5.27.2010

Great egg-spectations .... har har.

Most mornings I wake up with fuzzy eyes and a slightly aching head, both of which nasty symptoms disappear within about a half hour of my first cup of coffee.  Needless to say, I don't accomplish much in that first, oh, forty-five minutes of the day.  Some mornings, though, I wake up hungry but patient and a little inspired.
Such was the case on one of the early brilliant spring mornings a few weeks ago, when I woke with an appetite and an idea.  Last summer, on our anniversary, my sister made Dan and me a tortilla espanola - eggs gently hugging delicious potatoes with a little oniony bite.  While I was in Germany, all those many years ago, one of the reliably affordable and filling menu options on brunch and bar menus all over the place was a Bauernfrühstück - eggs scrambled with potatoes (Bratkartoffel) and, basically, whatever was handy.  And then there's the frittata I used to order when visiting my sister on Beacon Hill.

All of these things represent the egg dishes that are un-eggy enough that I can eat a lot of them without wanting to ralph.  (I have a thing about eggs.  You will not see me waxing poetic about the perfect poached egg and I will not be topping my bowl of greens with a fried egg, even though abstractly these ideas have a strong appeal.)

...

In fact, it occurs to me that I've only ever eaten a whole fried egg once - and that was in the service of a near-fatal crush on a cruelly imperceptive man-child.  Otherwise do you think I would have eaten this?  I shudder to remember it.

...

Anyway, this one morning I woke up with a craving for something a little heartier and more toothsome than the oatmeal to which I've become so accustomed.

So I peeled some potatoes and cut them into chunks and set them to cooking.  When they were done, I threw some sausage (plain ol', ordinary ol' Jimmy Dean) into a pan with some roughly chopped garlic and let them go to town.  I then removed the sausage and garlic, leaving the fat in the pan.
Into the pan then went the potatoes (drained), some mushrooms (quartered), and some salt and pepper.  When those were all brown and beginning to crisp, I threw the sausage and garlic back in, then poured in three eggs beaten with a smidgen of milk.  I cooked that until the bottom was stable (i.e. I could slide it back and forth in the pan in one big chunk.), but the top was still liquidy, then I popped it into the oven at about 375 for about 15 minutes.
Once it was baked, I topped the whole thing with a heavy grating of parmesan and some roughly chopped thyme.

The eggs puffed up, the tastes all went together and the result was delicious.  The eggs bound all the other morsels together without tasting too much like eggs and the chunks of sausage and potato and mushroom solved the egg-texture-conundrum.  Sure, the end product of all this early-morning dithering wasn't really a frittata or a tortilla or a Bauernfrühstück, but it was damn tasty and I recommend you give it a try.
Obviously, if you like eggs, you should add a couple more.  And, you should throw in whatever's handy and tasty.  If you don't have mushrooms, don't use them.  Now that there are fresh veggies coming in, add those!  Asparagus would be delicious, as would peppers.  Basically anything.

So, you see, there's no real recipe this time around.  Consider this a mad-libs style recipe, maybe.

1. Cook potatoes.
2. Add [meat].
3. Add [something oniony/garlicky].
4. Add [any number of veggies].
5. Add [desired number of] eggs.
6. Top with [cheese].
7. Enjoy.

2 comments:

Kelly said...

Yay, I love this dish!

Darby O'Shea said...

Kelly: Thanks! You should try it sometime! Very yummy.