Scotch eggs are a common picnic and party dish in the UK, and have been around for over 200 years. I first had one at the local Maryland Renaissance Festival some years back. Several restaurants and markets claim to have started the craze, but it’s likely that the dish was originally inspired by a North Indian and Pakistani dish called Nargisi Kofta, which encases a hard-boiled egg in spicy ground meat.
We make Scotch Eggs at home from time to time, basically any time we have some loose sausage on hand. But lately we’ve been soft boiling the eggs, which has shifted this dish from something comforting to something exquisite (and still comforting). Typical Scotch Egg recipes call for breading the sausage before frying, which gives them a nice crunch and helps the sausage stay in place; over the years we’ve come to prefer the ease and simplicity of not breading the eggs.
To tell the truth, it’s not often that I get a hankering for a meal-sized salad. There’s a lot of chewing involved. But if I am going to sit down and enjoy a full salad, I prefer to eat something made with a wide variety of hearty ingredients. In that regard, Cobb Salad takes the cake: it’s basically lettuce and a bunch of solid, pleasurable mix-ins. No dainty ingredients like sprouts, no sir! Okay, sometimes Cobb recipes call for chives, but you get my point.
Both the salad and dressing used in today’s recipe come from California in the early 20th century. Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood during the 1930s, whipped up a quick salad for a friend with a toothache using leftovers found in his kitchen. He cut the ingredients up into small pieces so as not to exacerbate his friend’s condition. (Personally, I would have whipped up a pureed soup if my friend had a toothache.) Other stories contend that there was no toothache involved. Either way, the salad was such a hit that Cobb added it to his menu, and it took off from there. Green Goddess Dressing was made by a San Francisco chef in the 1920s, after a popular stage play of the same name. While the salad and dressing don’t traditionally go together (Cobb salad is usually served with red wine vinaigrette), I really like the pairing of the two. Plus, they each call for 1/2 an avocado, so in that sense, they fit together perfectly.
Special thanks to my friends at Pacific Merchants who donated the hand-carved acacia wood salad bowl for the picture you see above. Their 12″ bowl is both beautiful and sturdy; it’s a perfect size for a whopping salad like this one.
A while back I stumbled upon this recipe from Tina at Oh Snap! Let’s Eat! and knew that I had to try it for myself. Pancakes made with just eggs and a banana? Too good to be true. Turns out they’re very tasty and an interesting way to enjoy some of my favorite breakfast staples.
Shirred eggs, more commonly known as baked eggs, are eggs that are baked in a flat-bottom dish. Although they are traditionally prepared with minimal ingredients, my variation is a little different in that I like to use cupcake pans and layer a host of ingredients into a cup lined with ham or other form of cured meat. I like the idea of building your whole breakfast at once.
These baked eggs are a great way to treat guests that come over for brunch, or everybody’s favorite meal, “breakfast for dinner.”
NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.
While I usually eat a combination of meat (homemade jerky, smoked salmon, sardines, or uncured deli meat) and fruit (berries, banana) for breakfast during the workweek, on weekends I tend to gravitate towards your typical eggs/bacon breakfasts. Unfortunately, this guy gets tired of eggs fairly quickly, even after trying every just about every egg preparation under the sun. Then last week a friend turned me onto the dish you see above, huevos haminados.
This egg dish is popular in Jewish communities in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and served at Passover Seders (a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover). The dish’s Latin-based name might throw you off, but that’s a reflection of its origin in Medieval Spain. There are several variations online, which include boiling the eggs in onion skins and coffee, or simmering in a crock pot for seven hours. I decided to go with an even easier approach – you just throw the eggs in an oven for five hours.
While the egg shells stay mostly white, the egg whites become a rich brown color and the eggs develop a nutty, roasted taste. There’s even a hint of meatiness in there that’s hard to describe. Either way, it’s a dead-simple dish that is worth a try!
Last week I participated in the first-ever Highbrow Cook Off, hosted by Highbrow Paleo (an online collection of citizen scientists, researchers, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, book readers, comedians, modern homesteaders, political analysts, hunters and huntresses, foragers, eaters of guts – eyeballs – and insects, devoted followers of OakOy and culinary explorers).
The rules were simple:
– only use the ingredients outlined
– use of pre-approved pantry items is unlimited
– only use minimal processing, and minimal kitchen equipment, as outlined
– keep track of how much you spend on the ingredients
– will not use more than 3 kitchen gadgets/utensils, and nothing powered except the oven or stove top
For this first iteration, the incorporated ingredients were kale, mushrooms, onions, eggs, and a tuber. After a little deliberation, I settled on the idea of a baked sweet potato, with the veggies/eggs as toppings. Turned out beautifully! I was so happy with the results I thought that I should share it here as well. Total cost of the meal was about $2.
Have you been to Alex Boake’s blog yet? It’s pretty awesome. She complements each of her unique recipes with beautiful illustrations in place of photos, and each illustration carries a great sense of motion and impeccable placement. After a bit of gushing about her work, she offered to do a recipe swap – wherein she makes one of my dishes and draws it, and I make one of her dishes and take pictures of it. I thought it was a great idea.
I decided to try and tackle her Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict recipe (also known as Eggs Atlantic, Eggs Hemingway, and Eggs Royale). I thought it was a fun gourmet dish to try for a weekend brunch, and I liked the idea of using a portabella mushroom cap to replace the standard english muffin typically found in this dish. The red bell pepper also adds a hint of sweetness not normally found in the dish, which was great. I only made one adjustment to her original recipe, and that was to add a little white vinegar to the water I used to poach my eggs – a trick I learned while working at a breakfast restaurant many years ago – the acidity helps to make sure the eggs don’t break apart during the poaching process.
NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.
Loco moco is a Hawaiian dish and popular breakfast meal on the islands. It’s the ultimate breakfast meal prior to a big workday, consisting of rice, a hamburger patty, fried eggs, and brown gravy. Its unique mix of ingredients create a distinct taste that I’ve been missing lately, so I decided to whip one up the other day.
Although breakfast is my least favorite meal to eat, I definitely like to prepare it. For a couple years I worked at a restaurant that served breakfast, and learned a couple cool dishes. The one you see above we called a “hobo” , which may not be the most politically correct term out there for it. Luckily, the chances of offending a homeless person is pretty low, since I assume that most homeless people a) don’t have access to the internet and b) don’t visit this site when they do get online.
A hobo is probably called that because it’s made by throwing a bunch of ingredients into a single pan. As far as I know, it always contains eggs, cheese, and potatoes, and some sort of meat. I like making this dish because it’s an easy way to get rid of leftover meat, as well as ingesting a good amount of healthy coconut oil.
I don’t write about breakfast much but I thought I should do a real quick post on my typical starting meal.
On weekdays, I generally focus on three items that I take to work: meat, cheese, and fruit. Breakfast is the only time of day that I actively eat fruit, one or two pieces a day. I tend to eat applesauce, berries, plum, or kiwi. The meat is generally four slices of uncured lunchmeat (usually from Applegate Farms), beef jerky, smoked or canned salmon, or a can of sardines. Cheese is usually Kerrygold grass-fed Dubliner or Blarney cheese, or Trader Joe’s grass-fed cheddar.
Weekends is usually the same combination but only one piece of fruit max, with eggs and bacon added. Often I skip the cheese as well. I’m not a big fan of mixing eggs with other ingredients, so I don’t usually make omelets or those crazy Paleo concoctions you’ve probably seen floating around the internet. Sometimes we’ll make something with potatoes, and very rarely we take a stab at gluten-free pancakes (usually to disastrous result). Fried rice for breakfast is pretty tasty, too, and nothing beats spam musubi every once in a while.
That’s basically it. What do you eat for breakfast?