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.
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?
How to Make a Perfectly Boiled Egg Every Time
The French Press
The History of Tabasco
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