Friday, November 17, 2017
Cooking

Top almost any dish with a fried egg for a flavor, protein boost

RECOMMENDED READING


It's that time of the year when we think about eggs. Mostly though, as Easter approaches, we consider them in Technicolor and placed lovingly in a child's basket. Some are even plastic with centers of chocolates or jelly beans instead of daffodil-yellow yolks. But Easter is still a ways away — April 20 this year — and today I am celebrating how a fried egg can elevate the most mundane tangle of flavors. Leftover fried rice? Bam. A fried egg on top turns it into Dinner, Night 2. Sick of Caesar salad adorned with chicken or salmon? Slide a fried egg on that ice-cold, dressed Romaine and let the runny yolk make the dressing even creamier. Looking for a new way to garnish a cheeseburger? Let a sunny-side-up egg do the talking (but not to your doctor). Eggs are a hot topic this year, perhaps because of the city chickens phenomenon, which is providing entire neighborhoods fresh eggs from the wanna-be farmers on the block. There are at least seven cookbooks out this year celebrating the egg; among them are three published last month: Eggs on Top by Andrea Slonecker (Chronicle Books), The Farmstead Egg Guide & Cookbook by Terry Golson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and The Egg Cookbook: The Creative Farm-to-Table Guide to Cooking Fresh Eggs by Healdsburg Press. Let the wild egg rumpus begin!

Adding a fried (or poached or baked) egg to a sandwich or salad is not a new trick. The French bring the technique to an art form with the Croque Madame sandwich and Salad Lyonnaise. The former is the femininely named version of the Croque Monsieur, basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a lush bechamel sauce. Add a fried egg to the top and you've got the Madame. For the Salad Lyonnaise, a web of spidery frisee is dressed with a red wine vinaigrette, studded with crispy bits of slab bacon and topped with a poached egg. Simple, elegant, delicious.

The Korean rice dish bibimbap typically has a cooked egg on top, and, honestly, what hash is worth its weight in calories without that yellow yolk winking up at you?

I think it best to keep the yolks soft and let the flavor run through the dish. If the yolk is hard-cooked, that changes the dynamic. You can fry them any way you like, using olive oil to baste them, executing a classic sunny-side-up egg or even finishing them in the oven. The experts advise against seasoning until they are done or you risk pock-marking the whites with the salt. I don't mind that look at all. I call it rustic, but to each her own when it comes to frying eggs.

Besides the recipes accompanying this story, here are five dishes you might not have thought to put an egg — fried, baked or poached — on:

Cheesy Grits: For breakfast, lunch or dinner, a bowl of cheese grits becomes even more deluxe with the addition of a fried egg. I stir in sliced scallions before the egg topper and then dot with Sriracha sauce. (You could do the same thing with creamy polenta or any type of risotto.)

Baked Avocado: Split an unpeeled avocado and discard the pit. Crack an egg into each well and bake the pieces on a sheet for about 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven or until egg whites have set. Sprinkle with feta cheese and some chopped fresh parsley. Serve with toast.

Roasted Asparagus: Consider this for Easter morning brunch. Add a poached or fried egg to a raft of roasted, seasoned asparagus and then top that with chunky shavings of Parmesan.

Lentils and Greens: In a large skillet, saute 1 diced onion and a couple of small diced carrots in olive oil. When carrots get soft, add 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic. Stir in several cups of cooked lentils and heat through. In another skillet, wilt greens (spinach or arugula) in a bit of olive oil (or broth). Mix greens with lentils and then add a fried egg to the top of each serving. (Use the spinach skillet to fry the eggs.)

Twice-Baked Potatoes: When the potatoes go into the oven for their second baking, make a well and crack an egg in the depression. Sprinkle with chopped chives. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until egg whites are set.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow @RoadEats on Twitter.

Comments
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

As far as we’re concerned, anything you can make in advance of actual Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, and this make-ahead gravy fits the bill. Plus, Tucker Shaw of America’s Test Kitchen says it tastes just as good as if you made it wi...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts. New York Times Put some thought into the menu What leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they t...
Published: 11/17/17
Everything you need to know to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey

Everything you need to know to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey

The turkey is the unquestioned star of the Thanksgiving meal. It can be the most daunting part as well. But with a little planning and care, it doesn’t have to be. † Before you start • A decent roasting pan, one heavy enough that it wo...
Published: 11/16/17
Taste test: prepared mashed sweet potatoes

Taste test: prepared mashed sweet potatoes

If you want to spend more time with your family and friends this holiday season and less time in the kitchen, our judges suggest serving Hormelís mashed sweet potatoes. No need to wash, peel and heat potatoes. Just pop the container in the microwave ...
Published: 11/16/17
From the food editor: An expert weighs in on how to stay calm this Thanksgiving

From the food editor: An expert weighs in on how to stay calm this Thanksgiving

I can tell right away that Tucker Shaw has thought about Thanksgiving a lot, and not just as a home cook. As the editor in chief of Cookís Country, a member of Americaís Test Kitchen and the former dining critic and food editor at the Denver Post, Sh...
Published: 11/16/17
How to make a perfect pie crust (with recipes)

How to make a perfect pie crust (with recipes)

When I tell people I grew up in a family of pie bakers, it’s easy to imagine I’m bragging. My mother’s pies are legendary — rich, velvety custard fillings or mounded fruit pies, each cradled in an ornately decorated crust, gol...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Five ideas for meat pies

Five ideas for meat pies

Sweeney Todd ruined meat pies for me. e_SBlt For a while after seeing the famous musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in high school (and then again after watching the 2007 movie starring Johnny Depp), the thought of meat pies m...
Published: 11/15/17
Five pie recipes to make for Thanksgiving, or any time of year

Five pie recipes to make for Thanksgiving, or any time of year

You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holiday pie. Try one of these five recipes, which range from classic to unexpected. † † Classic Apple Pie Pie dough, homemade or storebought, enough for 2 (9-inch) ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Three things to do with leftover pie crust that arenít pie

Three things to do with leftover pie crust that arenít pie

Pie, oh my. I am all in on the flaky, homey dessert this time of year. The past couple of weeks, Iíve been collecting ideas for perfecting pie crust, trying new pie recipes and preparing for what is perhaps the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgivi...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17