Oswald Rivera

Author, Warrior, and Teacher

Category: eggs (page 1 of 2)

FRIED EGGS IN PEPPER RINGS

This is a simple quick meal that is a novel way of doing fried eggs: cook them in pepper rings. You can use whatever bell pepper desired, be it green, red or yellow. The color combination is up to you. The dish can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, your choice. For breakfast you can add the usual bacon as an accompaniment. For lunch, you can pair the eggs with French fries. For dinner, we prefer to serve the egg rings over rice. You can call this recipe a multi-purpose meal.

Note that you may have to cook the eggs in batches. Even with a large skillet you can cook about four pepper rings at a time. If, by chance, you have a skillet that can accommodate more, then more power to you.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2-3 sweet peppers of your choice of colors
8 eggs
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Sprinkle of dried oregano

Instructions:

  1. Wash peppers under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Slice crosswise into ¼-inch rings, seeds removed.
  2. Warm butter in a large skillet until butter sizzles. Add three or four pepper rings, spread out, and crack an egg into each and cook until set. In our crowd we like well-cooked eggs, so we don’t mind if the yolk gets broken. But, if you prefer a soft yolk, be gentle so it stays intact. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano, then flip over with a spatula and cook just until set on the other side.
    Yield: 4 servings.

EGG-CAKE BAKED IN A WOK

EGG-CAKE BAKED IN A WOK

This is a recipe I acquired from an old cookbook, The Wok, A Chinese Cookbook by Gary Lee and published in 1970 (Pacific Productions). Yeah, 1970, when I was a young whippersnapper and on the prowl (I had just returned from Vietnam). Over the years I’ve come back to this tome. As far as I know, it was one of the “modern” Chinese cookbooks published in that era. It’s got great recipes that can no longer be found in more contemporary Asian cookbooks. And this is one of them: Egg-Cake Baked in a Wok.

Until that time I did not know that one could bake anything in a wok, let alone eggs. But it’s an easy recipe and delicious. If you don’ have a wok, a fry pan or skillet will do. Note that the recipe calls for ‘oil’ in the preparation. By that is meant peanut oil. Yet I’m sure you can use olive oil or vegetable oil. In my rendition I used olive oil included in the egg mix, but peanut oil for the frying. I also tweaked the recipe by adding mince garlic. It came out marvelous. My wife, who is a stone critic and judge of food, declared it’s the best egg cake she’s ever had. And that, from her, is resounding approval.

I imagine this dish would be served with steamed white rice. We had it with homemade baked rolls, and it was just as good. So this dish could be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Your choice. You won’t be disappointed. The recipe makes 4 servings. Yes, you can add more eggs if you have more people coming over. By the way, the recipe calls for “green onion.” By that, it means scallions

EGG-CAKE BAKED IN A WOK

1 cup eggs (8-6 six eggs)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

This is a practical dish for a variety in egg dishes.
Beat eggs with salt, onion., garlic and oil (olive oil). Heat the wok, but not too hot and add 1 teaspoon oil (peanut oil). Tilt the wok around and around until the oil coats the entire cooking area of the wok. Pour in the beaten eggs. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the batch with a small lid – just big enough to cover the eggs. Wait for several minutes then add in a few drops of oil (peanut oil) around the edge of the lid. Repeat after a few minutes. The eggs should be firm after about 6 to 10 minutes. Take the eggs out and serve upside down on a plate, cut diagonally into strips ¾” to 1 ½” in size.

 

TORTILLA CON ESPINACAS (Spinach Omelet)

This is your basic omelet, but with the addition of spinach. It’s our version, Tortilla con Espinacas. Back in Harlem, when we prepared this dish, we used frozen spinach. I guess you can use fresh spinach (if it’s in season); but my mom always used frozen. I reckon it was a choice of chance and economics. In this one, we also add a tomato to the recipe. This dish, to us, was not a breakfast deal.  We would serve it at dinner over rice, a cheap and delicious meal. But it also goes good as a brunch special with some crusty bread. Either way, a wonderful repast.

TORTILLA CON ESPINACAS
(Spinach Omelet)

Ingredients:

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 medium-sized tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
4 eggs
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Cook spinach in a medium-size saucepan following label directions. Drain well, add the 3 tablespoons oil, garlic, tomato and parsley. Heat, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  2.  Beat eggs lightly in a medium-size bowl, just until mixed. Add salt, pepper and the spinach mixture; stir well.
  3.  Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 9-inch skillet (with an oven-proof handle) to the sizzling point. Pour in omelet mixture, spreading evenly.
  4.  Cook, covered, over medium heat for  10 minutes (mixture should be fairly firm)).
  5.  While omelet is cooking, heat broiler. Put skillet under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to set top of omelet. Cut into wedges and serve.
    Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

PUERTO RICAN FRITTATA

As we all know, a frittata is a type of omelette. It derives from the Italian word friggere, which means “fried.” In Spanish it would be frito. So I started thinking? How about a fritata with all the ingredients native to Puerto Rican cuisine? What would that be? A boricua frittata? A Latino frittata? A Nuyorican frittata? You can use whatever term desired. I decided to stick with the Puerto Rican moniker.

Here it is, my own genuine P.R. frittata. Note that I add sour cream (or yogurt) to it, along with turmeric. This came about by accident. We had some sour cream on hand and I decided to use that as a topping rather than cheese. It came out great! Also note that you can fancy up the dish by adding whatever vegetable or ingredients you want, be it mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, or even sausage or chicken. You add the vegetables or cooked sausage or chicken to the eggs and follow recipe directions. No limitations here. With a crusty loaf and some good white wine (or red), and you have a feast, be it for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

PUERTO RICAN FRITTATA

Ingredients:

10 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon salt.
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
8 large eggs
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons  butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
1 teaspoon turmeric

Instructions:

  1. In a mortar, crush peppercorns, garlic, oregano and salt. Add vinegar and mix.
  2. Crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl and whisked vigorously until the egg yolks and whites are blended. Add mortar mixture and parsley. Mix well.
  3. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or any skillet or pan that’s oven proof), warm the butter and olive oil over medium heat until oil is shimmering (be careful not to burn the butter). Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the eggs and cook until edges are set, about 2 minutes. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook about 8 minutes. Allow the frittata to gently cook and steam.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the sour cream with the turmeric. Set aside. Check the frittata by lifting the lid. It’s done when it is set in the middle and the eggs have released from the sides of the pan. Top with the sour cream-turmeric mixture, spreading evenly over the frittata. Place, uncovered, in the top rack of the oven, and broil (on high) for 1-2 minutes until the frittata has cooked through and is golden on top. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  5. Remove from oven (with pot holders or oven-mitts). Let cool lightly, cut into wedges and serve.
    Yield: 4-6 servings.
     

TURKISH KOFTE

I’m a fan of Turkish cuisine. I first discovered it in my young manhood, and I’ve dabbled in it ever since. I especially love  the way our Turkish brethren prepare meatballs. It’s an art all its own. Like most Americans, I grew up on meatballs and spaghetti. But Turkish Kofte gave me a whole new appreciation on the subject. The following recipe I got from a friend years ago. I was entranced by the sauce that comes with it. It’s a lemon and egg sauce. A far cry, and different, from the usual marinara sauce in Italian cooking. And it gives the meatballs a whole new flavor component.

Figure it this way. With the current pandemic you’re most likely to be stuck at home, like most of us, sheltering in place. Now is the time to try something  different. Something that will spark your taste buds. I’m sure, once you’ve had this dish, you’ll never think of meatballs the same way again. It will become part of your repertoire now and in the future.

Let me add that when my friend cooked this dish, he would fry the meatballs in solid white shortening.  Honestly, the shortening gives it a better flavor. But there’s always that bugaboo about health concerns. So I use olive oil or vegetable oil. But, if you want to use Crisco, go right ahead. I can understand. It’s a personal preference. Also, I serve the recipe with rice. Or you can use couscous as an accompaniment if preferred.

TURKISH KOFTE

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup minced flat parsley
¼ cup fresh chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
Lemon-Egg Sauce (recipe follows)

Instructions:

1. Place beef in a mixing bowl along with the onion, garlic, cheese, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Knead mixture with hands for 5 minutes.
2. Form into ovals. Roll in flour, dip into eggs. In a skillet, sauté ovals on all sides in hot oil. Serve with lemon-egg sauce.
Yield: 4 servings.

LEMON AND EGG SAUCE

Ingredients:

4 eggs
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups chicken broth or bouillon

Instructions:

1. In a small saucepan, beat eggs until frothy. Add lemon juice and stir.
2. Place over very low heat. Add broth slowly, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened. Do no boil.
Yield: 2 cups.

 

 

 

 

 

NETTY’S FLUFFY EGGS

And so it happened that we discovered the tastiest, fluffy egg recipe in a long time in of all places, Fort Worth, Indiana. Let’s start at the beginning. We recently spent some days with my sister-in-law and her husband, Don, in the Midwest. One of the great highlights of the trip was coming upon Netty’s fluffy egg recipe. Which, as told by Don, came about as a mistake. Netty was about to prepare breakfast, with the usual egg omelet, but she discovered she had no milk.  She did have mayonnaise; and necessity being the mother of invention, as they say, she improvised. The result was an egg dish, more like a frittata, that is delicious, and so simple to make. All she did was substitute the mayonnaise for the milk, and you get the fluffiest egg dish imaginable.

The trick to this recipe is slow cooking.  You whisk the eggs with the mayo, herbs and seasoning desired, place in a covered pan over low heat and let it cook. The longer you let cook, the fluffier it gets. That simple. You can dress up the omelet by adding bits of ham, or cooked chicken, or fish, with chopped tomatoes, and you have a genuine continental frittata. You’re only limited by your imagination.

So, go at it, kiddies. The best breakfast dish around, quick and delicious. With some toast or hearty, crusty bread, or muffins, you can’t go wrong.

NETTY’S FLUFFY EGGS

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or can substitute oregano, thyme,  or tarragon.
2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, crack eggs, add mayonnaise, and whisk until mixed. Add salt, pepper, seasoning, and mix to combine.
  2. Heat oil in a medium-sized pan or skillet on low heat. Add eggs, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes. As noted, the longer the eggs cook, the fluffier the dish. She sometimes cooks the eggs 20-25 minutes to get the maximum puffiness.
    Yield: 2 servings.
    Note: the recipe can be double or tripled, depending on how many servings.

Apple and Date Omelet

This recipe came about through necessity. Recently a friend gave us a bushel of genuine organic farm apples. They’re red apples, that’s all I know, and are delicious. But, after a while, we were scrounging around for ways to cook the things.  We could only make so many apple pies, apple crisp and apple compote. Then on top of that, we got some dried dates; and we began to think what can we do with dates and apples. And this is the result: an apple and date omelet.

If you want to be fancy about it, you can call it an apple and date frittata. In Italian, the word frittata roughly translates as “fried.” So think of this as fried eggs with the fruit in it. To my snooty friends, frittata would be more refined that just saying a “fried egg dish.” No matter, the sucker is delicious whatever you call it. With some crusty bread, it can’t be beat. We had it with fresh bialys, and it’s just as good. And it can be served as a brunch thing, or even a dinner entrée. Over rice, or any other grain, it’d be perfect.

APPLE AND DATE OMELET

Ingredients

6 eggs
6-8 dried dates, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly slice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

Instructions

  1. Crack eggs into a large bowl.
  2.  Add dates, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), salt and pepper. Beat lightly.
  3.  Heat olive oil in a large, heavy oven-proof skillet or oven pan (I prefer cast-iron) set over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is a golden brown and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.
  4.  Stir in butter, apple, and remaining tablespoon rosemary leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried). Sauté until apples begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  5.  Pour egg mixture over apple-butter mix. As eggs begin to set, using a spatula, left edges all around and allow uncooked egg to flow underneath and cook. While omelet is still runny, place pan in oven and broil until light brown and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove omelet from oven, cut into slices, and serve
    Yield: 4-6 servings.

 

 

Shakshuka

Shakshuka which translates as “mixture” in Egyptian Arabic, is a dish very common in the Middle East. It’s simply a mess of eggs poached in tomatoes, greens, bell peppers and onions. What I like about this flavorsome dish is that it’s traditionally prepared in a cast-iron pan. Of course, you can use any adequate deep skillet if cast-iron is not your thing. In North Africa they use an earthenware pot. Either way, it’s a glorious mix which can also include spicy sausage (a Spanish innovation) or salty cheeses. In Israel, it’s a popular breakfast dish served with challah bread.

Another thing I like about shakshuka is that you can add or change anything to it. So it works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Caribbean shakshuka would add oregano, garlic and parsley. French shakshuka could add a hollandaise sauce, Mexican shakshuka could add re-fried beans.You get the idea, It’s versatile, quick, and delicious. What more could you want?

SHAKSHUKA

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into strips
1 teaspoon brown sugar
I bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
4 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped, or 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon saffron thread (or can substitute turmeric)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch spinach, washed and sliced into ribbons
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, drained
4 to 8 eggs, depending on how many servings
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (can substitute goat cheese, Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano)

1. In a large cast-iron skillet, toast cumin seeds over high heat for approximately 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add oil and onion. Sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add bell peppers, sugar, bay leaf, scallions, and thyme. Cook over high heat, stirring until peppers are browned (6-8 minutes).
2. Add tomatoes, saffron and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. If mixture becomes too dry, add a little water.
3. Remove bay leaf. Stir in spinach, reduce heat to low, and cook  for 4-5 minutes until spinach is wilted.
5. Stir in beans. Increase heat to medium, and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. With the back of a large spoon, make evenly spaced shallow hollows for as many eggs as you are using. Carefully crack each egg into a hollow. Season each egg with salt and pepper, cover pan and cook gently until eggs are set (10-12 minutes).
6. Spread cheese over mixture. Allow heat to soften the cheese, and serve shakshuka with crusty bread.
    Servings: 4 or more.

Greek Omelet

I will scarf up anything with eggs in it. I love the suckers: boiled, par-boiled, fried, scrambled, sunny-side up, you name it. One of the favorite is a Greek omelet. Actually, it’s more of a souffled omelet (or omelette). In this case, filled with spinach. So in another universe it could be it could be called “Omelet Florentine.”

This recipe can be a  breakfast, lunch, or, dinner entrée. I discovered long ago that eggs are not solely for the morning. Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: cholesterol. Recent studies have questioned the whole cholesterol bit. Supposedly, it’s all in the egg yolks. But egg whites really don’t afford the same taste and texture. In this recipe I use both egg whites and yolks. Through trial and error I found that separating the whites from the yolks, beating them separately and then adding them to the omelet makes an airy, fluffy dish. Even if you’re worried about the cholesterol thing, having eggs once in a while is not going to kill you. As with all things. moderation is the key.

This dish goes great with crusty bread, french fries, or (my favorite), served over rice

GREEK OMELET

3 tablespoon olive oil
1 bag (about 8 ounces) spinach, washed and patted dry
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2-3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
4 large whole eggs plus 2 egg whites
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Chopped fresh dill

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the spinach, salt, pepper, and oregano, and  cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Set aside and keep warm.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks with a pinch of salt, pepper, and the lemon zest. Whisk until the mixture is fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolks and stir until they are mixed.
4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet, pour in the egg mixture, and gently spread it out evenly. Place the skillet in the middle shelf in the oven and bake until it’s almost cooked, about 3 minutes. If your skillet is not cast-iron or does not have an oven safe handle, cover the handle with foil wrap while baking.
5. Remove omelet from the oven. Spoon the spinach mixture over half of the omelet. Using a spatula, fold the other half of the omelet over to cover the filling. Return the omelet to the oven and bake another 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the dill, cut into serving pieces and serve immediately.
    Yield: 4 servings.  

Cooking with Garlic

Back in January 2010 I did a post on the wonders of garlic, inclusive of a recipe, Chicken with Garlic Sauce, which called for 12 garlic cloves in the ingredients. That’s right, twelve. Now, you’re saying to yourself, Twelve garlic cloves? This Rican is crazy. And, yes, guilty as charged—for garlic. I’ve decided to revisit this wondrous perennial. One can never go wrong or tire of garlic. It was use as a medicinal herb in Ancient Egypt. Greek warriors ate garlic before a battle (it increased their physical strength). Slaves ate garlic while building the pyramids since it enhanced their endurance. Think of that the next time you see the movie version of The Ten Commandments while Charlton Heston and company struggle to erect the pyramid tomb of Sethi.

It’s common knowledge that garlic promotes cardiovascular health. It has a high Vitamin C content, and prevents the accumulation of LDL (bad) cholestteral in the arteries. But more, it can reduce the chance of developing common cancers like breast and colon cancer. So, what’s there not to like about it? Yeah, I know, you’re saying, How am I gonna kiss my significan other after eating garlic? Get over it. If she or he doesn’t like it, get another partner

Cooking with garlic is the easiest thing. Crushed, chopped, minced or roasted, it gives a marvelous flavor and depth to any dish. A little garlic goes a long way, but a lot of garlic, to my mind, is better. Yes, I am a fanatic when it comes to the glorious bulb. But, as the following recipes show, garlic can enhance any dish, transforming it into a softer, sweeter, nutty-like rendition. And, you’ll never have to worry about vampires invading your home.

GARLIC BUTTER

Combine one stick melted butter with 3 cloves finely minced garlic over medium heat until the butter absorbs the garlic. Stir in one teaspoon chopped parsley, and that’s it. Great for eggs, omelets, brushed on bread or warm biscuits; or spread over steamed or baked fish, or cooked chicken. Even a juicy steak will benefit from garlic butter.

GARLIC OIL

Heat 1/2 cup sunflower oil in a small pan. Add 3 cloves crushed garlic. Cook, strring gently. for about 5 minutes until garlic is lightly golden. Do not let garlic burn or it will turn bitter. Cool, strain, and use oil as a flavoring or for frying. Very popular in Asian dishes.

GARLIC SAUCE

This is very popular in Greek cuisine. In a blender or food processor, blend 4 cloves garlic, crushed; 2-3 slices bread, soaked on water, 1/2 cup olive oil; juice of half a lemon; 1 tablespoon white vinegar; salt and ground black peppper to taste. In some recipes they add 1 cup mashed potatoes for greater consistency. Your choice. This sauce is great with cold or hot meat or fish dishes. If you like it stronger, you can add more garlic.

GARLIC POTATOES

2 pounds Idaho or Yokon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, washed and scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch
   wedges
6 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or tarragon

1. Place potato wedges in a pan with about 1&1/2-inch water. Bring water to a boil, cover, lower heat and steam until wedges are very tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pan or skillet, heat 5 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and sauté unitl golden, about 5-6 minutes.   
3. Add potatoes and thyme (or tarragon) to pan or skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about a minute more. Drizzle with ramianing olive oil and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.

OMELET WITH GARLIC

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
6 eggs, beaten
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup mushrooms (button, shitake, or portobello), thinly sliced
1/2 cup grater cheddar or Swiss cheese

1. Heat oil in medium non-stick pan or skillet over moderate heat. Manwhile, mix salt and pepper with eggs. Add to pan and cook until top begins to set.
2. Add garlic, mushroons, and cheese. Place a lid on the pan to help the top part of the omelet to cook.
3. Starting from the edge of the pan, use a spatula to fold one-third of the omelet toward center of the pan and cointinue until the omelet is roll-shaped. Cook for about 1 minute more; and slide the omelet off the pan onto a serving platter.
    Yoeld: 4 servings.

SHRIMP WITH GARLIC SAUCE

1 pound medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for garmish

1. Combine shrimp, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl or a large ziplock bag. Stir to conbine, cover (if using bowl), and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or, for at least 4 hours.
2, Heat a pan or skillet (I prefer cast-iron) on medium heat. Add butter and, when sizzling, add shrimp. Cook until pinkish red. More garlic can be added, if desired, during cooking (but don’t let the garlic burn).  Serve with lemion wedges
    Yield 3-4 servings.
Note : This dish is great with steamed white rice.

 

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