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Innovative Egg Dishes?: Fried, Scrambled, Baked?

I'm not talking omelets here- whose fillings are limitless. I'm talking just simple eggs with innovative treatment. I do 3 unusual things:

** Tunisian Chechouka- minced garlic and chopped tomatoes sauteed in evoo til thick like concasse. Add eggs and scramble just til set. Serve w/ plain yoghurt.

** Over-easy eggs doused/drizzled in pan w/ quality balsamic vinegar a few minutes before they're ready to serve.(this is me replicating the amazing eggs at Foreign Cinema in San Fran.)

** Ramekin of mashed sweet potatoes topped by cooked bacon strips, whole eggs, S and P, and lastly, shredded x sharp cheddar cheese, all baked til eggs are medium cooked.(This is my adaptation of a dish served at David's Pot Belly in Providence R.I. in 1969.)

How 'bout you? I'd love some new things to try! Thanks much.

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  1. - Israeli shakshuka (similar to Tunisian *Chakchouka*)
    - Wuhan pocket eggs:
    - curried eggs with tomato chutney

    1. This is somewhat similar in seasoning to ghg's shakshuka, but contains lentils. I saute a largish onion in olive oil, add a few smashed cloves of garlic, ground cumin and smoked paprika to taste, and a cup of lentils, preferably red but brown is fine, a can of good quality diced tomatoes in juice or a lb of diced fresh garden tomatoes in the season, and a few cups of chicken or vegetable stock. While the lentils are cooking, saute diced zucchini and eggplant in olive oil until tender and nicely colored, season well, and add to the lentils after about a half hour, when the lentile are approaching doneness. Simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, adjust the seasoning, slide in your cracked eggs and let them poach in the stew, which should be a fairly thick consistency, but not so thick that the eggs can't sink into the lentils and poach. Add a little more stock if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro and serve with garlic rubbed grilled bread or warm pita bread. The fun timing of this dish is to get the lentils tender, the vegetables just done but not mushy, and the eggs poached to your liking.

      A little Harissa in this stew doesn't hurt at all. You can top with with plain yogurt or feta, like the shakshuka or Chakchouka recipes.

      I call this eggs with lentils and tomatoes.

      When I was growing up, my dad made pizza dough EVERY Sunday night, for a thicker crust Neapolitan style pizza. The next morning he'd stretch the extra leftover dough, top it with a little olive oil, browned sausage meat and shredded mozzarella, sometimes throw on a few pepper strips, bake it off for a few minutes, crack a few eggs on it and pop it back into a hot oven to bake until the eggs were set but the yolks were still runny. My father wasn't much of a cook but he had his moments of simple genius, and the egg idea most likely came from his mother. I never thought the breakfast egg pizza was anything special, beyond delicious, until I moved to NYC and saw egg pizzas on pizza joint menus. Now I do this with pancetta or smoked bacon and a mix of cheeses, rather than just mozz, and an herb added at the end, either basil, sage or thyme.

      4 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        what a fun experience/ memory of your dad.
        bwg, did you riff on a recipe for that unusual lentil dish, or come up w/ that entirely on your own? so intriguing!

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          I believe it's Middle Eastern in origin, and it may have come to me from a vegetarian coobook, but I've been making it for years, so the source is lost to me.

          My dad made pizza, tapioca pudding, potato pancakes and regular pancakes on Sunday morning, and did a little outdoor grilling, that was the extent of his culinary skills. He thoroughly enjoyed the little he did though.

          I sitll remember him sweeping the kitchen floor every night after dinner, while my mom washed the dishes.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            well, i think it's so cool that he got to get creative with that pizza dough!

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              He was first generation Italian American, my grandparents were from Rome and Naples, that's where the pizzza thing originated. Hard to say where the interest in tapioca and potato pancakes came from ...

      2. Few egg dishes are, IMO, as elegant as a properly prepared Tamago (Tomago). It's quite simple, there are many video examples on the Internet. But you've got to be careful because some of them demonstrate the basic technique but disrespect the importance of elegance in the dish.
        You don't need the special rectangular pan that is traditionally used in Japan. Any good quality non-stick pan will do quite nicely.
        First, beat the eggs gently (two eggs is enough to start with) to combine yolks and whites. Heat your pan on low heat and lightly oil the bottom. When the pan is just hot enough to accept a thin layer of egg without sizzling so that the egg begins to cook very slowly, pour just enough egg into the pan so that when you swirl the pan the egg covers the bottom.
        Allow to cook until nearly done but not brown. Raise one side of the egg and begin to roll it back onto itself. Don't "fold" it back, roll it into an obvious tubular shape. The egg should not be brown but light bright yellow in color.
        When the egg is completely rolled, move it to one extreme side of the pan, pour another layer of egg into the pan and allow it to run under the first roll. When that layer is done, but not brown, roll the first rolled product back onto the new layer to increase the size of the roll. Repeat this routine until you have a roll the size you wish to serve.
        If using a round skillet, remove the finished rolled egg and use a sharp knife to cut off and square up the ends. I would also do that if using a rectangular pan as it makes for a nicer presentation.
        Cut the Tamago into pieces that are about as long as the roll is wide (use angular cuts) and serve with caviar, smoked salmon (thinly sliced) sashimi, thinly sliced pork loin pieces or anything else that suits your fancy. I have sprinkled with grated cheese before but I think that detracts from the overall elegance of the dish.
        You can use fresh parsley to decorate the plate if you need more color.
        When done correctly, this dish will bring many compliments from your guests.

        2 Replies
        1. re: todao

          todao, nihon jin des ka?
          don't japanese chefs often add sugar or tamari to the egg base? arigato.

          when i do finally try to make this, i think i would like to put sheets of nori and /or a thin layer of tobiko or a thin layer of tobiko mixed with a tiny bit of mayo/soy sauce/wasabi mixture --down on top of the second cooked egg layer, before folding back the first egg layer on top of it and then roling up to complete the final roll. it's certainly not traditional; i just think it might add some nice color and textural contrast. do you?

          you serve this room temp, yes?

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Sai kōkyū no onega, opinionatedchef; Anata wa kangei sa rete
            I would, as you pointed out, serve these at or very near room temperature but never cold.
            Yes, some methods for preparing Tamago combine the egg with various other ingredients before introducing it to the fry pan. I just believe that so much of its potential elegance is lost when it's made that way - I can't bring myself to mix other ingredients into the egg. Likewise with folding any other ingredients between the layers. When other ingredients are placed between the layers the potential beauty of the profile of the cut roll is somehow lost. Definitely an OC character flaw on my part.
            I would, however, be agreeable to using dipping sauces, including perhaps a wasabi based sauce, on the side. The tobiko would certainly work in place of the caviar; and I suspect it might be somewhat less expensive. I wonder about nori and how I might use it. Not as part of the tamago but as a side; perhaps a nori soup with bits of pork, water chesnuts, etc. but without eggs. Egg in the soup would tend to detract from the tamago. But I'd want to find a diminutive serving piece into which a very small portion of the soup might be served so that it didn't dominate the setting.
            When I was in the far east I was honored to experience both the simple and the elegant culinary creations of the Japanese culture and, in either environment, simplicity seemed to always dominate each item served during the meals.
            What ever you try; best of luck to you.

        2. One of my favorites is atop a grilled romaine salad. Cut a head of romaine in half, spray the cut side with olive oil, grill. Broil or grill some grape tomatos and shallots (or red onion). Poach an egg. Serve the romaine half with the tomatoes, shallots, shaved pecorino or romano, top wih the poached egg. You can also add some fried pancetta. When you cut into the egg, the yolk forms the "dressing" for the salad. Delish...

          2 Replies
          1. re: ludmilasdaughter

            what a fascinating idea. i'd like to throw that romaine mixture into a hot pan w/ a little balsamic, before topping w/ the egg. yumm!

            and for a decomposed grilled caesar, serve it all on parmesan bruschetta/ toast!

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              That's funny. My husband actually loves it when I add just a bit of ceasar dressing to the mix. A little balsamic or lemon would be gret as well, and I may just have to give the parmesan bruschetta/toast a whirl too!

            1. re: blue room

              wow! fascinating! have you tried them yet and what did you think?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I "invented" (there are probably thousands of other people who invented this) what I call a "froached" egg. In my smallest pan I put a thick layer of olive oil. Get it medium hot, crack an egg in and cover. It kind of fries and steams. It picks up all the florals of the olive oil but it doesn't get oily. (I would pull it to a paper towel and blot before serving.)

              2. Not too innovative if your a left coaster, but really good!

                Hangtown Fry
                1 portion

                •Oysters, shelled and patted dry -- 3-4
                •Flour -- 1/4 cup
                •Eggs, beaten -- 3
                •Milk -- 1-2 tablespoons
                •Salt and pepper -- to taste
                •Bacon, fried until crisp -- 2 pieces
                •Oil or butter for frying
                1.Toss the oysters with the flour, shake off excess and set aside. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper.
                2.Heat the oil or butter over medium heat in a skillet. Fry the oysters for about 30 seconds on each side and push them to one side of the skillet. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet with the oysters and cook until firm, lifting the edges to allow any uncooked eggs run to the edges and cook.
                3.Lay the two pieces of bacon on the opposite side of the skillet from the oysters. Fold the omelet over, remove it to a plate and serve hot.
                •The bacon can be crumbled and stirred into the eggs.
                •Sometimes the oysters are dipped in egg and then breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs before frying.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Gail

                  Wow, I just mentioned this as one of my favorite omelets over on the current omelet thread. Like your variations, I cracker crumb bread the oysters first and fry, crumble the cooked bacon and stir it in with the eggs.

                  1. re: Gail

                    I didn't realize there was an American version of oyster omelet. It's one of my favorite light meals, especially with lots of cilantro and bean sprouts and maybe a little tapioca flour.

                    Other ideas to consider:
                    - Cilbir: poached eggs in garlic yogurt with brown butter and Aleppo pepper
                    - Stir fried eggs with tomato: http://www.beijingmadeeasy.com/chines...
                    - Deep-fried and served with dark soy sauce, scallions and chilies
                    - Hard boiled, wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried
                    - Scrambled with ginger, chilies, cumin, coriander, cilantro and fresh vegetables

                    1. re: JungMann

                      wow, that first one is a killer! now THAT's what i mean by 'unusual'! i'll be researching and trying that one; thnx so much for these. Btw,the deep fried- is it coated w/ something first? and use canola, or pnut oil?

                      also, i have always been fascinated by, and not really understanding of, the various chinese flours/powders:rice, tapioca, water chestnut, lotus ( and prob every single thing that's possible to dry and pulverize!) Would you teach us a bit about the tapioca flour you're talking about?
                      Mixed in w/ the egg? or dusted on the edges after it begins to set? thnx much.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        The "deep-fried" should be in quotation marks. They are fried sunnyside-up in a sufficient quantity of oil so that the bottoms and sides get crisp.

                        For the oyster omelet, you should beat the tapioca flour into the eggs. The result is a little bit of a chewy texture. If you use rice flour or potato starch, you can preserve the fluffiness of the omelet but give it crispy edges.

                  2. *Tunisian Aja (Ahja) - how you describe your Chechouka minus the garlic, not served with yogurt. My husband's family calls this Aja and chechouka is with vegetables and other add ins

                    *Tunisian Brik - I guess not really a breakfast dish, but has an egg in it! Thin, thin pastry (I use refrigerated egg wrapper rolls) with capers, parmesan cheese and a whole egg. Folded in half into a triangle and shallow fried. Can add tuna, parsley, or other ingredients. Can also beat eggs and add chopped chicken, meats, or other fillings and roll.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kamper

                      well, i should explore this topic of chechouka (sp.). i got the recipe from a middle eastern cookbook 35 yrs ago. It could be one of those foods where the dish means different things to different chefs but it could also be that it only means one thing and the cookbook was wrong!
                      but in either case, no garlic? what a shame; that's what makes it great, for me!

                    2. I like to poach eggs in soups, tomato sauces, etc. I saved the cooking liquid from a ham a few months ago and poached eggs in that then served with thinly sliced ham which was oven crisped and fried pan fried diced sweet potatoes...yum!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        ooh wee, that's a terrific idea- poaching eggs in stock. now why didn't I ever think of that? brilliant.
                        and just add some melted cheddar to that dish and you'll have the one i wrote up, above. Can i come over next time?!

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          Sure, why not? Good food always taste better when there's company to share it with :-)

                      2. Not super innovative, but quite pretty is the Skinny Omelette recipe from 101 Cookbooks:


                        I also remember my mom doing something similar to this when I was younger (we're an Asian family) where you make a very thin egg "crepe" and then put stuff in it and/or roll it up. Usually, she'd cook the egg with chopped green onion in it. That might be excellent wrapped around some chopped, sauteed bok choy or rolled into a tube, sliced into squat cylinders and put on a small crisp of some sort? Just brainstorming "aloud."

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: SandyCat

                          Years ago, we had some Japanese friends and the wife was such a wonderful cook. She did the same thing, rolled the egg around some kind of vegetables and scallions, we would gooble it up! How she got that egg crepe to be so thin is beyond me!

                        2. Years ago there was a dish called New Joe's Special. I don't know if it was a Bay Area thing or what but it's something I'd order for lunch dinner or breakfast. I don't see it on menus anymore when we eat breakfast out for sure. But it was one of my very favorite things to eat and we had it New Lucky's in Oakland.

                          I made a similar versions the other night and served a nice salad with it. I used the all egg whites, fresh spinach, mushrooms, ground turkey, onions, garlic and a dash of white wine. (the wine goes into the scrambled eggs) It was delicious, low in fat and calories.

                          The other thing we eat at for dinner and love is, omelettes. No matter what you put into it spinach, cheese, mushroom bacon, ham or pruscuitto, scallion, tomato, it doesn't really matter. It's a perfect dinner.

                          1. I recently caught a Jacques Pepin episode in which he made a dish of gnocchi and eggs with scallions and herbs. It looked really good. I'm sorry I didn't record the show.

                            Here's a link to that episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLtMFj...

                            1. I like eggs basically poached in a good fresh tomato and basil sauce with a splash of red wine; served with great garlicky toasts and an endive/arugula salad dressed with mustard vinaigrette. Nothing better. And I haven't gotten up the nerve yet, but I really REALLY want to try David Chang's Tempura'd poached egg.

                              1. Deborah Madison's fabulous cookbook "Vegetarian Suppers" has a recipe for a souffled omelet that my small children love -- they call it the "puffy omelet." With only 4 eggs, it's not very hearty (even though it fills up a 10" cast iron skillet), so it needs to be paired with substantial sides, soup, etc. Easy, quick, beautiful, delicious!

                                1. I recently made coddled eggs from Around My French Table. Put 3 or 4 small cubes of pate' in each ramekin, crack an egg in each, put 1T cream over, chopped parsely, s&p. Put in a steamer basket over simmering water, cover and cook til whites are firm and yolk still runny. Eat out of the ramekin with toasted, buttered sourdough cut into strips for dunking.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    now, that's a great technique- will work really well with my tiered metal chinese steamer. once you have a technique like this, you can play w/ endless variations. spinach, egg, beschamel; chorizo, potato, egg, salsa verde...... If you pam/butter the ramekin insides, the egg should conform to the round shape and then you could slide the whole thing out onto some starch base- tortilla, gordita, eng. muffin, grits, etc etc.! yay; thanks much! wheaton ? what a beaut.!

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      Oh, right, I did butter the ramekins. And I really like your ideas. I rarely have pate' around.