Sometimes I am intrigued by a recipe’s ingredients. This dish begins by asking you for “a good glug of olive oil.” A glug? Sounds grand.
In 100 Ways with Eggs you’ll discover an array of recipes that range from breakfast to appetizers to dinner and, of course, dessert. Here’s a main dish idea that is so beautiful you’ll hesitate to stick a fork in it. Well, maybe that beauty will inspire you to start digging in right away. This dinner dish is satisfying and swift: you can be done in minutes and happy for the rest of the evening.
You can see my review of 100 Ways with Eggs right here!
Peas, Ham & Eggs
Yield: serves 4
A good glug of olive oil
3 ½ ounces cubed pancetta or bacon
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
15 ounces frozen or canned peas
7 tablespoons chicken stock
A sprig of fresh mint, leaves only
4 large eggs
Sea salt and black pepper, to season
Pea shoots, to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan/ skillet over medium heat and sauté the pancetta or bacon.
When cooked through, add the onion slices and garlic. Sauté until the onion begins to color and the pancetta or bacon begins to crisp up.
Add the peas to the pan with the stock and the mint leaves, season with a little black pepper and leave to cook over low heat with the lid on until most of the stock has evaporated. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the eggs and time for 6-7 minutes, as you want them gooey in the middle. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and refresh in cold water to stop them from cooking.
Peel the eggs and slice them in half lengthways. Season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and lay on top of the warm peas.
Garnish the plate with pea shoots and serve immediately.to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Source: 100 Ways with Eggs from Ryland Peters & Small, 2016
Eggs. What to do with eggs? We eat them by the carton and we surely bake with them. But our portfolio of egg recipes is often rather slim. Now, in 100 Ways with Eggs: Boiled, Baked, Fried, Scrambled & More!, the editors at Ryland Peter & Small give us a bundle of egg-centric recipes.
The chapters here follow the sun:
Breakfast & Brunch
Desserts & Drinks
Half the book is devoted to breakfast because that surely is the meal where we most often position eggs as the centerpiece. There are classic recipes here, like the Spanish Omelet, with detailed step-by-step instructions to give you early morning success. It is the “other” recipes that I find make this chapter such a boon. Instead of that standard omelet, how about Baked Eggs with Chorizo, Mushroom, and Lemon Crème Fraiche. Here that chorizo is converted to a sauce in combination with onion, garlic, tomatoes, chile pepper flakes, plum tomatoes, orange peel, and balsamic vinegar. That sauce goes with baked mushrooms, completed with a topping of lemon crème fraiche. This is a Middle Eastern dish that the editors of this book are enthusiastically sharing with us.
If you don’t want the spice of the Middle East, you can do something very British for breakfast: bread pudding. Yes, in America, we make bread pudding for dessert — Suzi makes it weekly for the end of a dinner meal at Cooking by the Book. But breakfast? Sure, because here we have Breakfast Bread and Butter Pudding with Dried Apricots and Cranberries. It’s a sharp way to begin the day — and I bet it would still make a damn fine dessert.
If your day has gone beyond breakfast, then the Appetizer chapter comes with more ideas from around the world:
Roast Potato and Scallion Tartlets
Pate de Campagne with Hard Boiled Egg
Scotch Quail Eggs: hard boiled quail eggs baked in a sausage blanket
The idea of embedding a hardboiled egg is exploited again in the Main Meals chapter. Here you will find a wonderful dish from Argentina, Matambre. We begin with flank steak — this is an Argentinian recipe after all — which is pounded flat, and then covered with a filling of cheese, olives, parsley, roasted bell peppers, and a half dozen hard boiled eggs. Roll it all up, cook for an hour, then slice to see the wonder of it all. It’s a dish sure to generate “oh, my” responses at your table.
Other main dish ideas include
Peas and Ham Topped with Soft or Hard Boiled Eggs
Classic Spaghetti Carbonara
Asparagus Risotto with Poached Egg and Parmesan Cheese
100 Ways with Eggs is sure to send you dashing to your refrigerator. Maybe you’ll do something complicated like that stuffed, rolled steak. Or, you might just spice up your scrambled eggs by making them with roast tomatoes, prosciutto and some mushroom puree.
Eggs are anything but “simple” fare. 100 Ways with Eggs will easily convince you. And please at the same time.
It might seem excessive to call a book a “lifesaver” but this one is. It’s a wonderful book that many of us really need. On a daily basis.
When your doctor says to you, “You have diabetes,” what pops into your mind? You imagine daily insulin shots and a restricted life and a restricted diet. But you need to slow down that pessimism.
Getting a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes does mean you have to change your life, many changes actually. But long before insulin injections, there are daily medications to take, pills, not shots. You need to exercise with consistency. And you need to change your diet: what you cook and how you eat.
Ah, that’s the hard part: how are you going to change your culinary life. “Less carbs” you are told, but what does that actually mean? And how can you really do that in your daily life? More importantly, how can you do that in your daily life and still have meals you enjoy?
Healthy Makeover for Diabetes: Simple Ways to Transform Your Cooking is indispensable for anyone facing these challenges. Those worrisome thoughts about “how am I going to do this” simply vanish one page at a time.
There are six key chapters here that take you by the hand and guide you to great meals that would make your doctor beam. Let’s see how to change your life and not feel any pain or sense of sacrifice.
Remake Your Pantry is the natural starting point. You cook with “stuff” and if that stuff is not right, your meal cannot be healthy. So, the idea is to restock your shelves with better ingredients that you can use throughout the day. There are suggestions her for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And you’d be surprised at the idea: shredded hash browns and yogurt for breakfast, whole wheat tortillas and vegetable soup for lunch, salmon and broccoli for dinner. See, nothing bizarre. Nothing you don’t already eat, but now you eat more of these healthy things and, well, less of that “other stuff.” Don’t worry, there is a healthy mac and cheese recipe here!
Breakfast now really becomes the meal of the day for us. A poor choice can send blood sugar soaring for the rest of day, so good choices right at the start are essential. You need low-fat, low-carb and high-protein choices. Here’s a hint of ideas proposed in Remake Your Mornings:
Mango-Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches
Mixed Berry Smoothie
Mexican Breakfast Burritos with Black Beans, Peppers, and Salsa
Cajun Breakfast Strata
The Swap in Flavor for Fat chapter is one everyone can use, Type 1 or 2 or whatever. Why does food taste good? Fat. Lean meat can be okay, but a burger made with 80/20 mix is just better. It’s the fat that provides flavor. How do we eliminate fat and retain flavor?
First, we change how we cook. We first tend to line a pan with fat, oil or butter, and cook in the pan. Instead, we can steam. Rather than frying in fat, you oven fry for equally satisfying flavors. Be adventuresome and buy a wok so you can stir-fry and have Chinese food at home. You can poach, you can grill. There are many ways to avoid the pan+ fat syndrome.
Besides changing how you cook, you can alter the ingredient mix to get flavor without fat. Chile peppers, vinegars, citrus juice, herbs and spices and cheese are all ways to boost flavor. Sure, you use these already, but in Healthy Makeovers you see the exact ways to employ these ingredients in sample recipes that will inspire you to makeover all your favorite recipes.
Carbs are the villain. So in Unload the Carbs, we see many very inventive ways to eliminate the classical carbs and “refashion” our recipes. Pizza crust is made with cauliflower and zucchini is transformed into noodles. A sandwich wrap can be made with cabbage leaves, a no-carb alternative that will be a different but equally satisfying lunch. Do you love eggs benedict? Take away the muffin and put a portobello mushroom on the bottom. Do you dream about chicken pot pie, steaming hot and encased in pastry crust? Well, it can still steam away but now in a cauliflower crust.
The chapter Cook Fresh is one really designed for everyone who eats, which is pretty much everybody. Look, next time you are in the supermarket and pick up a boxed food, scan the side panel. Look at the list of ingredients. Do you recognize them all? Would you cook with those in your own kitchen. Gently put the box back, and hit the fresh food aisles.
And, substitute for the standard carbs. Instead of a bed of rice, use sliced greens or beans. A bed of roasted fennel can support any protein topping: fish or meat or poultry.
The final major chapter is Pick Your Portion. How many of us have really ever paid attention to the relative amount of each dish we put on our plates? Me? I scoop and eat. But, your body now demand attention. There is a set of proportions that you really need to follow: 50% nonstarch veggies, 25% lean protein, 25% starch or grain. Most of us have 60% protein plopped on that plate, so the changes suggested here require some help. There are sample guidelines and recipes to make this new way of staging your plate easy to do. And, you’ll be equally happy because, using the earlier recipes in the book, each of those portions will have deep, satisfying flavor.
I was thrilled to receive my copy of Healthy Makeovers. It’s just the book that I personally need. No, it does not go up on the shelf. I leave it on the counter now. I browse it a couple of times a week. I use it to make my shopping list for my pantry, a rework in progress. And I’m delighted with the food. Sometimes change is difficult. Not with Healthy Makeovers.