Today is a difficult choice – create cooking or neighborhood observations. The world is opening. We are leaving our own personal Hotel Californias at different rates. Some of us are considering how to lose the weight we might have put on during the time of seclusion. I know I did, especially in the last few months as, believe it or not, boredom crept into my being. I’m trying to return to my “food plan” (banish the word diet) from our Barbadian son that did miracles a few years ago, so I’m still cooking. I’m also trying to get in a few morning walks – thus, the neighborhood observations as seasons change.
Let’s stick with the cooking this week. Next week is another chance to choose a juicy topic. Speaking of food, let’s return to that favorite which I’ve beaten a number of times in this medium: eggs. The family enjoyed one recipe this past week, the other was dinner a while ago.
Italian breakfast bake (for dinner). I do not know this recipe came from, but it was kismit; I had all the ingredients and thought – let’s give it a try (with some changes, as usual)!
Wisk 14 eggs with ½ cup milk and ½ tbsp. Italian seasoning (I probably used 8 eggs, water in place of milk, and oregano, basel, and salt and pepper). Add ¼ cup chopped mushrooms, ½ cup diced Roma tomatoes, 2 cups of chopped spinach, and ¼ pound of shredded mozzarella cheese. Second step involves 1 cup of hash brown potatoes; you can use something ready-made from the freezer or make your own (I did the latter, took several potatoes, grated them, and sautéed with salt and pepper til nice and brown).
When they are ready, spread the hash browns on the bottom of a 9×13 pan, layer ½ pound of turkey slices (your choice of lunch meat) on the potatoes, top with the egg/vegetable mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven uncovered for 35-45 minutes, til golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh basil. Here’s the real recipe if you are tempted – https://www.dilussodeli.com/recipes/italian-breakfast-bake.
Instead of toast as a side, I baked some nice, sweet sliced butternut squash that were tossed in olive oil in the same oven with the breakfast eggs. It made a nice dinner.
Chickpeas with eggs and mustard greens* was this week’s egg-venture, again source unknown. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, a moderate oven I think it’s called. Pour 1 tbsp of water into 6 cups of a muffin tin^. Crack an egg into each of the water-filled cups, season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until whites are firm (I failed on the runny yolk recommendation). Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggs to a plate.
*I had picked up a pound of Chinese broccoli at the market and used them in place of mustard greens. Following internet instructions, I blanched the greens before using them. The stems went into the freezer for use in stock as recommended in previous post (April 19, 2021).
^If you are using an old muffin tin, I recommend using a non-stick spraying. It was not hard getting the eggs out, but they left a residue that was difficult to remove.
Meanwhile, while the eggs are in the oven, heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large skillet. Add 4 thinly sliced shallots, 6 chopped garlic cloves, 1 sliced Fresno chile (I omitted this); cook about 5 minutes over moderate heat until softened,. Stir in two 15 ounce cans of rinsed and drained chickpeas and 2 ½ cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil; add the greens and cook until just wilted, 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Ladle into 6 bowls and top with the eggs.
Another hit with Constant Companion and daughter.
Two interesting, relatively easy egg dinners. Give them a try …