Category Archives: All things eggs

Hollandaise and happiness

Hollandaise never lasts long in our household. Honestly, it takes about ten minutes to make, and half that amount of time had (barely) passed by the time we’d licked up the last stray flecks of this creamy, golden, buttery sauce.

I’d never actually had hollandaise until long after I’d met M…I tried it for the first time and could barely keep myself from making a second batch, and a third. If you’ve never had this sauce, it’s a creamy, buttery, smooth sauce with rich hints of egg, lemon and cayenne. The perfect hollandaise, in my opinion, strikes a balance where the acid of the lemon cuts through but doesn’t hide the smooth, full-bodied flavor that comes from egg yolks and butter.

There are a lot of things people like to do with hollandaise:

  • drizzle it over steamed asparagus
  • use it over poached salmon for an extra layer of flavor
  • on the infamous eggs Benedict

I, however, prefer it rather simply: with a piece of toast cut into soldiers* and a spoon. A cold winter afternoon with a small pot of hollandaise and a good book can really only be heightened with tea. Enjoy!

M’s favorite hollandaise

2 egg yolks

4-6 tbsp butter, softened

1 tbsp lemon juice (add more to taste if you like)

1/8 tsp cayenne

salt to taste

In a small, small pot (I use a sauce warmer) place the egg yolks, one tablespoon of butter, and the lemon juice. Whisk it all together and place it over low. Whisk continually, watching the butter. Once it’s melted, add another tablespoon and keep whisking.

As you can see, the sauce is very yellow when it starts out. The color will fade slightly as it cooks.

What you’re looking for in the sauce is a thick, almost mayonnaise-like consistency. I know some people like a thinner hollandaise, but M and I prefer it rich and thick like sour cream, or aioli. As the sauce begins to thicken, keep stirring. You will know that the sauce is done once you lift the whisk, letting some sauce drip back into the pot, and don’t see a slightly darker yellow ring around the droplet.

Once the sauce is done, take it off the heat and whisk in the remaining butter.

Taste it and correct for seasonings. Then, serve it up! This recipe makes enough for two hollandaise-loving people.

*Note: “toast soldiers” is a way of saying, toast cut into thin sticks for dipping.

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Filed under All things eggs, Sauces and condiments

Spinach and cheddar quiche with roasted garlic

Note on my changes: After a little deliberation, M and I have decided that neither of us liked the crust enough to want to make the quiche with it again, so I’m omitting it. It still creates an amazing, crustless quiche 🙂 

Eggs are really popular in our household. M generally only cooks when eggs (or easy mac) are involved, our roommate loves to boil them and leave them out on the counter for us to find, and I think they’re pretty swell, too. Eggs, sunny-side up, served with toast and some sharp cheddar are by far one of my favorite ways to start off the day.

When it comes to egg suppers, though, M loves nothing more than quiche. She’s mad for eggs. And yet, as much as I love quiche, I don’t make it very often. The sheer amount of cholesterol in the number of eggs it takes to make quiche are generally enough to scare me off, not to mention the glut of butter and cream the recipes call for. So, when M requested quiche for tonight’s supper, I was a little hesitant. Quiche is quick, and since we’ve got an engagement tonight, that is a great thing. I did balk at the idea of it, until Pheasant stood up and said to me, “No! You will make the best quiche ever. And you know what? You’ll enjoy every. Last. Bite.”

To the internet!

I’ve sifted through countless recipes looking for the perfect quiche recipe. And, finding none, I decided to improvise. I took pieces of quiche recipes from two or three different ones, and ended up with this one.

I love herbs, and so I decided to play with the herbs in this quiche…generally, I feel like quiche is really bland unless there is a ton of cheese (read: fat) in it. I love the idea of flavoring the eggs themselves so that no only the cheese and vegetables have flavor, but the eggs as well.

So, I set out with this lovely recipe in mind. Because we don’t have a pie pan, I used an 8×8 inch brownie pan, and just cut the quiche into nine pieces for easy eating.

Quiche, squared

4 eggs

1 c 1% milk

1 tbsp sour cream

1/2 onion, sliced thinly

10 oz fresh spinach

1 tbsp garlic mash

1 c grated cheddar

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

parsley, paprika and rosemary to taste

First, preheat your oven to 350°F (171°C.) In a large skillet, place the onions and some oil to sauté. When they’ve become golden-brown, add in the spinach until it all wilts down.

Combine the eggs, milk, and spices together, whisking to form a thin scramble. Spread the spinach and onion across the bottom of the crust. Cover in cheese, pour the eggs in, and replace the pan in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Let cool, then cut into squares and enjoy!

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Filed under All things eggs, Baking

Ramekins, part II

Isn't that just beautiful?

M is really sick today…poor thing. We woke up at six to hear the fire alarm in our building going off, and ended up standing outside until about half past, waiting for the fire department to check it out. Turns out, there was no fire. Go figure.

I want to tell you all about how much I love and crave spicy, though. It’s so delicious! Especially chipotle…I have a special place in my heart for chipotle anything, most certainly anything chipotle with a creamy texture. So, last night as I was lying in bed, craving spicy, I asked myself, why don’t I just make myself a healthy, spicy, delicious breakfast?

So, I mentally checked off things in our fridge that would be delicious spicy: egg, broccoli, onion, garlic, and cheddar. “Hold up…cheddar? How can that be healthy?” Everything in moderation, pheasants. This most certainly won’t be drowned in cheese.

And wow, pheasants, it turned out well. The cheddar was just pungent enough to lend the chipotle and broccoli some well-needed flavors, as well as offsetting the bite of onion and garlic. The broccoli cooked up nice and soft, but not too soft, with a great crunchy, spicy flavor. I served mine with a piece of Dave’s Good Seed bread and a cup of fat-free milk to make it a meal. It was most definitely a lovely start to a rainy day.

You can easily use pre-shredded cheddar, but we had a block of it, so I cut mine into tiny chunks. If you don’t have a blender or don’t want to bother, just chop everything very finely.

Spicy Broccoli and Shirred Eggs

1 egg

approx. 2/3 c broccoli

1/2 chipotle chili pepper (use less if you’re not a fan of spicy)

1/4 tsp adobo sauce (comes with the peppers)

2/3 ounce of cheddar

black pepper and cayenne to taste

1/2 tsp heavy cream (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F (191°C.) In a small, 6-8 ounce ramekin, spray Pam, or very lightly butter. Coat the inside with a dusting of finely-ground cornmeal.

Place the broccoli, chipotle, half the cheddar, and adobo into a small hand blender (I used a Magic Bullet.) Pulse until it’s at your desired consistency. I kept mine chunky, but if you blend it until it’s smooth like guacamole, I can imagine it would be good, too.

Spoon the broccoli mixture into the ramekin, filling it about 3/5 up, or more. Crack the egg on top, and place into the oven for 8-10 minutes. When the time is up, take out the ramekin, and pour the cream over the top of the egg, sprinkling on the last bits of cheddar. Replace in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the white has cooked through. Enjoy!

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Filed under All things eggs

Egg whites: they’re what’s for breakfast

Today, I realized that if I keep eating so many pale foods, I should start buying red or blue plates.So, I seriously made myself an egg white omelet this morning. You know how, whenever you hear a woman talking about her weight loss, she mentions how much she loves exercise and egg white omelets? Unless she really likes plain, bland food, she’s lying through her Crest-whitened teeth. But, I wasn’t going to stand for that, pheasants. Why can’t healthy food be delicious and good for you?

I will admit, though, that I didn’t go into breakfast this morning with a very open mind. My mother loves that term, “an open mind,” and always wanted me to apply it to eating new foods. Well, I made myself a whipped egg white omelet this morning because A) one regular egg with its yolk has more cholesterol than I’m supposed to eat in a day, and B) I needed to use those egg whites.

So, I made myself a cup of tea, steeled myself, and brought out the beaters. After eating this, I’d most adamantly recommend that you whip them, because two flat egg whites can’t fill anyone up, I’d think. Anyway, I beat them until they were approximately three or four times their original size, and then turned on the pan. Do as I say, pheasants, not as I do: whipping the whites before making everything else leads to a lot of flat whites. Whip them right before you put them into the pan, not before.

I added a handful or two of raw spinach to wilt, as well as some chopped yellow onion, and some diced red chiles. I love heat…it’s filling, and the small buzz you get from eating spicy foods is absolutely euphoric. Also, I am of the belief that eating spicy foods makes you feel more full, but that’s just me.

Anyway, I sweated everything together, transferred it out of the pan, and added some Pam before spreading the egg whites in the pan. This is easier said than done when you’re attempting to spread the whites out to fill the pan (I used a 10″ nonstick with high sides) and keep them from deflating, but I did it! And when I lifted the omelet to flip it…pheasants, it was gorgeous. Lightly browned like beautifully toasted white bread, and smooth as a  baby’s bum. Lovely!

Once everything was cooked up, I’d filled the omelet and sat down, I couldn’t help but pause. The omelet itself was beautiful, but was I really going to eat this? I felt like a valley girl, and not in the good way. Oh well.

With the first bite, pheasants, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t the best thing I’d ever put in my mouth (fried chicken might hold that prize) but it was definitely…tasty. On the second bite, I was definitely converted. The green, fresh flavor of the spinach mixed with the snap and aroma of onion, backed by the slight hint of chile made for a fabulous combination of fresh, popping flavor without a layer of egg to confuse it. I was pleased in a way I haven’t been pleased for a long time.

So, pheasants, my final judgement on egg white omelets? They’ll never replace shirred eggs or waffles in my book as a favorite breakfast food, but they’re definitely a nice everyday breakfast that I can enjoy. Even better? The entire omelet only had 110 calories with cheddar, and approximately 65 without. That’s a fabulous start to a beautiful day!

Egg Whites, done right

2 egg whites

1 c raw spinach

1/8 c chopped or sliced onion

1 tbsp diced red chile (or your favorite color)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 oz sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

In a 10″ nonstick pan, sweat the spinach, onion and chiles together. Sprinkle with black pepper once they’re done, and set them aside. Heat the pan on medium and, as it’s heating, whip your egg whites. Start on low, then work your way up to high. If you’re like me and enjoy a good arm workout, whip them by hand.

Spray Pam into the pan and then carefully dump the whipped whites into it. Spread them out with the back of a rubber spatula, making as smooth and wide a surface as possible. Then, mix up the cayenne, salt and garlic powder, sprinkle it on, and wait. About two minutes later, lift the edge of the omelet. If it doesn’t come up easily and isn’t browned, put it back down. If it is, carefully flip it over and let it go for another two minutes. Once it’s nice and toasty on the other side, slide it out onto a plate, load it up, fold it, and enjoy!

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Things you can make in a ramekin, part I

Pheasants, I have glorious news for you! Today, M and I went to the Seattle Premium Outlets and we got two of the most beautiful little ramekins from Le Creuset (in Cobalt and Cherry, if you’re curious.) Thus sparked the idea in me of a little series I’m starting, called “things you can make in a ramekin.”

To start with, pheasants, what is a ramekin?

This is a ramekin.

Well, it’s a little round bowl, like a tiny pot, without a lid. Generally, they’re made of ceramic. The term itself (French, ramequin) is from the Middle German and Dutch via French. From what I’ve researched, it seems like a tie between them, because root words in Middle German and Middle Dutch that seem to have become the term ramekin meant “little cream” or “toast,” respectively. Why, I’ve no idea. Mostly, they’re little glazed dishes for baking, serving dips and utilizing as little snack bowls. However, M and I sat down when we got home and I had an idea: these small dishes are so handy with their (usually) single-serving sizes; why not come up with some recipes for ramekins that will help create easy, delicious and beautiful meals, personalized to each individual?

To begin the series which, I hope, will help you find new and exciting ways to eat your breakfasts, lunches and suppers, I want to tell you how much I love anything in its own “personal serving dish.” Small amounts of food in small dishes is one of my most favorite things, hence why today I’m making a shirred egg for breakfast and an oatmeal cake to go with my lunch.

First, I’d like to point out the wonderful things about shirred eggs: they’re easy, tasty, and you can pile vegetables underneath them to make them significantly healthier than just an egg in a ramekin. Also, for all you college students, shirred eggs are quick and easy, with minimal cleanup (no pan and spatula to wash!) Serve it up with some strong tea and toast soldiers (toasted bread cut into long strips) and you’ve got yourself a beautiful European breakfast fit for royalty.

As for baked oatmeal, it’s healthy and lovely. It can be sweet (I love sweet!) or savory (cheese and chives, anyone?) Once you’ve got the basic recipe down, I’m of the mindset that you can do just about anything with them. Bake up five or six and set them in the fridge to grab for breakfast when you’re in a hurry!

Pheasant’s Baked Oatmeal

1/2 c. oats (not the minute oats or flavored, packaged stuff)

1 tbsp fat-free cream cheese

1/8 c. 2% milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

First, Pam your ramekin well so nothing sticks to it. Preheat your oven to 375°F (about 191°C.) Then, in a regular bowl, mix up the oats, cream cheese, milk, cinnamon and extract. If you want an easier time mixing in the cream cheese, you can nuke it a bit. Alternatively, if you’re worried about sticking power (as I was) you can take about a teaspoon’s worth of oats before you mix and pulse it in a spice grinder to make an oat flour. Once all this is done, stick the ramekin in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let it sit for a moment, then, enjoy!

Because the caloric and nutritional counter I use is currently down, there’s no nutritional information included. However, this recipe has about 231 calories.

Shirred Eggs, Pheasant Style

1 egg

1/2 tbsp heavy cream

A few pinches hard, white cheese (maybe 1/2 tsp)

1/2 c. spinach

2 tbsp salmon, raw

1 tbsp onions, chopped

1 tbsp green onions, chopped

If you don’t have the salmon and onions (I actually used about four tablespoons of lomi salmon for this) you can definitely substitute it for tomatoes, onions, cheese, or whatever else you like eating with your eggs.

Preheat your oven to 375°F (191°C.) Pam your ramekin well (we don’t want sticky messes!) then, place the salmon, onions and spinach in the bottom. Crack an egg over it. Stick this in your preheated oven for about nine minutes. Then, take it out and drip the cream over the top, as well as any seasonings you like (I used cayenne and sea salt) and the chees. Stick it back in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes (ten will yield a runny yolk, whereas twelve will give it more firmness.) Take it out and let it sit, then enjoy!

Servings: 1 ~ Calories: 150 ~ Fat: 9g ~ Carbs: 3g ~Protein 12.5g ~ Sodium: 93m

Note: I have decided that shirred eggs done this way is most definitely my favorite breakfast of all time. The mix of salmon, onions, spinach and egg made for such a savory, flavorful and beautiful meal, I could hardly wait to make it again the second I’d finished it!

Questionable content:

What types of foods would you like to see me mini-fy and make inside a ramekin?

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Filed under All things eggs, Pastas, grains and oatmeal

Eggs, eggs, eggs!

Good morning, pheasants!

I love mornings. Well…to be honest, I’m not a morning person, but I do like them when I see them! M also loves herself some mornings…mostly because, she really likes breakfasts. Most especially, M loves eggs. When we first met, I was absolutely shocked by how often and how happily she wolfed them down.

I must thank M for her egg love, though…she’s made me an absolute pro at cooking them sunny-side up (just the way she likes them.) So, here I have for you some tips and tricks for cooking the  best eggs you’ll ever have.

•When making scrambled eggs, using water instead of milk will keep the eggs from weeping.

•It may sound like common sense, but once you’ve cracked an egg into a pan, unless you’re looking to scramble them, just leave them alone! If you poke and prod, you’ll nearly always come out with a broken yolk.

•Try out new flavors! I’ve found that curry powder (just a touch!) lends beautiful, rich flavor to eggs, as does truffle oil. Cayenne pepper adds a wonderful kick; freshly-ground black pepper makes them bright and peppy. Test out new things…if you have an idea, run with it! It never hurts to try, and you may end up finding something you love more than anything you’ve ever had before.

M’s Eggs

1 egg

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Set the oil in a small pan set (not preheated) over medium heat. Crack the egg directly over the oil, so it sinks down into it. Then, season it, cover it up, and wait. When the white is nearly entirely cooked, shake the pan and tilt it to slide the egg nearer the center. Cover it again, and once the eggs are done to your liking, serve ’em up. M likes hers with a few drops of white truffle oil, some sea salt, and toast. I prefer mine with cayenne pepper.

Servings: 1 ~ Calories: 80 ~ Fat: 5g ~ Carbs: 1g ~Protein: 6g ~ Sodium: 65mg

Pheasant’s Scrambled Eggs

1 egg

1 tbsp water

Dash of salt

Pam

Scramble your egg, then add in the water. Sprinkle in the salt and beat it again; make sure everything is really well combined. Then, heat a small pan over medium heat. Wait for it to get nice and hot (if you hold your hand an inch or so above the pan, you can tell; alternately, you can drop some water into the pan. If it skitters and dances around, it’s too hot. If it bubbles and begins to steam, you’re good.) Then, spray your pan with Pam, and add in your eggs. Using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs around, making sure to get all the cooked bits off the bottom. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to stir. If you like larger curds in your eggs, let it sit longer, and then scrape the spatula across the entire pan, returning to the previous side before repeating.

Servings: 1 ~ Calories: 70 ~ Fat: 4g ~ Carbs: 1g ~Protein: 6g ~ Sodium: 95mg

Questionable content:

Pheasants, how do you enjoy your eggs? Do you have any tricks for making them come out just the way you like them?

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Filed under All things eggs