Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eggie Weggs.

[It's obvious, isn't it?  Look at the honeyed-orange color of those eggs.  They aren't a starchy, opaque yellow.  They're golden, singing with color.  You cannot find eggs with this density, this primary hue in a grocery store.  John and I were stunned when we first enjoyed them.  Stunned.  Please, if you can, buy farm fresh eggs.  They'll "stand up and smack you in the face."]

We're doing a lot with eggs, or "eggie weggs", as John likes to call them, which is always an innovative experience for us.  Actually, it resembles elementary school arts and crafts time.  We dig through dwindling refrigerator contents and decipher what may or may not work in an omelet.  The good news is, pretty much anything and everything, as long as it's sauteed first, works well.  As we're buying seasonal foods, we have a lot of regulars hanging out with us:  fresh spinach, shiitake mushrooms, fresh onion, garlic and of course, eggs.  Tomatoes are always welcome in the saute pan, but we don't get them often as they aren't in season yet (I can't wait). 

Also, it's important that John gets his brain food, and there's hardly an easier way (other than a salad, which we'll talk about soon) to infuse vitamins and minerals into a dish than by way of an edgy omelet, or maxed out scrambled eggs.

       (pretty brain food)

One of our favorite breakfast spots in Athens is Mamma's Boy.  This restaurant has a smorgasbord of eggs dishes on the menu; one dish is scrambled with tomatoes, onions, spinach and goat cheese.  It is an egg lover's dream come true.  After I ate them, I became incapable of ordering anything else.  However, since we are sticking to our local-only creed, we decided to adopt our own concept straight from their ingenuity.  The best advice I could give is to treat plain scrambled eggs like a blank canvas, or, like a salad (you can add anything to a salad.  Anything.  Believe me.), ready to be flamboyantly decorated to the max by an artist like yourself.

A chef we enjoy, Bobby Flay, is a firm believer that "everything good begins with sauteed onion and garlic."  At first I thought this concept was reserved for lunch and dinner, but I have come to love how it wakes you up for breakfast, too.  One thing to note is that onion and garlic are much more flavorful when fresh, not dried.  We bumped dried garlic to a backup once we started getting long, green, snappy fresh sprigs. 

                                  (snappy, fresh garlic & onion)

Also, any cheese will do.  I believe we used mozzarella in the above picture.  The traditional staple is goat, but feta, mozzarella and havarti are snazzy components too.  You can use whatever you have.

Personally, I enjoy creative challenges first thing in the morning, especially when John enjoys the results.  I like to think I'm helping him ace his exams, and it's a good way to start the day. 

Eggie Weggs for a Momma's Boy

2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 large shiitake mushroom, cut into strips
3/4 cup fresh spinach
1 tomato, diced
4 to 5 eggs, depending on size
olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
choice of cheese as topping

In a medium sized saucepan on medium low heat, add olive oil.  When heated (you can teste with a droplet of water, if it sizzles, it's ready), add the garlic and onion, simmering until golden brown.  Add spinach, mushrooms, tomato if using and simmer for 4 minutes.  While simmering, crack open eggs in a large bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons water and whisk until they begin to bubble.  (You can whisk with a fork if needed.)  Pour eggs into pan and cover until halfway cooked, about 5 more minutes.  When the base of the eggs are set, scramble them lightly with a spatula.  When cooked to desired consistency, pour out on plate and grate cheese of choice lightly over the eggs.  Serve.

*Hint: don't be (like me) tempted to jack up the heat at any point of the process.  Scrambled eggs are best when thoroughly cooked on low heat.

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