This is the title of a piece by Mark Bittman in the food section of the NYTimes can be found online here. Best-selling cookbook author MARK BITTMAN is the creator and author of the popular New York Times weekly column, "The Minimalist," and one of the country's best-known and widely admired food writers. His flagship book, How to Cook Everything (Macmillan, 1998), is currently in its twelfth printing and has sold nearly 600,000 copies.
IT symbolizes fertility and beauty, and it has an unrivaled simplicity of form. It represents one of the most perfect of foods, from just about every standpoint: nutrition, flavor and versatility. And it has an unrivaled ability to stand alone or to contribute to other dishes.
What it doesn’t represent is dinner.
Meet the still underrated egg, everybody’s favorite breakfast food in a world in which people eat a real breakfast once a week. The egg, the cheapest form of complete protein you can find, at about a dollar a pound. (Eggs cost less outside of cities, where a dozen are still a buck; more if you go organic or really local, which are both good options.) The egg, which people are suddenly jumping for in upscale restaurants even though they can’t conceive of having it for dinner at home, except in an emergency. The egg, a surprising choice.
Actually I probably should write to Mark Bittman and explain how in Indian cuisine the egg has always had a place at the dinner table. This has taken the form of a simple omlette or as spicy scrambled eggs or a egg curry. The latter has quite a few variations including one with poached eggs and lentils which I hope to make another time.
Oh and did I mention that eggs and potato are amongst my fav fooods? So I tried one of Bittman's recipes -
Hard-Cooked Eggs In Tomato-Onion Sauce.
They have two versions of it, both recipes here. I went with the Indian version with a slight modification.
- 3 tablespoons corn oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoons minced ginger
- 3 dried chilies (optional)
- 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/4th teaspoon fenugreek and 1/4 th teaspoon ground cinnamon ( or use 1/2 a stick of cinnamon)
- 5 eggs
- 2 medium sized chopped tomatoes (or 1.5 cups of canned tomatoes are fine too)
- Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.
1. Put oil in a 10- or 12-inch skillet and turn heat to medium. A minute or 2 later, add onions, garlic, chilies, cinnamon and fenugreek. Cook, stirring, for a minute or 2, then cover pan and turn heat to medium-low. Cook until onions are very soft but not brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put eggs in cold water to cover. Turn heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover; set a timer for 9 minutes.
3. When onions are done, stir in the cumin, coriander and turmeric. Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture bubbles. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
4. When eggs are done, put them in a bowl of ice water, then place under cold running water until they feel cool, then peel. When tomato sauce is ready, add eggs to it; cook an additional 5 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnish and serve hot.They really turned out great. You know you can't really go wrong with them and as Bittman says
"It represents one of the most perfect of foods, from just about every standpoint: nutrition, flavor and versatility. And it has an unrivaled ability to stand alone or to contribute to other dishes."
I hope to make the eggs poached in red wine next time.