Sep 28, 2013


The Chicken Dance
I'm not talking about a version of the famous "Chicken Dance", I'm talking about eggs, but more precisely eggs mixed with the Hawaiian islands favorite foods. 

Most people like to think of this mixture as a Italian frittata, or Spanish tortilla, which is sort of like a French omelet but the difference is that an omelette is folded over a filling and served as a single serving. With a frittata, or tortilla, the egg and filling are all mixed together, fried, and cut into wedges and served by the slice.

In Italy, the frittata is always fried and never baked. It is called a frittata because it is "fritta" (fried) - derived from the verb friggere, to fry. Other cultures start out frying, but then use the oven to finish off their egg creations. It is thought that this dish probably came from rural areas in Spain or Italy, where eggs were plentiful. They usually contained cooked or sauteed vegetables, herbs, bread crumbs, and cheese. Some recipes included cooked meat or fish, whatever was available and fresh.

Here in Hawaii, we like to use our own local ingredients, kind of an "Island Scramble". These island creations are terrific served warm as a main course, at room temperature as a starter, or chilled and sliced into thin wedges as a pupu (hors d’oeuvre), but they can also be served as a dessert mixed with local tropical fruit. So the next time you are looking for a quick and easy to make meal, using island ingredients, think about "Doing The Island Scramble."

Island Scramble Recipes:
Portuguese Sausage Scramble
The Portuguese settled here in Hawaii many years ago to work in the sugarcane fields. They brought with them their culinary expertise, including the use of linguica or Portuguese Sausage. The spicy and rustic flavor of this sausage, mixed with farm fresh eggs, potatoes, onions, roasted red peppers, and cheese creates the Portuguese sausage scramble.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound Portuguese sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
7 large eggs
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably nonstick, or cast iron, over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl. Turn the heat to medium-low and drop the onions and potatoes into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the onions and potatoes and garlic, along with the peppers, to the bowl with the sausage. Set the skillet aside off the heat.

Heat the broiler. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour the eggs over the sausage-potato mixture in the bowl and gently combine.

Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and warm it over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, quickly stir to cook the eggs briefly, then jiggle the skillet to settle its contents. Run the spatula around the sides of the skillet to prevent the scramble from sticking. Crank up the heat to medium-high and cook until the edges are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Slide the skillet under the broiler and cook until the top is nicely browned and no puddles remain, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide the scramble onto a large platter and sprinkle with the parsley, or slice it and serve it right from the pan. Serve with fresh Hawaiian fruit. Makes 4 servings.

Asian Chicken Scramble with Bok Choy
Like egg fu young, this Asian inspired scramble uses a delicious sauce.

Ingredients for sauce:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

Ingredients for island scramble:
6 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
8 eggs
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup bok choy, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Heat oven to 350°F. Place oven rack in upper middle position. Combine all sauce ingredients in bowl; set aside. 

Combine chicken, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in bowl; set aside.

Combine remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, eggs, pepper and salt in bowl; beat with whisk briefly. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling; add chicken strips. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken; set aside. Add 1 tablespoon butter to same skillet; add bell pepper, green onions and bok choy. Cook over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes or until vegetables just begin to soften. Remove vegetables; set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium heat until butter is sizzling. Add chicken and vegetables to egg mixture; pour egg mixture into skillet. Cook, stirring and lifting around bottom edges with spatula, 1-2 minutes or until eggs just begin to set. Place skillet into oven; bake 8-10 minutes or until eggs are set.

Carefully place a large plate over the skillet; turn the skillet to release the scramble onto the plate. Serve with reserved sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Shrimp & Asparagus Scramble, Asian-Style
Ingredients for sauce:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

Ingredients for scramble:
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces asparagus, cut into pieces on the diagonal
1/4 pound small shrimp, cleaned and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup mung bean sprouts, plus more for garnish
8 eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F. Place oven rack in upper middle position. Combine all sauce ingredients in bowl; set aside.

In large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms & asparagus and cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, scalliions and bean sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the mixture. Cook, stirring and lifting around bottom edges with spatula, 1-2 minutes or until eggs just begin to set. Place skillet into oven; bake 8-10 minutes or until eggs are set.

Carefully place large plate over skillet; turn the skillet to release the scramble onto the plate. Drizzle the reserved sauce mixture on top and sprinkle with more bean sprouts. Makes 4 servings.

Crab Scramble
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/4 cup pre-roasted potatoes
1/4 cup picked Dungeness crab
3 tablespoons fresh ricotta cheese
salt to taste
3 whole eggs
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Over medium heat melt the butter or olive oil in an oven-proof nonstick skillet. (The pan should measure about 9 or 10 inches in diameter.) Saute the potatoes for 1 minute. Beat the eggs in a bowl, season lightly with salt, and add to the pan. Turn the heat to low, stir in the crab meat, and ricotta. Place in oven on middle rack and cook for 6-7 minutes or until the scramble has gently risen. The scramble should be gently cooked throughout, but not dry. Allow the scramble to rest for 1 minute, and then carefully slide it onto a warm plate. Garnish with chopped chives. Makes 2 servings.

Bacon, Brown Rice Scramble with Edamame
1 cup brown rice
4 thick cut bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 scallions, thinly sliced (whites and greens divided)
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame (soy beans)
6 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400˚F.

While rice cooks, saute bacon pieces in a 10-inch oven proof skillet over medium heat until starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat, then add the scallion whites and edamame (or if desired, use 1 cup frozen green peas) to the bacon in the pan and saute one minute.

Add the cooked rice, and saute one minute. Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream, and the salt, and add to the pan, swirling gently to distribute the egg mixture evenly throughout the other ingredients. Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, until edges look set then place the pan in the preheated oven until set in the center, about 10 minutes further.

Mix together the scallion greens with the remaining 1/2 cup sour cream, and serve the scramble in wedges topped with a dollop of the scallion cream. Makes 6 servings.

Mushroom & Potato Scramble
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large russet potato (about 3⁄4 pound), peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (or use cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced)
1⁄4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
6 eggs, beaten

Heat 1⁄2 cup oil in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, potatoes, onions, and salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, 13–15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potato mixture to a bowl, leaving oil in skillet. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and salt and pepper; cook until softened, 5–6 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the potato mixture; let cool. Set skillet aside.

Combine parsley, eggs, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooled onion–mushroom mixture; stir. Set aside for 10 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add egg mixture; cook, shaking skillet occasionally, until bottom is deep golden brown (peek carefully, using a spatula) and center is somewhat set, 6–8 minutes. Place an upside-down plate over skillet; invert scramble onto plate. Return skillet to heat; add remaining oil. Slide scramble into skillet, cooked side up, and cook, shaking occasionally, until deep golden brown and just cooked through, 3–4 minutes more. Slide scramble onto a plate. Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Chinatown Scramble
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and cut into half inch cubes
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lap cheong, chopped (Chinese sausage)
1/4 cup char siu, chopped (Chinese BBQ pork)
8 eggs

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

8 fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh crab meat, or canned
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, minced for garnish

Boil potatoes until fork tender, Drain and set aside. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.

In a large pan or skillet, heat oil, add garlic and onions and sauté until onions are translucent. Add lap cheong, char sui, potatoes, and cook until golden brown. Stir in eggs, cheese, spinach, and crab, and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.

Put whole skillet in oven at 350˚F for 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

Sprinkle scramble with minced parsley. Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Corn Scramble 
with Adobo Sauce & Avocado
3% of Hawaii's population is Mexican. I love Mexican food and this sweet/spicy corn scramble recipe.

4 eggs
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (I mince canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (I remove the seeds in the chipotle chile to keep the heat down, then I mince it). You can find it in the Mexican section of your grocery store)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 ear corn, boiled briefly and kernels removed
1/3 cup parmesan or cheddar cheese
1 avocado, diced, for topping

Beat together eggs, cheese, adobo sauce, salt, and thyme. Over medium heat in an oven-safe pan, melt butter and saute corn for a minute or two. Add eggs and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 minute, then pull edges gently from side of pan to let uncooked egg fall through. Allow to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, until mostly set, and then transfer to the oven and broil on high for 2 minutes, until top is cooked through. Top with avocado, and serve warm. Makes 2 servings.

Baked Mango Scramble
A Mango Scramble is an easy-to-make custard cake, using fresh island mango, mixed with eggs, to make a wonderful warm dessert, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with sweetened whipped cream.

1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups mango, peeled and cut into slices
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (powdered)

Preheat an oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9-inch by 9-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch deep-dish pie round with the softened butter, and then sprinkle the butter with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt until it forms a smooth, thin batter. Spread 3/4 cup of the batter onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake it for 2-4 minutes. Watch the batter closely and remove it before it cooks through completely. It should just start to thicken and set when it is removed from the oven.

Transfer the dish to a heatproof surface and arrange the mango slices in a fan pattern over the hot batter. Pour the remaining batter over the mango and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the mango scramble to cool slightly for 5 minutes, then sprinkle the confectioners’ sugar over the finished dessert and serve it warm. Makes 8 servings. Note: If you like, serve with whipped cream that has been sweetened with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

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