Thursday, August 18, 2011

French Scrambled Eggs

2011 may well go down as the Summer of the Egg, the soothing, nutritious, economical, endlessly variable – and yes, "incredible and edible" – egg. This is one of two ways I've been cooking eggs all summer, a relaxed weekend breakfast treat here, a no-trip-to-the-grocery quick supper there.

I love how the eggs stay soft, how the vegetables themselves take on the soft creaminess, how there's time to make a salad, set the table, all while the eggs cook. For anyone who collects new ways to cook eggs, this deserves a look and with any luck, a place in the repertoire.

French Scrambled Eggs
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Is it the chicken or the egg?

For my appetite (yours too?), one egg is “just enough” for a lady-size breakfast – but only so long as it’s a whole egg. Cook it sunnyside up, over easy, poached or shirred, I’m completely satisfied, just make sure the egg is whole. But once a single egg is whisked for scrambled eggs or an omelet, the serving size seems no longer just lady-sized but – well, let’s say it like it is – skimpy and stingy!

Why is this? Is it possible for the fixed portion size of one whole egg to seem more substantial than one mixed-up egg? What else could cause this difference in perception?

Okay so yes, I’m nerdy like this: one day I actually measured scrambled eggs.

One scrambled egg yields a scant quarter cup. Puny!
One egg plus an extra egg white yields a generous quarter cup. Plenty!

So now for scrambled eggs, cooked in this French style or otherwise, I now allow myself one whole egg plus, for volume, an extra egg white.

ALANNA’s TIPS Use a saucepan, not a skillet, to make French Scrambled Eggs. Less surface area helps the eggs cook slowly. For the softest, most tender eggs, keep the heat on low and just enjoy observing the slow-slow changes in the eggs as they cook. If the eggs begin to cook too quickly, lift the saucepan off the heat for a moment. The cookbook where I learned this technique says that it’s a waste to cook fewer than six eggs – but I disagree, I’ve made this several times for just one and the technique works great. It also suggests stirring in a teaspoon of cream and/or butter at the end. This is a luxury I don’t want to get too cozy with so haven’t tried! The vegetables are completely optional – but they do help compensate for that small portion size. Any vegetables may be used, just be sure to keep their sizes small so they can cook quite quickly.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite way to cook eggs that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

FRENCH SCRAMBLED EGGS

Cooked low and slow in a saucepan
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 1, easily multiplied
    VEGETABLES
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped (save some of green parts for serving)
  • A few grape tomatoes, halved
  • A chunk of zucchini, chopped small
    SCRAMBLED EGGS
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon good mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
    TO SERVE
  • Toast or Fried Bread or a warm tortilla
  • Good salt
  • A little chopped green onion

VEGETABLES In a saucepan (not a skillet, you want a cooking vessel with sides), heat the oil til shimmery on medium, add the onion, tomatoes and zucchini and sauté until just soft and the tomatoes begin to express their liquid. Lift out half the vegetables onto a plate and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium low, you might need to remove from the heat to help cool down.

SCRAMBLED EGGS In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients with a wooden spoon just until loosely combined. Pour into the saucepan (it should be cool enough that the eggs don’t begin to cook immediately). Scramble the eggs by stirring nearly continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk, letting them cook slowly-slowly-slowly, for as long as 4 or 5 minutes for a single serving, up to 10 minutes for more servings.

TO SERVE Top a slice of Fried Bread, toast bread or a tortilla with the cooked eggs, then the reserved vegetables, then a little salt, then the reserved chopped green onion.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 157 Calories; 9g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 211mg Cholesterol; 451mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 12g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 3, PointsPlus 4 This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.
Adapted from Parisian Home Cooking by Michael Roberts, published in 1999 and the recommendation of our friend Gayle over a glass of champagne one night. The next day? I found a used copy for sale for just a few dollars on Amazon. I find the ingredients accessible and the recipes appealing. More than that, it’s not one of these new cookbooks, no matter the focus, that seem to throw in a few supper recipes (real food) just to focus on the real love, dessert. This cookbook has 328 pages, desserts start on page 304. That balance just makes sense. DISCLOSURE (My Disclosure Promise)

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This Week, Elsewhere

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More Ways to Cook Eggs for the Summer of the Egg

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Simple French Eggs Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave Mexican Gashouse Eggs
~ Easy Egg Recipes ~
a collection of recipes from my fellow food bloggers

~ more egg recipes ~

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Shop Your Pantry First

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© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella for a Crowd

Once the real summer tomatoes ripen, there's no getting enough of them! Here's a quick and easy way to combine two of summer's best treats, good garden tomatoes and good fresh mozzarella. It looks great and tastes even better.

Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella for a Crowd
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Here’s another cooking lesson: good ingredients almost plate themselves, if you just let ‘em.

My friend Christine has a knack for easy summer salads, this one charmed a crowd of us at a relaxed summer supper. No chopping, no measuring, no fussing, just layer a few slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella in a glass bowl.

How easy! How pretty! How fresh!

By design, there are few duplicate recipes at Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables. But the combination of good summer tomatoes and fresh mozzarella is such a favorite that this is the pair's fourth (and probably not last!) appearance.

Each one has its own twist. You just might like all four! Fresh Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella came first, a reprise of the salad my Finnish sister Ritva and I enjoyed in Zurich one summer. The traditional name is Insalata Caprese, it's a joy to look at as well as to eat. By contrast, Tossed Caprese Salad is a messy affair, a big jumble of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and for a switch-up, cannellini beans.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

TOMATOES & FRESH MOZZARELLA
for a CROWD

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 4 to many
  • Perfect summer tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Olives, if you like

In a trifle bowl or clear glass bowl, arrange the tomato and cheese slices with basil leaves and olives.

Can be made two or three hours ahead. Refrigerate but do let come to room temperature before serving. Serve and enjoy!

ALANNA’s TIPS Slightly thicker slices hold up better when layered on top of each other in a trifle bowl.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving (assumes 1 slice tomato and 1 ounce fresh mozzarella): 88 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 22mg Cholesterol; 178mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 6g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 2, PointsPlus 2

If there's room, do consider a trifle bowl. At Christmas, I'll finally share my family's recipe for trifle, developed over many years, but I use my bowl for more than trifle. During the summer, I serve Tomato Gazpacho and Seven-Layer Salad in a trifle bowl. For winter brunches, I serve this gorgeous Holiday Fruit Parfait. I do recommend one with straight sides. I've looked at mini trifle bowls too but instead use small sherbet glasses for individual servings that kinda-sorta look like small trifle bowls.


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The Season Is Short! Don't Miss These Tomato Classics

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad Panzanella Ratatouille

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade