Considering how many eggs we went through on Pesach (personally I used 20 dozen), I thought it would be a good time to talk about eggs in general.
It seems like every dish nowadays is being topped with an egg. Why are eggs so popular again? You do remember when they became the evil-forbidden-cholesterol-artery-clogging food, don’t you? Well, what’s old is new once again and the darling of the culinary world. Not just in shakshouka, but an egg, fried or poached, is in or on everything. On hamburgers, on quinoa, on a mound of roasted veggies, on pizza, on rice, on roasted asparagus, on spaghetti and even in an avocado. You get the picture. It turns any food into a photographer’s dream and makes a substantial meal out of everything.
The return of the egg brings me back to when I was younger. I recall staying in a hotel for a holiday—maybe it was Teplitzky’s in Atlantic City (am I dating myself?). Or maybe it was the Lido Beach Hotel (I am definitely dating myself!). The best part of the day was going to the dining room and ordering breakfast from a menu. I mean, at home, breakfast was cereal and milk, served quickly. But on vacation, in a hotel, there was an endless variety, served on a white cloth. I would start with a cup of juice, and then order a poached egg on toast. Every single day. I don’t know why I was so enthralled by this meal. Cutting into the yolk, the egg would ooze out and soak into the toast. I just loved it. With a sprinkle of salt and pepper, it was perfection. Back then, a holiday seemed like forever, but I would venture to guess it was still only eight days long.
I would even dare to say that I haven’t seen a deviled egg served in anyone’s house in 30 years, and yet there are amazing variations of them everywhere, and they have shown up, as actual recipes, in many new, cool cookbooks. Of course, like I said, what’s old is new again, and there is no end to what one can do with the delectable yolk before replacing it into the white cradle.
So, next time you are wondering what to make for dinner, feel free to make absolutely anything (I used my leftover soup chicken!), and then gently place a fried egg on top and present it with a flourish. You will look like a super-cool chef and you will successfully impress all those who ask what’s for dinner!
(Also, this recipe is another great way to use up leftover soup, chicken or rice!)
Asian Chicken and Rice Bowl
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
3 cups chicken soup or water (more if necessary)
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Approximately 4 cups cooked chicken
(use boiled chicken from soup or any leftovers)
Toasted sesame seeds
1 bunch scallions, sliced on the diagonal
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a 3-quart saucepan and add the rice. Stir for about 2-3 minutes, until the rice is coated with oil and heated through. Carefully add the soup. Bring to a boil, then add the sliced onion, mirin, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Reduce flame to simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. (If rice is still crunchy add a little more liquid and let it sit with the cover on for a few more minutes.)
Arrange the rice bowls as desired (mound the rice, and place some carrots, scallions, cabbage and chicken on top).
Heat a small skillet and add a little olive oil. Crack the eggs carefully so as to keep the yolk intact, and fry the eggs, one or two at a time. You may want to cover the pan to ensure the yolks heat up sufficiently, but leave them runny!
Remove the egg with a spatula and carefully place on top of the rice bowl. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
By Rachel Berger