My instagram is full of posts about eggs. Maybe it has something to do with the new year, a new start. Of coming back to basics with the most versatile food of all. Dress them up deliciously or elevate them by keeping it simple. Use them to make other ingredients shine or provide a side note to your day. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a garnish, a quick snack. Local, pasture-raised chickens are the source of the best eggs. The color of the yolk reveals the diet of the chicken. The brighter it is, the more varied the diet and therefore more delicious.
Basic boiled eggs
There is sweet perfection to a properly boiled egg. The firm, milk-white giving way to the bright, creamy, soft center.
Place eggs in a pot of water with a pinch of salt and a dash of vinegar (to ensure easy peeling) so that the water covers by 2 inches. Bring to a gradual boil over medium-high heat. Once the water has reached a boil, turn the heat off and cover the pot to cook. Let sit for 8 minutes (cooked but gooey yolk, my preference), 9-10 minutes to fully cooked and 6-8 minutes for runny centers.
Transfer to an ice bath. Once cool enough to handle, crack the shell and lightly run along the counter surface with the palm of your hand. The shell should just fall off.
Served with a generous scoop of cottage cheese, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper, it is a complete bite.
Fried eggs in yogurt (inspired by the Turkish Cilbir)
This is a delicious and unusual pairing. In original Turkish version, the eggs are poached and served with a smear of strained, seasoned yogurt and drizzled chili oil with a side of bread. It was served in the courts of Ottoman sultans going all the way back to the 15th century. I first came across this recipe on Nigella Lawson’s page. It looked delicious! I have tried it many times and different ways. This is my version.
Half cup plain full-fat yogurt
1 tbsp. dill, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
Crushed red pepper
– Whisk the yogurt with garlic, dill and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
– Melt butter in a preheated frying pan.
– Crack the eggs and nudge them around till the white seems about cooked. Be careful not to break the yoke. Let sit till the edges brown (I learnt this trick on one of my trips back home). The eggs turn out delicious, whites cooked and the yoke runny and delicious). Transfer from the pan to the serving plate.
– Sprinkle the zaatar spices in the same frying pan, place pita on top and toast on both sides.
– In another small saucepan, heat the olive oil with paprika. Set aside.
– To serve, add a dollop of the yogurt to the plate with eggs. Drizzle the delicious oil over the eggs. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and more dill. Serve with the toasted pita and olives.
Khagina (Pakistani scrambled eggs)
Scrambled eggs have a soft, creamy comfort, unlike any other preparation. In this version, the eggs are dressed up with four basic Pakistani fresh vegetables, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and green chilies. I like to add a splash of water when whipping the eggs. This loosens the mixture and cooks the eggs further as it heats up and prevents burning. However, it should only be a splash, otherwise, you will have a mess on hand!
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium tomato, deseeded and diced
handful cilantro, chopped
3-4 Thai green chilies, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
salt & pepper
– Crack the eggs and whip gently with a splash of water.
– Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a hot pan and add the eggs.
– As the edges start to form, pull them in and let the liquid spread out.
– At this point, add in the vegetables by spreading them out evenly.
– Move the mixture around gently till fully cooked and eggs are on the drier side.
– Add the remaining butter, mix in well till all melted and the eggs look soft and glistening.
– Serve with a side of toasted, buttered bread or paratha.