Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Sublime Scramble

Ah, breakfast. If we believe Jack and others, it's the most important meal of the day.

Scrambles. My favorite.

One of the things I like about them is that they can be the repository for that little bit of leftovers all mishmashed together with a bit of cheese and seasonings to create an endless variety of tasty breakfast meals. The end result is that they end up more than the sum of their pieces and parts. And what better way to get in a bunch of veggies?

In fact, mine are generally mostly veggies, with the egg barely holding them together. Since crunch is one of my favorite flavors, I almost always put in some sort of nut. Always a cheese. Usually an herb or two...when possible, sprinkled fresh over the top. Sometimes I even put in leftover grains. They truly do taste yummy with the egg, even though they don't sound like they would. I'll be sharing different combos I've developed, but would love to suggest that you be bold and give things a try. You might be really surprised at what you come up with.

Basic cooking directions-

Most of mine have some sort of allium- onion, shallot, garlic, scallion, etc. These days my allium of choice is leeks. I'm addicted. I know the most American's are most familiar with them in soups. But they're great sauteed. Just cut the greenest stem off and mince, cooking like you would any onion.

Chop other veggies. For a single serving, I generally use 1-2 eggs (two ends up being too much food for me, but they're good cold, for a healthy snack). Veggie amounts? Raw, I usually have 2-3 cups with every thing combined. They cook down. If you want meats, then get them together- cook your bacon and crumble, get your ham in bite-able hunks, whatever. Get out your nuts, cheese and herbs. Lightly whisk the eggs. Everything is now eager and happy to be combined to sublimeness.

Put oil in your pan (butter, olive, grapeseed, etc.). You want enough to give it some oomph, but you don't want overly oily scrambles. I usually use about a TB of oil for a single serving. I'm not that worried if there's a bit more because healthy oils are GOOD for me. But I want it to taste good. It's all about the taste.

Heat the oil...medium heat is OK, but watch it. Put in the allium(s) for a minute. Then add the other veggies. If you have veggies that take varying amounts of time to cook, put the more hardy ones in first and cook for awhile, like you would do with a stir fry. If I have kale (which I generally do), then I will often put in some water (2-3 TBS) for it to steam as I don't want it to stick and burn.

You want the veggies to be slightly undercooked, still having substance and taste. You can tell when they're ready when they are bright colored and/or you take out a piece and it's a little less cooked than you would normally like it. (If you aren't a cook, ultimately all this stuff becomes second nature, but everything takes time to learn.)

When the veggies are in their perfect state of delicious doneness, add your whisked eggs and the cheese. Cooking the cheese with the eggs( instead of adding it at the end to melt) renders a different quality to the dish. It's these subtle differences which all add up to something being amazing vs. good. These things are Important.

We all have our preferences in eggs. Some are quite passionate about it and will send their eggs back if a restaurant over or under cooks them. I, myself, prefer my scrambled eggs a bit on the side of overdoneness. Just watch them. When they are your verson of perfect, happy eggy goodness, serve, adding nuts either at the end in the pan or simply on top. I usually add my herbs after serving.

Voila...protein, veg, vitamin goodness all rolled up into a far better breakfast scramble than you can find at any high end restaurant. And oooh...the endless possibilities for discovering new, uncharted tasty combos...!!! Makes me very happy.

(And darn I wish I had a camera. Not much in the stock photo department with egg scrambles. Will post one when I get one)


Anonymous said...

Yep a great way to use leftovers of just about any kind. Especially Indian and Thai food, believe it or not.

Sometimes I wrap it all up in a warm tortilla for a quick to go...

Warrior said...

the clean green part of leeks is top just slice it really fine!

Gillette said...

I bet. RunzWN...I have come up with some pretty amazing combos out of nowhere. Great for the morning. Yum. I would love to have this be a place for other to share what they've discovered in their culinary journeys, too....thanks for this.

Hm...thanks, Warrior..you mean the really green parts? Cool...I love not to waste, even though the compost pile is happy.

Greenwoman said...