Veggie Hash with Poached Eggs

What do you make for dinner when you are tiered of eating, cooking, and baking? Not to mention that you have a refrigerator with lots of almost nothing. I guess that is a result of the holidays, but if you are dumb founded then you are on the same page as I was this past week. On my way home from work I decided my car was dirty; as I road though the car was I was scanning recipes on my iPhone. Because sitting in a car while it gets sudsy is the best place to ponder what to make for dinner – is it not?!? I was not interested in a soup, nor was I interested in a stir fry. I guess I was looking for something to excite me. As the huge dryers were vacuuming the rinse water away from my car I came across an article I read some time ago in the New York Times about making a vegetable hash. It is a great way to take advantage of the extra things you have laying around and no real “recipe” needed for it.

I road home in my nice sparkling clean car and was making a mental list of all the root veggies I had. I knew they would hold up well to the sauté and slightly crispy texture you look for in a hash. I knew I had several eggs that I could poach. Oh, it was on; I had a plan. As dinner time neared I pulled out all the vegetable odds and ends I had.  Dicing away, sautéing, and poaching we ended up with a meal that was so delicious, satisfying, and stunning to look at. The combination of the beets, carrots, parsnips and onions I used had this glistening hue to it. Topped with a poached egg that oozed a golden lusciousness when it was pierced with a knife was too lovely to explain. I honestly do not think I could have planned a better meal at that moment. Give it a try with the “extras” in your refrigerator, or use the recipe below. It is simple, satisfying, and terrific for any meal of the day. Particularly, a brunch to kick off the New Year!

 

Veggie Hash with Poached Eggs

Veggie Hash with Poached Eggs (Serves 4)

2 medium beets

1 large parsnip

1 large carrot

2 medium Russet Potatoes

*All the above peeled and cubed small

1 medium onion, chopped small

About 5 Brussels sprouts, sliced thin

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of smoked paprika

¼ tsp of ground cumin

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Eggs (at least 1 per guest)

2 tbsp of distilled vinegar

First, place a very large non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. When pan is heated through add in your olive oil and warm it through.  Add your onion to the olive oil and sauté about 3 – 5 minutes until it begins to become translucent. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika and the ground cumin, stirring it well. You want the spices to coat the onion and toast a bit (about 3-5 minutes more).

Next, add in youth diced veggies and stir it all well. Add in about a ½ - ¾ cup of water and cover with a lid or foil. You are looking to have the diced veggies steam a bit to cook through (without doing this you risk undercooked veggies). When water had evaporated remove cover and stir a bit. Season with Sea Salt and black pepper and let it all sit to simmer. You are looking for the bottom to get a bit crispy.

Meanwhile, you are looking to fill at least a 4 quart pot with water and place it over medium heat. Add you vinegar and some sea salt, gradually letting it come to a gentle simmer. When water is simmering you can gently add in one to two cracked eggs at a time. You are looking for them to gently cook in the seasoned water…do not let it boil. Keeping an eye on them you are looking for the egg whites to become opaque and the yolk to be somewhat soft. (You are actually cooking the egg for no more than 5 – 6 minutes.) Gently remove your poached egg with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate until ready to eat.

Next, add your Brussels sprouts to your veggies and stir well. The heat of the pan should wilt your sprouts quickly and that is just what you are looking for. If you feel that you veggies are not “crispy” enough you can raise you heat to let more caramelization occur, but keep a close eye on it. Season it well with sea salt and black pepper. When you feel you veggies are “crispy” enough and tender you are able to plate it all as you wish.

Finally, it is ready to plate. Add a soup of the veggie hash to a plate and gently top with a poached egg. The egg may need a bit more of salt added, but that is personal preference. Serve this with a nice green salad and some toast for a more complete meal, although just as good on its own.

Fiddlehead Ferns = Delight!

I am in awe with all amazing finds at our local farmers markets since I moved here.  One of the stands that impreses me week after week is the Forger Stand. Every Sunday they show up with a variety of mushrooms, sorrel, nettles, and most importantly – when in season - fiddlehead ferns.  

If you never had a Fiddlehead Fern you are missing out. The flavor of them is somewhat mild. I personally find it to be somewhat of a cross between a string bean, sugar snap pea, and asparagus. It is lightly earthy, and holds its texture extremely well. I have been blanching them and tossing them in light vinaigrette. That is until I posted a picture of the fiddleheads on Facebook and a fellow chef I know commented that she has had them with eggs. My curiosity grew and I was waiting for the fiddlehead ferns to make their spring appearance to give it a try.

This week I was able to make my long awaited cooking desire come to a satisfaction. Fiddlehead ferns were finally being forged.  I sautéed some Crimini mushrooms with a shallot and then scrambled some eggs with a mixture of fresh herbs and folded in the fiddlehead ferns. It was lovely. I drizzled a bit of truffle oil over the finished dish that heightened it to an entirely new level.  Paired with a simple green salad and some cheese crostini and I was in food heaven.  I hope they will be at the market next week – I want to make it again and again.

 

Crimini and Fiddlehead Fern Scramble (Feeds

1 cup of Crimini Mushrooms, sliced

1 large Shallot, chopped

2 tbsp of olive oil (or more)

6 – 7 eggs

¼ cup of heavy cream

1 tbsp of fresh parsley, minced

1 tsp of fresh chives, minced

1 tsp of fresh oregano, minced

2 handfuls of fiddlehead ferns, cut end trimmed back

Sea Salt & Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Truffle Oil, for drizzling

First, place a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add in your olive oil and heat through. Toss in your Crimini mushrooms and sauté about 3 minutes before adding in your shallot. Stir well and let it all simmer together until your mushrooms are tender and shallots begin to caramelize.  Sprinkle your mushrooms and shallot with sea salt and black pepper. Once your mushrooms are tender and remove from heat.

Meanwhile in another pan add in your fiddlehead ferns and fill with enough water to cover them and add a pinch of salt. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Once your water is boiling strain your fiddlehead ferns and set aside for your eggs.

Then crack all your eggs into a large bowl along with your minced herbs and heavy cream. Whisk it all together until well blended.  Season it with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Place your nonstick pan with the mushrooms back over medium heat and add in a bit of olive oil if the pan looks dry. Pour in your egg mixture and with a rubber spatula keep stirring your eggs and mushrooms until your eggs are almost fully cooked. Add in your fiddlehead ferns and continue to stir and cook your eggs until they are cooked through.

Finally, on plating - portion out your scramble and lightly drizzle them with your truffle oil. Be sure to serve it with a simply dressed green salad and some cheese crostini (I used manchego cheese to compliment the eggs and your salad, but any cheese of your choice would be fine).

Chanterelle Frittata

At the Farmers Market this morning the forger stand had big baskets of Chanterelles. They were beautiful and I had to have some. I purchased a bunch of them and as I continued to walk through the market I picked up some eggs as well. Fresh eggs are great when you have them available, and in my opinion make great frittatas. Chanterelle Frittata, nothing would be more savory!

Chanterelle Frittata (serves 4)

Chanterelles (about a cup) – washed, trimmed and chopped

¼ of an onion, chopped

6 eggs

¼ cup of Heavy Cream

¼ tsp of Rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp of butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

First, place a large oven proof nonstick pan over medium heat. Melt your butter and add in your onion and Chanterelles. Sauté them together and season with a bit of salt and pepper and sprinkle the rosemary over them.  Stir them frequently.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl whisk together your eggs, heavy cream, and a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Next, when your onions are transparent; pour your egg mixture over the onion and chanterelle mixture. Place your pan into your 400 degree oven and keep a close eye on it. Once your frittata starts to puff up and pull away from your pan it is almost ready. I like to see some golden color around the edges and give the pan a little giggle to be sure your frittata is set and cooked through.

Finally, remove your pan from the oven carefully and let it cool a minute or two before handling.  Gently use a spatula to loosen the edges of your frittata. With a serving plate ready, carefully flip your frittata out of the pan and onto your plate.  Slice and it is ready to serve. (This is great with a nice sharp cheese and a green salad.)

Linguini and Eggs

One of my father’s favorite things to eat is Pasta Aglio e Olio d’ Oliva. The translation is Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil. This is as simple as it comes and what my parents would refer to a peasant food, or what my grandmother (my mom’s mother) was known for making when they had nothing to cook and a family to feed. Simple to make and so flavorful – garlic and olive oil speaks volumes. If you were to ask my mother what she enjoys eating, her answer would probably be an egg. She loves all the ways you can cook them. As a child I thought I hated eggs.  I think it was the smell of them that first turned me off, but my father absolutely despises eggs and I am sure that had some influencing on my opinion. So I grew up never eating eggs, but my sister and my mother always enjoyed them together. I can remember how they would sit at the table in kitchen in the morning, both with a soft boiled egg and toast to dip into the yolk.  They loved it, and looking back it was a little bonding time that the two of them had together.

Years later while I was in culinary school I came to a drastic discovery, I liked eating eggs! I was shocked and so amazed. I was making omelets, quiche, frittatas, poached eggs and scrambles and enjoying it all. My husband and my girls – Martini and Latte were so happy with this discovery. I wanted to get my egg cooking down perfect and I make them over and over to get the technique down, so on and on the practice went. My girls now hear the cracking of an egg and come into the kitchen to see if they are getting a treat.  So yes, I have done my share of cooking eggs in the last 8 years.

This all leads me to the dish I want to share with you, Linguini and Eggs. This dish is so utterly humble and fantastic I can hardly stand it. It is like a combination of my father’s favorite – Pasta e Aglio e Olio d’ Oliva, and my mother’s favorite – eggs. The way the egg ends up coating the linguini and the flavor that it imparted from the garlic is so satisfying. I hope you all rush to try it. It is also so easy to cook up that you can have it ready in minutes and can be easily doubled.  I hope to make it someday when I am with my mom and my sister and hopefully have a bonding moment of our own. My dad will just have to miss out!

 

 

Linguini and Eggs (serves 2 – 3) 

8 oz of Linguini

3 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ tsp of Crushed Red Pepper

1/8 of a cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Eggs, beaten

Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated), at least ¾ a cup

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Fresh Parsley or Oregano for sprinkling

First, place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling place in your linguini and stir well. Set your timer to 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time on the box.

Next, place a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Once pan is hot pout n olive oil and wait until you see it is warmed through. Add your garlic and crushed red pepper and simmer, while stirring it occasionally. You want the garlic and red pepper to cook but not brown, so if you feel they are browning lower your heat and keep an eye on it.

Then, with a colander ready and when your timer rings you need to drain your linguini. Once the linguini is strained, place the linguini into your frying pan with the garlic and olive oil. Toss it well with it simmering. Season your beaten eggs with Sea Salt and Black Pepper and a bit of your parmesan cheese. Pour this mixture over your linguini in the frying pan and with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula continually stirring (over medium heat) until the egg mixture is cooked and resembles scrambled eggs.

Finally, remove your frying pan from the heat. Sprinkle some extra parmesan cheese and toss well. . Scoop a bit of the linguini and eggs onto a plate for serving. Sprinkle with your parsley or oregano and have the extra parmesan (if any) ready to serve with for personal taste.

Note: This recipe can be easily doubled, but be very careful when tossing your liguini with your egg. it is easy to have your egg all fall to the bottom of your pan and then it will not encorporate fully. Also a nonstick pan is essential, otherwise your eggs and the linguini stick and you end up with a mess.

Poached Egg

Poached Egg There is a beauty in an egg that I wish more people would notice. A Poached Egg is pricless in itself.

 

6 cups Water

1/2 tsp Vinegar (White Wine)

Pinch of Salt

Eggs

Bring your water to a simmer, add in your salt and vinegar. Crack your egg into a bowl or into a laddle that you can lower into your simmering water. Be sure it is only simmering and not boiling. Let it gently simmer for about 2 - 4 minutes or until your whites are solid and your yoke is still runny. Lift out of the water gently.

I prefer to do one egg at a time, unless I am using a larger pan and more water. Serve while still warm.