I’m a firm believer in a good breakfast. If ever I skip this key meal, I feel unsettled all day, with a dull ache in the belly and energy level a notch above sleep-deprived. Turns out science backs me up on this, as longtime Ink reporter Linda Lindsay reports this month, here. My rhythms get out of whack, yo.
What’s for breakfast is important. No flakey croissants, sweet muffins, or even buttered toast for this woman. Refined grains and sugars lead to blood-sugar spikes, which negate the reason for breakfast. I need greens and protein. One ingredient is almost always featured: eggs.
A nutritional powerhouse, eggs are a complete protein packed with vitamins and antioxidants and extremely versatile when cooking — have them fried, scrambled, or poached. However, I’m here to tell you that the horizon goes even further. To get a glimpse, we’re going around the world.
First stop, Japan. A vital component for the best ramen, this scrumptious marinated egg is good any time of day. Make a batch and get quickly out the door in the morning to that special mountain adventure with a smile on your face. This recipe, based on one from bearnakedfood.com, adds aromatics to the traditional marinade.
1 cup water
½ cup light tamari
½ cup mirin
1 Tbsp sugar
2 stalks spring onions — diced
2 cloves garlic — minced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp minced turmeric
In a medium saucepan, add in all the ingredients except the eggs and bring to boil. Allow to cool completely and transfer to a glass jar large enough to hold the liquid and your eggs. Set aside.
Soft boil your eggs. People around the world struggle with perfecting a soft-boiled egg. I shoot for a custard-like yolk. A few tips I’ve found: 1) Gently poke a tiny hole in the fat end of each egg to prevent an air bubble at one end and to keep them from cracking. 2) Up here in the mountains, cook for 9 minutes. Be on the mark with the timing. 3) When done, submerge eggs in a bowl of ice water. This makes them easy to peel. 4) When none of these steps seem to work, breathe deeply.
Put eggs in marinade for 12 hours in the fridge. You can also play with the idea of putting a thin cloth, like muslin or paper towel, over the jar so they get fully marinated. Otherwise they pop up and you have a white spot.
When done, cut with a sharp thin blade. Serve on a bed of sautéed greens, on avocado toast, or with kale chips when you’re on the go.
Tortilla de Patatas
One of the most popular Spanish tapas, I was introduced to this potato omelet years ago in bars around the country. What a brilliant idea, give people good food with alcohol! Even if you aren’t imbibing, the tortilla stores well and is an easy grab-and-go for any meal.
3 lbs potatoes (6 to 8) cut into thin slices (1/4 inch)
2 tsp salt
½ cup olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, sliced
10 large eggs
In a large nonstick skillet — cast iron is my favorite — heat half of the olive oil. Cook the potatoes at medium heat, until just soft and tender. Add the onions and salt to taste; cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool slightly.
In the meantime, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and mix well. Return skillet to heat and add remaining olive oil.
Pour the egg/potato mixture back into the pan and cook on one side, at medium-low heat, until the bottom starts to brown.
Place a large plate or a lid on the skillet. Remove from heat and flip the skillet quickly, to turn the omelet over. Slowly slide the uncooked side onto the skillet and return to heat. Be very careful not to burn yourself while doing this. Alternately, you could place the skillet (make sure it’s oven-proof) in the oven and bake at 350 degrees until set.
Cook until eggs are set and nicely browned. Don’t overcook, the idea is to have a creamy center.
When heating up later, put in the toaster oven at 350 for a few minutes. It’s also good cold. Like beer.