morning made-to-order omelets. It started a few years ago when we had 12 people up and a quarter pot of chili left over from the night before. Someone said "how about Chili Omelets" and the rest was history. Instant hangover cure. People still rave about the ChiliCheese omelets up there. From then on, any leftovers from dinner thye night before have been fair game and put to the omelet test. Here are a few examples of others we'd tried:

- Lasagna Omelet -- legendary; people request this one all the time. If I owned a diner, I would put this on the menu.

- Pulled Pork Omelet - I'm of gthe opinion that you could add pulled pork to anything and it would be awesome. It certainly makes a mean omelet.

- Pork Shoulder Braised in Cabbage Omelet - the crowd struggled with this one. By the time the second omelet was passed to its victim, word had spread and people were changing their orders to cheese or veggie.

Some work better than others.

TheSieve

Daniel Koontz said...

Thanks for the added suggestions! We've got some really good ones here. I'm going to have a lot more free time in the next several months, so I'll be trying several of these.

I'm intrigued by the egg muffins (Mike in KC) as well as migas (Rete). I'll also report back on the modest success I've had teaching myself to poach eggs.... :)

And Tommy Salami and The Sieve, these are excellent suggestions! I have some exceptionally creative readers.

Thanks all of you for your input.

DK

Sara said...

When I was in Ecuador for a month, the woman who cooked for us made scrambled eggs with onion, green pepper, and tomato. I normally don't like add-ins that change the texture of my eggs, but this was delicious, especially on bread to make a sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan! This is very timely as I'm getting 6 hens shortly. Funny that you said poached eggs are out of your comfort zone. Mike hates to cook except every Saturday morning he cooks me poached eggs and puts them atop toast with grated cheese, yummy! Jen

Daniel said...

Great to hear Jen! You found yourself a good man if Mike makes you poached eggs... Laura isn't quite so lucky. :)

DK

Kevin said...

Nice post! Makes me want to go to the kitchen for a second, better tasting breakfast.

KMAYS said...

My favorite way to eat eggs is with some chopped bell pepper, jalapeno, a little bit of cheese and salsa.