Eggs are probably the original convenience food. According to Sara Foster of Foster’s Market fame in the Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, “When it comes to convenience food, you can’t do much better than eggs; they’re nourishing, they cook in minutes, and they’ll keep in your refrigerator for weeks." I totally agree. Eggs are so versatile and you can add just about anything savory to eggs and they’ll be delicious.
We’re the kind of people who can eat eggs morning, noon, or night. How about you? Do you think eggs are only for breakfast? If you do, I hope this recipe for wild mushroom toasts topped with eggs will convince you otherwise. This is adapted from Sara Foster’s delightful cookbook Casual Cooking, More Fresh Simple Recipes from Foster’s Market. The book has an entire chapter titled “Anytime Eggs,” and features such recipes as individual prosciutto, spinach, and egg “pies,” and smoked salmon toasts with poached eggs and Dijon dill sauce, which we had for dinner recently and it was so good we ate them before we got a chance to take a picture.
The recipe calls for assorted wild fresh mushrooms. I bought a box of assorted mushrooms at the market, but next time I might try to choose my own mushrooms. The box I bought had a couple of exotic mushrooms, but the majority were baby bellas.
I didn’t have my wonderful egg poacher here that I so love, so we did what I call “soft fry” the eggs. They’re a cross between fried eggs and poached eggs. To “soft fry” the eggs, break them in a skillet with hot fat just as you would for fried eggs and, after a couple of minutes, add a little water and cover the eggs with a lid for the remainder of the cooking time. This method is much easier than poaching eggs and they turn out prettier than fried eggs in my opinion.
Enjoy eggs “anytime” as Sara Foster recommends.
Wild Mushroom Toasts with Eggs
Adapted from Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the bread
4 ounces assorted wild fresh mushrooms, trimmed and sliced if needed
1 shallot, peeled and minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped minced chives, plus more for garnish
4 1-inch-thick slices of crusty, rustic-style bread
4 large eggs
Heat the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown and soft. Add the shallot and sauté about a minute more, until the shallot has softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the chives. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and keep warm.
Preheat the broiler. Brush one side of each bread slice lightly with olive oil. Place the bread under the broiler for about 1 minute per side to toast lightly. Set aside while you cook the eggs.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook 2 minutes. Add one tablespoon of water, cover with a lid and cook an additional 2 minutes until whites are set, then remove the skillet from the heat. Remove the eggs with a slotted spatula and place one egg on each toast. Top the eggs with the mushrooms and chives. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired and serve warm.
Now for the winner of the give-away. The question I posed on my last post with the French Bistros photos – “Do you wish you had gone to culinary school?” yielded a lot of interesting answers and I enjoyed reading each and every one of them. Many of you, in fact more than half, said you had dreamed of going to culinary school. Some of you actually have attended culinary school and I really admire you. Others said they were dreaming of winning a contest that would whisk them off to the bistros of Provence to enjoy the food. Moi aussi. How about this charming bistro in Arles, Le Café La Nuit, which supposedly was the bistro that inspired Vincent van Gogh’s painting Café de Soir.
|Le Cafe La Nuit in Arles, France|
It’s wonderful to be able to dream, isn’t it? Where would we be if we didn’t dream? Walt Disney said “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt was right about my dream of culinary school. I didn’t have the courage to pursue it. But there are others in the world that do have the courage to pursue their dreams. Of course I’m referring to the people in the Middle East and their dreams of freedom. It’s a very dangerous but exciting time in parts of the world today.
I wish that each of you could receive a copy of this fun read - Under the Table, Saucy Tales from Culinary School. It’s Katherine Darling’s memoir of adventures in the student kitchens of the legendary French Culinary Institute in New York City. However, there is only one winner and the winner is Ally from Sweet & Savory. Ally’s name was drawn the old fashioned way, from a hat, and she too has dreamed of going to culinary school. Ally just delivered an adorable baby girl so you might want to drop by her blog and say congratulations on the new addition to her family. Ally, if you’ll contact me with your mailing address I’ll get the book off to you. Keep dreaming everyone.
For those of you that wished me well with our move in to our condo that is being renovated from head to toe, we're in but not quite settled. In any renovation, especially a major one, there are glitches. I'll have pictures when we're complete.