By Chef Judi Gallagher –
Eggs are having a renaissance. Sure, they’re used in everything from cake batter to carbonara, and they always will be, but these days you’ll find egg-centric dishes on just about every restaurant menu and in the pages of every food magazine. It’s become almost common to see salads or sliders topped with a quail egg.
Take deviled eggs, for example. What used to be the home hostess’s cocktail party staple are now turning up on the menus of some of the most exclusive restaurants around. Some are topped with everything from diced beets to house-made bacon, and I’d be happy to eat any of these variations. Eggs are igniting chef creativity.
The same goes for eggs Benedict: the formula used to be Canadian bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise, but now chefs are swapping out all different kinds of protein for the ham—you’ll find crab cake, smoked salmon, steak and fresh veggie Benedicts on most breakfast and brunch menus these days. Today’s omelets can be filled with almost any ingredient you can think of—I’ve had Mediterranean omelets, meat-lover omelets, egg-white omelets, you name it. The more creative, the better (most of the time). Same goes for contemporary quiche recipes.
And don’t even get me started on fried eggs—they’re not just for breakfast anymore. These days, you can put them on top of almost anything, and I couldn’t be happier about it. From burgers to stir-fry dishes and back again, this is one trend I hope stays around.
You don’t have to stick to just chicken eggs for any of these dishes, either (although they’re certainly the most readily available). Duck, goose, and quail eggs often show up on menus and can be prepared in many of the same ways as their chicken counterparts. And how good does a caramel coffee crème brulee made with duck eggs sound? Or fresh egg fettuccine made with ostrich eggs? Or—yum—truffled quail eggs?
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite egg recipes, and I hope you’ll share your favorite ways to prepare eggs with me, as well. Happy eating!
Eggs Florentine with Orange Hollandaise
2 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered
4 thick slices ham or Canadian bacon, warmed
2 cups wilted fresh spinach
4 poached eggs
1/2 cup Hollandaise Sauce
Zest of orange
Orange Hollandaise Sauce
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup warm clarified butter
3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
Dash hot red pepper sauce (optional)
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
Place in the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless-steel bowl set up as a double boiler. Off the heat, whisk the egg mixture until it becomes light and frothy. Place the top of the double boiler or the bowl over, not in, barely simmering water and continue to whisk until the eggs are thickened, 2 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the eggs get too hot. Remove the pan or bowl from over the water and whisk to slightly cool the mixture. Whisking constantly, very slowly add butter, then whisk in orange juice, pepper sauce and salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water. Serve immediately or keep the sauce warm for up to 30 minutes by placing the bowl in water (not hot) water. Garnish with zest of orange.
Joe’s Eggs Judi Style
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites
4 large eggs
3 ounces hot Italian sausage
3 ounces ground sirloin
2 cups chopped onion
6 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/c cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Dash hot sauce
4 (1 1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread, toasted
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage and ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned; stir to crumble. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in chard; cover and cook 3 minutes or until chard wilts, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Stir in egg mixture; cook 3 minutes or until eggs are set, stirring frequently. Serve with toast. 4-5 servings (serving size: 1 cup egg mixture and 1 toast slice)