I never really had full appreciation of what it meant for my mother to put dinner on the table for five rowdy kids every night of the week. Somewhere along the way, she rebelled, at least on Sunday nights and it became a DIY dinner night. More often than not, we kids collaborated on a Chef Boyardee pizza but for my taste, a fried egg sandwich was the perfect dinner, nutritious and delicious at any time during the day. I still feel that way and I’m not the only one to sing the praises of the simple fried egg sandwich. One of M.F.K. Fisher’s most remembered recipes is her Aunt Gwen’s fried egg sandwich — “made of equal parts hunger and happiness.”
We all have our methods for frying eggs but mine is as easy and foolproof as they come. After years of trying to make the perfect over-easy fried egg by flipping it at exactly the right moment, I discovered using a lid on the skillet instead. Now they’re perfectly done, whites firm, yolk runny, but not too runny and cheese, if you want it, is melted, all in a matter of minutes. Use fresh organic eggs from a local farmer if at all possible. You’ll be able to tell such a difference in taste, you’ll have a hard time going back to grocery store eggs ever again.
Fried Egg Sandwich
Ingredients: 2 slices of good bread – When I don’t make my own, I often buy mine from Alex at Preston Hill Bakery at the University Farmers Market/ mayonnaise, optional for some but necessary in my house/ a fresh organic free-range egg/ some bacon or pancetta is great if you have some on hand/ a few slices of cheese – I used Beecher’s Flagship cheddar/ lettuce & tomato slices/ T of butter/ salt & pepper.
Directions: Melt butter in skillet over medium heat/ If you’re using bacon or pancetta, fry it in the skillet first and you may not need butter at all/ Crack egg into skillet and cover immediately with a lid, I usually turn the heat down between medium and medium-low/ Check after 3-4 minutes to see if the white is no longer clear, if so, place the cheese on the egg/ Cover again and cook just until the cheese melts, a couple of minutes longer/ Make your sandwich using your own unique method (we all have one) and devour it while it’s still warm.
Even though it’s such a loving act to make this for your kids, do yourselves a favor and teach them to make this simple meal.
Frittatas, omelets and plain old scrambled eggs make an excellent dinner with the addition of fresh vegetables. Leftovers will work fine so if you have a small container of something in the fridge, feel free to throw it in. I’ve been known to cut up leftover burritos and any number of other things and haven’t gotten a complaint yet. This week I made one with potatoes, corn and roasted peppers, one of my favorite late summer combos.
Corn, Potato and Pepper Frittata
Ingredients: 6 fresh eggs/ 4 oz. feta cheese/ 1 large potato, cooked and cubed/ 2 ears of corn, cut off the cob/ 1 medium red onion, chopped/1 clove garlic, minced/ 1 red bell pepper and 1 poblano pepper, chopped and seeds removed – I used roasted peppers but uncooked are fine too/ 2 T olive oil/ 2 T butter/ Salt & pepper to taste.
Directions: Preheat the oven broiler/ In a oven-proof skillet, heat the oil and melt butter over medium-high heat/ Saute onions, garlic and peppers until soft and translucent/ Whisk eggs in a bowl/ Add corn, cooked potato to the skillet/ Stir lightly together/ Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet/ Dot with feta cheese, season with salt & pepper/ Let cook on medium heat on stovetop until the eggs begin to set, around 3-4 minutes/ Transfer to oven, set under broiler and broil until brown and puffy on top, around 5 minutes/ Let the frittata sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
When Sally discovered Market Vegetarian by Ross Dobson this summer and I tried her Summer Vegetable Roast Au Jus inspired by this book, I knew I had to check it out of the library for myself. Although I don’t buy many cookbooks these days, this one is a real keeper literally loaded with recipes I’d like to try. I’m not a vegetarian but aspire to eat more meatless meals throughout the week and feel much more prepared with this book as a guide. I tried the Swiss Chard, Feta Cheese & Egg Pie and got rave reviews here on the homefront. It’s basically a pie crust loaded with sauteed swiss chard, onions and garlic, then topped with 4 eggs and plenty of feta cheese, then baked at 425 for about 20 minutes.
Easy meals, fresh ingredients, mostly vegetarian (oh yeah, except the pancetta on my fried egg sandwich), I’d like to have breakfast for dinner more often.