Finally, the corn has arrived! More than burgers, more than blackberries, more than plump red tomatoes and endless mounds of zucchini, fresh-shucked corn tastes like pure, delicious summer. Though I still love it straight off the cob, plain and warm, it’s also now one of my favorite ingredients to add to other dishes.
When I moved to Columbus last January, Brad and I encountered a major first: we began working on the same schedule. With my former life in theatre and Brad’s many years of graduate and then law school, we always operated on schedules that left us with very few hours that we were both at home. But now, both working very regularly-scheduled jobs close enough that we actually carpool, we suddenly found ourselves facing a dilemma: who has to get up first?
For lots of reasons, I was the lucky winner to set my clock earlier and use the shower first. I like to pack my lunch in the morning, I blow-dry my hair, I could daudle around a bit. And one day, for a treat, I made us a hot, freshly-cooked breakfast. It wasn’t a major affair: there were no biscuits, no gravy, no French toast or quiches. But it was hot, it was savory, and it was DELICIOUS.
It was this breakfast burrito. Don’t be afraid! These take about 10 minutes to make, start to finish, and they take fairly basic ingredients. Sure, you can gussy up a breakfast burrito with sausage, bacon, peppers and onions, all kinds of things: but the basics are utterly delightful and allow for quick, weekday breakfasting.
There are so many magical things you can do with an egg. Having grown up with them almost exclusively scrambled, hard-boiled, or whipped into cake batter, I’ve recently worked on expanding my egg repertoire at breakfast. Sometimes I’ll roll them up in breakfast burritos, other mornings I’ll toss them on an English muffin, and some mornings I’ll make one of these beauties.
But on super-special mornings, I’ll buy a precious avocado and smear it across toast to a beautiful, green canvas for a gently fried egg.
I’ve loved avocados for a long time, but I was previously skeptical of their ability to translate to breakfast. Lord, I was so wrong. The flavor and texture of the avocado and the egg together are fantastic. The avocado needs no additions, though admittedly, I did try mixing in salsa one day, and while it was delightful, I still preferred it all by itself.
The eggs, while you’re smashing avocado, fry gently with their yolks unbroken. If you’re not a fan of runny eggs, don’t worry, just break the yolks with a fork and cook them a bit longer on the second side for a firm yellow center.
This simple breakfast is super-quick for rushed weekday mornings when you want to pretend, just for a minute, that it’s already the weekend. And it’s fancy enough even for the weekend. Why go out for breakfast when you can stay in your pajamas and have this?
Egg & Avocado on Toast
Makes 2 servings
1/2 an avocado
1/2 T butter
2 slices of bread
Scoop the avocado out of the skin into a bowl. Crush the avocado with the back of a fork until it is mostly crushed. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the butter to the pan and coat the bottom of the pan as it melts. Crack the eggs into the pan without breaking the yolks, keeping the eggs separate. Sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt and black pepper.
While the eggs cook, toast the bread and smear avocado evenly over both pieces. After eggs have cooked for about two minutes, flip carefully with a spatula and sprinkle the opposite side lightly with black pepper. After about 30 seconds, gently lift the eggs onto the toasts, placing them on the avocado.
Serve and enjoy immediately.
It’s entirely possible that I’m the last person to arrive at this party, but these days I find I really, really like soft-cooked eggs. Growing up I thought I only liked scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, and deviled eggs (who doesn’t?) but recently, I’ve discovered the pleasure of the slightly runny yolk.
And THIS, it turns out, is the best way I’ve found to enjoy it. I feel a little generous even calling this a recipe because it’s SO quick, SO easy, and amazingly, deliciously good.
I’ve seen this recipe with a number of different names. Egg in a Hole, Frog in a Hole, Egg in the Middle… but the principle remains the same. You take a piece of bread. And you punch a hole in it. And then you put an egg in the middle and cook. Simple!
I like using a round cookie cutter for this, but you could get cutesy and use a heart, a square, or whatever shape you want. The important thing is to not make it too small. Trust me, if there isn’t enough hole, the egg will just overflow and not cook and you won’t be able to flip it and all will be ugly for your breakfast.
I have a really bad habit of planning my weekends too much. I always make a list full of more than I can possibly do, gradually shifting things to later in the week as the impossibility of my plans becomes clear.
But every once in a while, one of the items on those lists turns into a relaxing, inspiring, reflective endeavor with delicious results. As with this frittata.
My initial impulse to make this crowd-worthy breakfast came from a delightful alliance of ingredients currently in season. “Egg season” (yes, there is one) has begun here in the Carolinas, and every week I see more and more vendors with teetering piles of egg crates on the corners of their tables.
I don’t really recall eating much rice before I was thirteen. It was then that I had my first delicious bites of Chinese takeout (strangely, in Disneyworld). My sister and I were hooked, so suddenly, stir fry became a regular meal in our household. My dad would bust out a giant wok, a pound of chicken breast, and a smattering of stir fry vegetables, and within minutes the house would fill with the sounds and smells of the quickly cooking meal.
Rice, too, was always part of these week-night stir fries. And it was the rice that yielded the best leftovers, because the following morning, dad would make rice cakes.
Rice cakes, as I grew up with them, are not comparable to the puffy, crunchy discs of rice you can buy at the store. These rice cakes are rather more like pancakes, cooked in a frying pan and slathered with butter and maple syrup to make a scrumptious breakfast.
Whether you make your rice for stir fry, curry, or something like this, make a little extra and you can set yourself up for a week’s worth of awesome breakfasts.
This is, I think, the first Easter for which I have not dyed any eggs. Not one cup of pigment-stained vinegar has graced my kitchen counter, nor one hard-boiled egg.
But this quiche?
Possibly my new favorite way to celebrate the humble egg.
Previously, I’ve really only eaten quiche in miniature form at catered gatherings and parties, but had never really considered the possibility of making them myself. Or if I had, I became rapidly intimated by the idea of a homemade crust (I’d never actually made one before this). But oh! What a new world lies ahead now that I have quiche AND pie crust in my culinary arsenal!
This is one of those rare weekends when I have not a single show to work. I love working in performing arts, but oooooh how I do relish these weekends with minimal events.
And of course, the opportunity to make fancy breakfasts. Or at least something fancier than a poached egg and an apple, my normal morning fare.
Once upon a time, in a time not so long ago, a boy and a girl dreamed of eating hot, homemade breakfast every day. They did not hate the yummy but mundane breakfasts they had grown accustomed to, but as the season grew colder, the yogurt and oatmeal of summer days excited them less and less.
One day, while replenishing their stores at ye olde supermarket, the boy decided to see what treasures were held in the depths of the frozen breakfast aisle.
“Alas!” said the boy, upon gazing at the scroll of ingredients, “Even the scribes don’t know these words!” Indeed, the script upon the package seemed to suggest the meal was more chemical than food.
Suddenly, the girl had an idea.
“What if, instead of wasting all this packaging and filling our bellies with low quality food, we make our own frozen breakfasts?”
The boy’s eyes lit up at the thought, and they escaped the chilly aisles before succumbing to the tempting packages within.
The first step, they knew, was to procure some containers that were just the right size. So they rode their chariot to the Pyrex outlet to round up a dozen 1-cup containers, each one made of glass and accompanied by an airtight lid. They were safe for the freezer, the microwave, and their incredible dish-washing machine. A perfect find!
If Easter eggs are your thing, you have probably already dyed yours and let them spend their happy morning in a pile of scraggly plastic grass. So while this might not provide you with a must-try kitchen adventure for this weekend, I still want to tell you about the brief, but bizarre, life of my Easter eggs this year.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve used the standard effervescent tablets of color in mis-matched coffee mugs to dye eggs. This year I saw not one but three different suggestions for techniques to dye eggs with vegetable dyes. Perfect! A lifelong tradition that could be easily adjusted to accommodate my transition to local food. Easy right?
Mmmmm not as easy as I’d hoped.
Obtaining the dyes was not too difficult. I needed beets (readily available at the farmer’s market right now), red cabbage, and turmeric. Okay, so the turmeric is in no way, shape, or form local. But it seemed to be the most prevalent suggestion for creating a golden-hued egg, so I gave it a shot. Other than that, water, vinegar, and salt were easy to come by.
Next! I saw a technique to achieve beautiful eggs stenciled with leaves and flowers. A few minutes wandering around my apartment property provided a few stenciling options. A couple pairs of hose chopped into egg-friendly pouches later, some friends came over to partake in the vegetable dyeing experience.