A ravenous me: “What’s for breakfast, mom?
“It’s your favorite egg roast”, she beams
Ah, isn’t this egg-zactly what I egg-spected to hear when I asked this question? In my twenty-something years of life, the word “eggs” has never failed to egg-cite me. Eggs are simply a joy to behold and a delight to devour. Remember the time the picture of a regular, plain brown egg broke the internet racking up 54 million (and counting) likes? It obviously stole Kylie Jenner’s thunder, but let’s not get into that now. The best thing about an egg is its capacity to unlock a wow-worthy spread laden on the table. It looks humble, yet is packed with a host of nutrients and is so versatile that even a non-foodie can think of at least half-a-dozen variety of dishes this wondrous item is a part of.
Here’s my list of half-a-dozen, Instagram-ready egg-based breakfast/brunch or even dinner ideas which you wish you’d known earlier. Make a note, peeps! Your tummy will thank you for it, later.
The numero uno dish to shake up your egg game! I first came across Shakshuka on a Middle-Eastern restaurant menu in Dubai and I liked the sound of it so much that I kept mouthing it incessantly, much to the annoyance of people seated a table away from me. Shakshuka or Shakshouka (as they spell it traditionally) literally translated to “mixture” is a flavorful and super-easy dish with the star ingredients being tomatoes and eggs. I’ve always been a sucker for tomatoes. So, the idea of cracking eggs open into pockets of fresh, delish tomato based stew and poaching them is a huge win-win for me! Top it with cubes of feta cheese and chopped coriander and serve it hot and piping!
Wondering what to do with those odds, ends, leftovers, and umpteen eggs stuck in your fridge? Why not use it to whip up one of the easiest renditions of eggs? Frittatas are the perfect dish to kick-start a lazy, leisurely weekend brunch. Italian by origin, this dish resembles an omelet and is the ultimate feast to your taste buds. Toss in some veggies, diced onions, and in fact any kind of filling – mushroom, spinach, whatever you wish to bite into! The best thing about Frittata is there’s no real fool-proof recipe that you’ll have to stick to. You can tweak it to suit the ingredients that you prefer to use. But then, you might not want to use any ingredient too liquidy as it may come in the way of your Frittata setting in. But like me, if you just cannot do it without tomatoes, then drain the juice and toss them right in!
If we delve deep into the history of Eggs Benedict, it’s amusing to discover that the invention of this ultimate egg-based dish was triggered by a yearning to taste something offbeat. Many moons ago, there lived a Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict who regularly visited a certain Delmonico restaurant and relished all their egg-based dishes. The regularity of their visits led them to explore the plethora of items on the menu and in no time, they exhausted the menu. Craving to have something different one morning, this couple asked the chef to cook up something unique. Thus, was born, this quintessential brekkie which is a concoction of poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce drizzled generously atop toasted English muffins and served as open-faced sandwiches. Lovingly called Eggs Benny, what I love about this dish is that when you poke a fork into it, the subtle-toned hue gives way to the perfect breaking of the yolk leading to a drool-worthy gush of the orange stream. As they say, the messier, the merrier! Wait, who said that, again? Oh well, just me!
English breakfast is generally stereotyped as sweet and syrupy (think pancakes and waffles). It is in times like these that a savory egg custard such as a Quiche shakes your misconceptions. Put your hands together for Frittata’s rich and sophisticated French cousin – Quiche, your perfect farm-fix with a higher milk-to-egg ratio. This is exactly why the Quiche’s filling is a silky and creamy egg-ish consistency. Quiche is basically whipped up eggs and milk, baked in a pie crust. Each time you bite into a perfectly made melt-in-your-mouth buttery pie crust encasing the filling, it is like noshing on a tiny piece of heavenly goodness. Unlike Frittatas, this is not exactly a quickie that you can whip up easily; especially since you have to pre-make the crust. Quiche is something you should make when you have ample time at hand. For this reason, this is more of a centerpiece on a special occasion for Westerners specifically at baby showers. In case, you crave it so badly but don’t have all the time in the world, then you can skip the fuss and consider getting a ready-made crust as this will halve your effort.
Ranch eggs or roughly translated as “country style eggs” are the Mexicans’ favorite version of eggs. These are essentially fried eggs atop corn tortilla and smothered in cooked salsa and nested in a bed of fried beans and sour cream. Ranch eggs are popularly known as “Huevors Rancheros” in Mexico and are a hearty meal that makes for an amazing all-day breakfast dish. Though as different as chalk and cheese both in looks and ingredients, a lot of people have Shakshuka and Ranch eggs jumbled up in their heads. It is chuckle-some to see YouTube vloggers prepping up Shakshuka titling the video as “How to make Huevors Rancheros” and then go “whoops’’ when commenters point it out to them. A hearty and satisfying breakfast item, you can eat it as a tortilla roll or cut it up with a knife and fork.
Please welcome sunny side up’s subdued cousin – Cloud Eggs. A quirky and dainty dish that became an internet trend and took over Instagram a couple of years ago. Cloud egg, as the name suggests, resembles the sun in a cloud and is prepared by making the whites puff up like clouds with shredded cheese folded in. This dish is a quickie and can be cooked up in a flash. Simply said, it is an egg-in-a-hole. And fancily said, it is egg-whites whipped to stiff peak meringues, baked with creamy, luscious yolks nestled up in the center. Pillowy soft and fluffy, these are also called egg nests as it is the egg-whites that cradle the yolk. Make sure to plop those yolks sunny and runny if you’re a fan of the ooey-gooey yellow beaut. If you find #yolkporn enticing then combine it with cheesy egg whites and this combo is gonna make you swoon. Eat it and you’re on cloud nine!
What’s your favourite egg dish? Let us know in the comments section!
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