Insomniac Chef

Cook until your eyes bleed

Tag: fancy (page 1 of 3)

Foolproof Scrambled Eggs with Pico de Gallo

Plates with Peppers 2Breakfast in bed is a Mother’s Day standard and has been for what seems like forever.  But creating a beautiful meal while wrangling excited children seems like the equivalent of Mission Impossible.  In comes your secret weapon – the egg.  Full of nutrients and flavor, eggs have a multitude of simple and quick ways to prepare.  Scrambling is probably one of the easiest bits of cooking to do, but to get the best results, good technique is needed to yield fluffy, heavenly pillows of eggy goodness.

Plate with Limes and PeppersPlate with Peppers 16The secret to foolproof scrambled eggs is simple – add fat and cook with medium heat.  What do I mean by that?  Eggs are high in protein, when heat is added to protein molecules, they tend to bind together in tight strands.  Bound protein strands are tough and chewy, think about the texture of a well-done steak.  (No one wants to eat that.)  Here’s why fat is so important.  Fat coats the protein molecules so they do not bind as quickly or as tightly.  This allows you to cook your eggs through without the consistency of bouncy balls.

Plate 2Now you’re probably saying, science is great and all, but scrambled eggs are just so boring.  I can’t present this to the mother of my children as a true expression of my love.  The answer is yes, yes you can.  Eggs pair well with a number of delicious flavors, which will elevate your humble scrambled eggs to something a little more gourmet.  I pair my scrambled eggs with fresh pico de gallo.

Pico de gallo is a Mexican style fresh salsa that is so simple to make, it’s almost unbelievable how delicious it is!  Simply put, it’s a mixture of tomatoes, onions, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice.  Just four ingredients can create a bright condiment that can be used on eggs, on tacos, or mixed in with avocados for a quick guacamole.  Really, the sky’s the limit with uses for pico de gallo.  In case you don’t like pico de gallo, I’ve included some other flavor combinations in this post to inspire you.  Please, let us know what you think!

Plate with Peppers 10

Foolproof Scrambled Eggs with Pico de Gallo
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Alais Petersen
Serves: 3 – 4 servings
  • 1 lb roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 2 small fresh limes
  • 1 bunch fresh cilatro
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 C. heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  1. The night before, dice the tomatoes and onion. Mix together in a medium, non-reactive bowl.
  2. Remove the ribs and seeds of the serrano pepper and mince. (Keep the seeds and ribs if you want it extra spicy.)
  3. Cut off the tops of the cilantro and mince. Add the minced cilantro to the bowl. (Don’t waste time picking the leaves off the cilantro stems. The stems are delicious too!)
  4. Juice the limes and add to the bowl. Gently mix everything together.
  5. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. in the morning, whisk eggs, salt and cream vigorously until the color is a light yellow and there are no streaks of yolk.
  7. Add the bacon grease to a 12 inch non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat.The pan is hot enough when the bacon grease is easily melted and a little shimmery.
  8. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Do not touch the mixture for 15-20 seconds. You want to let the bottom cook just a little.
  9. Gently push the cooked eggs to the sides of the pan and let the raw eggs fill the pan around them. (If your eggs are starting to brown, your pan is too hot.)
  10. Continue doing this gentle motion, occasionally turning large curds over so no raw egg runs into the pan. Immediately remove from heat. About 5 – 7 minutes
Other flavor combos:[br]Sauteed asparagus and mushrooms[br]Goat cheese with minced chives[br]Sauteed peppers and onions[br]Lox and minced chives

Texas Style Chile-Honey Lamb with Fixin’s

Cascarones and rack of lamb make for very Texas Easter.

Cascarones (confetti eggs) and rack of lamb make for a very Texas Easter.

While most of America happily dyes and hides eggs in quaint backyards for children in adorable pastel church clothes, Texas does Easter a bit different.  Sure, we dye and hide eggs, but then the celebration gets a little more chaotic.  Someone decided a long time ago that hiding and finding eggs was just too passé.  Why don’t we fill emptied eggs with tons of confetti, then smash them on people’s heads?  What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus can there be?

Oh ya. Come to mama.

Oh ya. Come to mama.

Much like cascarones (confetti eggs), a rub is Texas’ answer to the boring dish of lamb with mint jelly.  There’s no way Texans are passing mint jelly around the Easter table.  We love heat and lamb is an excellent foil for an earthy, spicy rub.  But man cannot live on lamb alone, so I included a delicately sweet parsnip purée and some peas quickly sautéed in brown butter.

Texas Style Chile-Honey Lamb with Parsnip Purée and Brown Butter Peas

Servings: 6-8    Prep Time: 1 hour    Cook Time: Combined 1 hour 15 minutes    Total Time:  2 hours 15 minutes


Chile-Honey Lamb

2      racks of lamb, dried then generously salted and peppered  (trimmed to 1/8 inch fat, silverskin removed)*
2      Tbsp ground ancho chile powder
1      tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup mesquite honey (clover honey is fine)
2      Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1      Tbsp canola oil

Parsnip Purée

1      lb parsnips, peeled, halved and cut into 2 inch pieces
3/4 cup half and half
2    Tbsp unsalted butter

Brown Butter Peas

1     shallot, minced
1     tsp fresh minced thyme (do not substitute with dried thyme)
2     Tbsp unsalted butter
3     cups frozen peas (do not thaw)

Instructions (in order of when you should start):

Parsnip Purée

  1. Place the cut parsnips in a Dutch oven or rondeau.  Fill to cold water to one inch above the parsnips.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the parsnips yield easily to a fork.  About 15-25 minutes.
  3. Drain in a colander and immediately add to a blender or food processor along with the butter and 1/2 cup of the half and half.
  4. Blend until smooth.  The consistency should be a little thinner than whipped cream cheese.  If the mixture is too thick, at more of the half and half.

Chile-Honey Lamb

  1. Place a roasting pan or jellyroll pan in the oven.  Move the oven rack to the lower-middle level.  Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and toast in a dry 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  About 30 seconds.  Put in bowl to the side.
  3. In the now empty skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.   Place the lamb racks, fat side down until well browned.  5-7 minutes.  Flip and brown the other side, about 3-5 minutes.  Now place the racks with bones intertwined, so you can brown the very bottom of the meat, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pull skillet off the heat and brush all over the meat with half of the marinade.  Working quickly, place each rack fat side down in the roasting pan and return to the oven.
  5. After 6 minutes, pull the racks out and rebaste with the rest of the marinade.  Return to oven for another 6 minutes.
  6. At a total time of 12 minutes, test with a meat thermometer to see that the lamb has reached 135°.  If not, then continue roasting another 3 minutes.
  7. When the roasting is completed, immediately pull the racks out of the oven and tent with foil.  Let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Once the lamb has rested, slice just after every bone.  You should have 6-8 individual ribs per rack.

Brown Butter Peas

  1. Melt the butter in a 12 inch skillet (non-stick or regular) over medium-high heat.  Watch and swirl almost constantly and as soon as the milk solids turn a golden brown and you smell a nutty aroma, add the shallots and minced thyme.
  2. Continue to cook on medium-high heat until the shallots have softened and the edges turn translucent.
  3. Add the frozen peas.  Cover with a lid and cook, stirring once or twice until the peas are warm, about 5 minutes.

*I like to leave the silverskin on because it helps keep the lamb from tearing or falling apart.  Totally a personal preference.

Happy cooking!

Older posts

© 2018 Insomniac Chef

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑