And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
There are about as many versions of Migas as you can imagine. It’s basically scrambled eggs kicked up an infinite level, with chorizo (Mexican sausage), tomatoes, jalapeños, cheese, tortilla strips and salsa verde or salsa roja. My spouse first introduced me to Migas when we lived in Forth Worth, Texas. It’s one of those dishes that has come to remind me of what Sundays are for, relaxing and enjoying the moment and yourself.
BLT in CCCXLIX AD – The Romans were familiar with the bread, bacon and lettuce part of this famous quartet — even with the toasting of bread — but they would have to wait centuries before the Spaniards would deliver the tomatoes.
I’m convinced that there are spices that can make you high. I can be roaming the streets of Portland, Vancouver, B.C., Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and my hair will start to vibrate and stand on end when I get that first whiff of star anise in the air. My heartbeat quickens. My sweat glands go into overdrive. I start blinking uncontrollably, as my mind disconnects from my body and my feet start searching for the source of the heavenly aroma. Pungent, sweet, savory. Like licorice but more intoxicating. It’s a key ingredient in one of my favorite Thai dishes of ethnic Chinese origins, a stew of hard-boiled eggs, sweet dark soy sauce and pork hocks, that is flavored with star anise and cinnamon.
An egg pie with a crust of hash browns and topped with tomatoes makes a quick and easy breakfast on a lazy Sunday. Kick it up a notch by serving it with some salsa on the side. Mimosas, anyone?
I play with the sauce first by taking a modest taste on my fork, then twirl a bit of potato in it and let that play around in my mouth. I finish with a crumb of bread before piercing the egg to begin the slow flow of the yolk, giving the sauce its final caress. It’s moments like this that make you look over the table and quietly ask your dining partner, “How was it for you?”
The next time you’ve got company or are craving something a little different for breakfast, try making an omelette with some chopped shallots and chives in the beaten egg, and stuff the omelette with gravlax, cream cheese and capers. Yummy! Omelettes are so versatile. I’ve stuffed them with tater tots and sausage; tomatoes, bell peppers, bacon and cheese; crab and cocktail sauce; roasted peppers and beans. Heck. Be brave. Dream it up and just stuff it in an omelette and try it out. You may be surprised where your imagination leads your tastebuds!
Memories of Barbara’s food haunts me from time to time. She once made a shrimp creole that was absolutely one of the best things I have ever eaten. She was using a recipe this time, one from Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen. It involved making a seafood stock with the heads and shells of the shrimp. I took a whiff and doubted its benefit in the recipe. To me, it had an offensive smell. Now Barbara was doubtful. Her husband, Jimmy, said to use it anyway. Lucky for us that she followed his advice. It was memorable. And, after all, who am I to doubt a Paul Prudhomme recipe … or Barbara?
Saturdays are usually a busy day around the house. Shopping, chores, many times I have to work. So Sundays tend to be a little bit more laid back. After spending the day at work, I casually mentioned at the dinner table on Saturday night that I was going to make brunch for us on Sunday. No sooner had I said it than Charles and Mom started asking what I was going to make. Something special, I replied — soft-scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms.
“Two poached eggs served on garlic croutons with pearl onions, bacon and champignons in a red wine and foie gras sauce served with pommes frîtes,” read the menu at Café Campagne in Seattle. This was the first of multiple seductions to lure me to the Pacific Northwest. As seductions go, it was tasty and I wanted more.
Ham I am and pink, I think.
Eggs, I beg, all preened and green.
Stuff with me and I will oink,
“Oh, such porkety eggsqueezeene!”
I’ve long been hooked on playing with words. Small wonder that I was smitten with the books of Dr. Seuss when I was young and later with the equally sophisticated artistry of Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Those masters created playful, amusing and rhythmical rhyming sounds with just words, whether simply twisted into a new shape and sound or totally made up nonsensically.
I looked at the pile of crab meat that was left over from the enchiladas our good friend and dinner guest Steve Martin was helping me assemble, and was wondering what to do with it when he suggested, “Why not Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict?” I hadn’t ever thought of having crab for breakfast before, but […]