100 Ways to Cook an Egg

It has been said that ‘You have to break some eggs to make an omelette,’ but I prefer  ‘ You can’t unscramble an egg.’ Either way,  the egg is either broke and ready or awaiting it’s full ‘ova-potential.’ In this blog, I’ll recount the 100 (or more) way to prepare an egg.

Image

The traditional chef toque is often thought to represent the 100 ways to prepare an egg, but no definitive list exists to recount these 100 ways. In the coming posts, I’ll search for the newest, the most traditional, and the most unusual ways to use this simple, essential and delicious food.

Heirloom Beans: Preserving History

If meat ever moves out of the center of the plate, heirloom beans are ready to fill the void. Economical, nutritious and often oh so pretty, heirloom beans today take center stage in vegetarian cuisine and are widely used as side dishes and garnishes on menus around the country.

Heirloom beans are nutritious, but not necessarily more nutritious than non-heirloom ones; Both are fiber- and protein-rich. The nutritional value depends on the type of bean. Even though heirloom beans cost two to three times more than everyday beans, they still are significantly less expensive than putting meat, poultry or fish on the table.

Cultivated around the globe for centuries, heirloom beans grow as nature created them, untouched by modern Imagetechnology or horticultural tampering. They come in thousands of varieties and are used dried and fresh in many of the world’s cuisines. They’re especially popular throughout the Mediterranean region, but are also used in Asian and other international cuisines and in regional American dishes.

It’s important to preserve these heirloom vegetables, once they are gone, they’re gone forever. 

Newcomers to the world of heirloom beans often look for perfectly formed straight beans. Heirloom beans are not always like that. They can be curled or misshapen and still be perfectly good. When customers learn their history and that they are special, they realize that the rest of our food and ingredients must be special, too.

Image

Cooking dried beans

  • For optimum results when cooking dried beans, follow these tips.  Whenever possible, soak beans covered overnight at room temperature or in the cooler.
  • „Do not soak in boiling water. A slow penetration of water protects the beans’ skin.
  • „ If you can’t soak beans overnight, add beans to boiling water, turn off heat and let stand 1 hour.
  • „ Always discard soaking liquid and cook beans in fresh water.
  • „ Avoid excess water, which can leach out color and cause colors to run together.
  • „ Cook until desired tenderness. Time will vary by type of bean.
  • „ Cook beans until slightly tender before adding salt, tomatoes, sugar or acids of any kind, which harden the seed coat and make it nonpermeable.

Teff Breakfast Porridge

ALL ABOUT TEFF

Teff [Eragrostis tef] is the only fully-domesticated member of the genus Eragrostis (lovegrass). Its name is often assumed to be related to the word “lost” in Amharic – because of the tiny size (less than 1mm diameter – similar to a poppy seed) of its seeds.

This tiny size, in fact, makes teff ideally suited to semi-nomadic life in areas of Ethiopia and Eritrea where it has long thrived. (The photo to the left shows teff being harvested in Ethiopia.) A handful of teff is enough to sow a typical field, and it cooks quickly, using less fuel than other foods. Teff also thrives in both waterlogged soils and during droughts, making it a dependable staple wherever it’s grown. No matter what the weather, teff crops will likely survive, as they are also relatively free of plant diseases compared to other cereal crops.

Teff can grow where many other crops won’t thrive, and in fact can be produced from sea level to as high as 3000 meters of altitude, with maximum yield at about 1800-2100m high. This versatility could explain why teff is now being cultivated in areas as diverse as dry and mountainous Idaho and the low and wet Netherlands. Teff is also being grown in India, Australia and Canada.

Growing in the fields, teff appears purple, gray, red, or yellowish brown. Seeds range from dark reddish brown to yellowish brown to ivory.

Teff is hard to find, but I have it available at the Farmer’s Market for just  $ 3.oo/pound. It is fun to cook with and I’ll include some interesting recipes in the coming posts.

Teff Porridge with Honey and Dates Recipe

Makes: 4 to 6 servings (about 4 cups)

Plain porridge can be so boring, but change up the grain and it’s a whole new ball game. Most commonly seen as the main ingredient in injera (fermented Ethiopian flatbread), teff is packed with iron and calcium. If you don’t have 3 days to make your own injera, enjoy teff in a quick porridge full of nuts and dried fruit or anything else you would throw in your morning oatmeal.

The porridge will start to firm up as it sits. If it gets too firm, just mix in some warm water or milk until the desired consistency is achieved.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup teff
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1/3 cup hulled, unsalted, raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat water in a medium saucepan over high heat. When it boils, add teff and whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  2. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and the teff is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered.

Heat butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add pumpkin seeds and cook until seeds begin to pop and butter just begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add seeds and butter to the cooked teff, add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

 

To eat is a nec…

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

I celebrate 35 years in the hospitality industry this year. So many friends, family and colleagues have asked me to post recipes, thoughts and ideas. So join me as we begin the journey. Sante !