ONLINE EXTRA — CHEESE AND EGGS: Bruschetta with Eggs and Lobster . . . Croque-Madam . . . Bacon, Egg and Cheese Burrito, etc.
Bruschetta with Eggs and Lobster
1 baguette, cut in 16 ½ -inch slices
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 or more (5 ounces each) lobster tails (defrosted, if frozen)
14 eggs, beaten until yolks and whites are well-combined
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
Fresh chives, chopped
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Toast bread in oven or in toaster. Rub one side of each slice with garlic (if you don’t like garlic, omit this). Butter and set aside.
Prepare the lobster: Do this before you start the eggs so there isn’t too much going on at the same time. To remove meat from shell, use a kitchen shears to make 2 cuts along the underside of tail (the softer side) and break away the shell. Once the meat is out of shell (before or after it is cooked), remove the black vein that runs along the tail (pull it out or make a cut along the meat, as you would to devein shrimp, and pull the vein out).
Choice of options for cooking lobster:
Remove meat from shell and saute whole in 2 tablespoons butter, basting it often, for about 5 to 8 minutes, until cooked through, then chop or slice for the eggs, or
Remove uncooked meat from shell and chop into chunks and saute in 2 tablespoons butter before adding to the eggs, or
Poach meat in the shell for about 3 minutes in water to which some white wine, carrot, celery, onion, chili flakes, fennel seed, mustard seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, kosher salt and lemon and oranges have been added. (Bring the water to a simmer before adding the tail.) After the tail is cooked, the meat is removed from the shell and cut into chunks for the eggs.
To prepare the eggs: In each of 2 nonstick pans (or 1 large pan), melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add eggs and turn heat to medium-low. For the largest curds, cook eggs with little stirring, instead pushing cooked part aside with a spatula and allowing uncooked eggs to move into place. When almost done, add cream cheese and stir. Remove from heat. (Eggs will continue to cook.)
To serve: On each plate, overlap 2 slices of toasted bread. Divide eggs and place on toast. Top with lobster and sprinkle with chives, a little salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of truffle oil over eggs, if using. Serve.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 375 calories, 26 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 500 milligrams sodium, 13 grams carbohydrates, 93 milligrams calcium, 22 grams protein, 440 milligrams cholesterol, no fiber.
2 cups milk
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup plus 1½ tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce the heat and keep the milk warm over very low heat.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When it bubbles, whisk in the flour and continue to cook until the mixture forms a golden roux, 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisking constantly, add the warm milk in a steady stream. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper, along with the nutmeg, or to taste. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled. This makes about 2 cups sauce.
¼ cup butter
12 slices sandwich bread
12 slices ham
Prepared bechamel sauce
6 slices Swiss cheese, diced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
6 eggs, fried sunny side up
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter 6 slices of bread. Top each slice of bread with 2 slices of ham, then divide the bechamel sauce evenly between the sandwiches, spreading it over the ham. Top each of the sandwiches with a second slice of bread.
In a small bowl, toss together the diced Swiss cheese and the mozzarella. Season the mixture with ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, or to taste.
Divide the cheese mixture evenly between the sandwiches, mounding it on top of each sandwich.
Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the oven. This may need to be done in more than 1 batch.
Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per sandwich: 699 calories, 38 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 43 grams fat (23 grams saturated fat), 334 milligrams cholesterol, 8 grams sugar, 1,660 milligrams sodium.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Burrito
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons whole milk
Pinch white pepper
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
1 10-inch flour tortilla
1 slice mild Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 cooked strip bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons salsa
Beat eggs, milk, pepper and salt together. Place oil in a small nonstick skillet. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and set over medium heat. Cook tilting the pan so the raw egg runs to the edge. Meanwhile, wrap tortilla in damp paper towels and heat in microwave about 15 seconds.
Continue cooking the egg and tilting the skillet until the egg sets and forms an omelet. Use a rubber spatula to fold half the omelet over the other half. Place the omelet on the bottom half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with bacon and top with cheese, if desired. Fold in the sides of the tortilla over the omelet and roll from bottom where the omelet is to the top. Cut in half, if desired. Serve with salsa.
Yield: Serves 1.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 439 calories, 43 percent calories from fat, 21 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 217 milligrams cholesterol, 34 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 2 grams sugars, 20 grams protein, 1,188 milligrams sodium.
Breakfast in a Mug
2 to 3 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon milk or water
1 or 2 eggs
Salt, pepper to taste
Place the butter in a 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or small bowl. Microwave on high for 20 to 40 seconds, or until melted and sizzling.
Add the milk, eggs, salt and pepper, and whisk with a fork. If you’re using one egg, microwave it on high about 35 to 45 seconds, or until it just begins to set, stopping halfway through to give it a quick stir with a fork. For two eggs, it may take 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove eggs from microwave when they are still soft and moist in the center. Sprinkle with cheese and let sit for a minute or two to set.
Yield: Serves 1.
Baked Eggs and Cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites (see note)
½ cup nonfat milk
½ cup grated low-fat cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put oil in a medium baking dish or small cake pan and heat in the oven for a few minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and egg whites. Mix in milk, cheese, garlic powder and oregano. Pour into hot pan.
Bake 20 minutes or until egg mixture is firm. Serve immediately.
Note: If desired, use 6 whole eggs instead of a combination of whole eggs and egg whites. Each serving will contain an additional 2.5 grams fat and 105 milligrams cholesterol and 2 grams less protein.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (using eggs and egg whites): 160 calories, 10 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 50 percent of calories from fat, 215 milligrams cholesterol, 15 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar, no fiber, 230 milligrams sodium.
Eggs in a Nest
1 can of refrigerated reduced-fat croissant roll dough (such as Pillsbury’s Crescents)
2 cups egg substitute (such as EggBeaters)
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese made with 2 percent milk
¾ cup diced ham
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the can of croissant roll dough out flat on the counter. Cut the sheet of dough into six equal portions and transfer the dough into 6 4-inch nonstick tartlet pans. Bake the tartlet crusts at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.
Cool the crusts on a wire rack, then remove the crusts from the pans.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add egg substitute. Sprinkle ham over eggs and scramble eggs to desired doneness. Sprinkle in cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and spoon the egg mixture into the crusts.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 254 calories, 13.3 grams fat, 719 milligrams sodium, no fiber, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein.
Basic Cheese Souffle
4 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 tablespoons finely and freshly grated Parmesan or asiago cheese
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup warm milk or half-and-half
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1 cup finely grated Gruyere, cheddar or other melting cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Preparing the dish: With your fingers, lightly rub a tablespoon or so of the butter all around inside of souffle dish. (Use one 1½ quart souffle dish or 4 to 6 smaller ones.) Sprinkle Parmesan inside dish and roll dish around in your hands to lightly coat and knock out excess Parmesan. Set dish aside in refrigerator to chill a bit. A chilled dish seems to keep the butter in suspension better as the souffle bakes.
Preparing the base: In medium saucepan, melt remaining butter, add flour and stir over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes without browning. This step cooks the flour so that it doesn’t have a raw “floury” taste. Slowly whisk in warm milk and bring to boil, stirring all the time, 3 to 4 minutes. Sauce will be very thick.
Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper and take off the heat. Whisk a little of the warm base slowly into egg yolks. This tempers or gradually warms them so that they are less likely to scramble. Beat this mixture back into the rest of the base and set aside.
Preparing the egg whites: In clean bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, beat egg whites just until stiff enough to cling to the beaters when the mixer head is lifted but still shiny and moist-looking.
Finishing the souffle: With a spatula, stir ¼ of the whipped egg whites into the base. Do this quickly. This lightens the mixture so that you can fold in the remaining whites without deflating them too much. Scoop the rest of the whites on top, and with the spatula cut into the whites, drag it along the bottom and bring the sauce mixture over the top. Turn bowl a quarter of a turn, sprinkle on some of grated cheese and repeat until whites, cheese and sauce are just combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared dish, gently smoothing the top. Place souffle in preheated oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until souffle is puffed and golden brown. (If your oven doesn’t have a glass window and you’re tempted to peek, don’t! Keep the door closed for at least the first 20 minutes so that the souffle can set.)
When done, serve immediately. To maintain as much of the puff as possible when serving, plunge an upright serving spoon and fork straight down into center of souffle and then pull crust apart and scoop out a serving.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.
Green Chili Egg Casserole
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
1 pint regular or low-fat cottage cheese
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 6-ounce can diced green chilies
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, flour, baking powder and butter together in a large bowl. Stir in cheese and chilies. Pour into a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. (Casserole may be refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking; remove from fridge 15 minutes before placing in oven.) Cover; bake until set, cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 35 minutes.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 474 calories, 68 percent of calories from fat, 36 grams fat (21 grams saturated), 349 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 847 milligrams sodium, 0.5 grams fiber.
Spinach and Cheese Strata
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, freshly ground nutmeg
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, pressed to remove water
1 loaf French or Italian bread, cubed, about 8 cups
1 cup grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
2¾ cups milk
2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper and nutmeg to taste. Stir in spinach; remove from heat. Spread bread in a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking pan; stir in spinach mixture. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in milk and mustard; pour over the bread and spinach. (Casserole may be refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking; remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before placing in oven.) Bake until set, cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 35 minutes.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 328 calories, 46 percent of calories from fat, 16 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 268 milligrams cholesterol, 26 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams protein, 773 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Italian Wedding Soup
1 pound ground veal or chuck
½ pound ground pork
½ teaspoon pepper
Pinch of salt
2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Seasoned bread crumbs
Gently mix together veal or chuck and pork. Add eggs, pepper, salt, cheese and parsley and mix lightly but well. Gently work in enough seasoned bread crumbs to make a firm mixture. Roll into meat balls the size of grapes.
Place on baking sheets with sides and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Meatballs may be cooled, then frozen. Use directly from the freezer.
3 quarts chicken stock or broth
½ cup finely chopped carrots
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped onions
2 cups finely chopped endive or escarole
2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach
2 cups tiny meatballs (see recipe)
2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup of acini di pepe pasta, cooked al dente
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Measure all ingredients and place them in bowls on the counter, in the order they will be used.
Bring broth to a simmer in a large soup pot. Add carrots, celery, onions, endive and spinach. Add the meatballs. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, until carrots are tender.
In a medium bowl, combine cheese and egg and mix well. Scrape mixture in a lump into the center of the simmering soup. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes without stirring. Lift the mass occasionally with a slotted spoon to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The soup is done when the egg-cheese mixture looks firm. Gently break apart with a spoon.
Remove soup from heat. Stir in the pasta. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.
Yield: Serves 10 to 12.
Three-Pepper and Egg Sandwich
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, diced
1 each, thinly sliced: green and red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
8 eggs, gently beaten
1 tablespoon each: Italian herb blend, minced jalapeno pepper
Salt, freshly ground pepper
4 sliced Italian rolls or bread of choice
3 tablespoons butter, about
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat; cook onion, bell peppers and garlic until soft, about 6 minutes. Remove pepper mixture to bowl; cover to keep warm.
Heat broiler. Whisk eggs with herb blend in bowl; set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of the olive oil to pan. Add jalapenos; cook 2 minutes. Add eggs to pan; tilt pan to cover bottom evenly with eggs. Cook, lifting edges so eggs are uniformly set. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, butter rolls; toast under broiler, about 1 minute. When eggs are set, divide among 4 roll bottoms. Add pepper mixture. Top sandwiches with cheese and roll tops.
Yield: 4 sandwiches.
Approximate nutritional analysis per sandwich:
Nutrition information per serving: 545 calories, 55 percent of calories from fat, 34 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 455 milligrams cholesterol, 720 milligrams sodium, 39 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 3.2 grams fiber.