Jul 2, 2014

Sunny-Side Up!

Sunny-side Up!
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We are talking about eggs here, not the weather in Hawaii. Eggs cooked on one side only until the egg white is set but the yolk remains liquid. I grew up with "Adam and Eve On A Raft", two poached or fried sunny-side up eggs served on toast with bacon or sausage on the side. It's a diner favorite from way back.

It turns out that folks enjoy eggs sunny-side up all over the world. Here in Hawaii, you'll find eggs served sunny-side up with Spam and rice, or a dish called Loco Moco (recipe below). In Asia, a popular entrĂ©e is a fried egg, served over white rice, topped with a dab of oyster or hoisin sauce. The standard fried rice in Thai cuisine is usually topped with a sunny-side up egg. In the Philippines, fried eggs are served in the morning with garlic rice and a choice of breakfast meat such as beef, longaniza, fried milkfish, Spam, or corned beef. In Spain, a fried egg served with boiled rice covered in tomato sauce is called arroz a la cubana. In Brazil and Argentina, a runny egg placed over a steak with a side dish of rice and black beans. In Mexico, huevos rancheros are served with sunny-side up eggs over corn tortilla, covered with spicy salsa, and refried beans on the side. I've even heard of sunny-side up pizza... click here for the recipe. Actually one of my go to sandwiches is a sunny-side up fried egg sandwich with ketchup. You bite into it and the yolk pops and runs down your face. How good is that! By-the-way... if you are on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, in Wahiawa, be sure and stop into a restaurant called "Sunny Side", it's busy their because of the great food!

"Safest Choice" brand
Pasteurized eggs
Note about buying eggs – Nearly 4 out of 5 Salmonella-related food borne illness cases share a common vehicle: raw or undercooked shell eggs that were not pasteurized. According to the U.S.D.A., in-shell pasteurized eggs may be used safely without cooking. For example, they may safely be consumed raw (as in raw cookie dough or eggnog) or in undercooked forms (such as a sunny-side up egg). When you buy fresh eggs at your supermarket, check the egg cartons. You're looking for the word "pasteurized". Unfortunately not all grocery stores sell pasteurized eggs... yet! That's where Safest Choice eggs come in. This brand sells pasteurized eggs. To find a store that sells this brand in the U.S. click here. According to this store locator, only Foodland and Times Supermarkets carry the Safest Choice brand in Hawaii, none on Moloka'i. Click here to download a Safest Choice eggs product request form. Fill it out and give it to a member of your grocery store's management team. They listen to their own customers and look for ways to satisfy their needs. It's what keeps you coming back through their doors.

When buying eggs, you should also look on the package for – the expiration date. Then remove each egg and look for cracks; germs can enter after pasteurization. Always keep eggs in their carton in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the back of the lowest shelf), not in the egg keeper in the door of the fridge, and be sure to wash your hands after handling eggs. For more information, visit the F.D.A. "Playing It Safe With Eggs" website.

Recipes:
Huevos Rancheros
I am a big fan of huevos rancheros, and Rosita's Armory Cafe in Salinas, California has the best I've ever eaten. I've tried to duplicate their recipe, and this is the closest I've come to the original.

Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 medium tomato, minced
2 tablespoons chopped green chiles (I used Old El Paso)
oil spray
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cumin
2 large eggs
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1 ounce shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
2 corn tortillas

Procedure:
Heat canola oil in a small pan. Add onions and cook one minute, add tomatoes, chilies, cumin, salt and pepper and cook another few minutes. Set aside and keep warm. 

In another medium non-stick pan, lightly spray the tortillas with oil on each side and heat a few minutes on both sides until tortillas gets crispy and pockets or air bubbles start to form inside. Set aside. 

In the same pan, add 1/2 teaspoon of canola oil and add eggs, salt and pepper. Cook until sunny-side up or to your liking. To serve, place a tortilla on each plate, top with egg, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and cilantro. Serve with refried beans and extra fried corn tortillas on the side. Makes 2 servings.

Sunny-Side Up Egg Nest
Basically these are delicious little egg nests made of shredded potatoes surrounding bacon bits and a egg that is baked for breakfast. My wife likes a little cooked spinach added on top of the bacon before adding the egg.

Ingredients:
8 whole medium sized russet potatoes
6 bacon slices
salt and pepper, to taste
12 whole large eggs
non-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Procedure:
In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Crumble the bacon when cool, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Bake the potatoes until almost tender (potatoes should be a little undercooked), about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, and then peel and grate them. Season with salt and pepper. You can bake the potatoes the day before and keep them in the refrigerator if you like, but don't use frozen hash browns, they don't work.

Spray two muffin pans generously with cooking spray. Scoop 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated potato into each muffin cup. Use your fingers to gently press the sides and bottom in each muffin cup to make a nest (don't press the potatoes firmly against the pan; they should sit lightly in the pan.) Spray again (very lightly!) with cooking spray. Bake at 425˚F for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch and make sure they do not burn. (If they seem like they're not browning, kick up the temp to 450˚F.) Remove when the nests from the oven when they are golden brown.

Allow the nests to cool in the muffin pans. Sprinkle half a slice of bacon bits into the bottom of each nest, then crack an egg into each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and and a pinch of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake until the whites are set, about 15 minutes. Don't be concerned if some whites bake differently; no two nests will look alike!

Remove from the muffin pan with a spoon or fork, garnish each with chopped parsley, and serve with coffee and fresh fruit. Makes 12 one egg servings.

Roasted Tomatoes with Eggs and Sausage
This Portuguese brunch recipe is a nice change from the usual eggs and bacon. You will need 2 large ripe tomatoes, preferably from your garden.

Ingredients:
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in half
salt
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
chopped parsley
10 pitted black olives chopped
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
black pepper, freshly grated
dried oregano
4 fried eggs
1 Portuguese sausage (linguica, blood sausage, or chorizo) thinly sliced and fried
watercress
2 limes

Procedure:
Cut the tomatoes in halves. Place them with cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with salt and a little olive oil. Then put it in a 375˚F preheated oven for 40 minutes. Mix the garlic, parsley, olives and bread crumbs. Season with pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the mixture. Then sprinkle again with two tablespoons of olive oil. Put it all in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Fry the eggs and sausage slices in a little olive oil. Place a fried egg on top of each roasted tomato and put thin slices of sausage next to it. Surround the tomato and sausage slices with a few watercress leaves sprinkled with lime juice, olive oil and a little salt. Don't forget to grind black pepper and/or dried oregano on top of the eggs immediately before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Loco-Moco
This iconic Hawaiian dish is now eaten from the mainland to the Pacific islands of Samoa to Guam and Saipan. It's a high-carb, high-protein and delicious dish that was originally invented to help cure the hunger of surfers on the Big Island. It’s basically white steamed rice mixed with chopped Spam and green onions, topped with a large hamburger patty and brown gravy, then crowned with a fried, sunny-side up egg.

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef (hamburger)

salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
dash of soy sauce
dash of Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs (cooked sunny side up or over easy)
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups cooked white rice, mixed with a slice of chopped spam and green onions


Procedure:
After you have seasoned the ground beef with salt, pepper and onion powder, form them into four patties. Add canola oil to a large frying pan, cook beef patties until they are cooked to your liking, then remove and keep warm. Combine the flour and softened butter and put in the same frying pan over medium heat until the mixture turns pale brown, stirring all the time, then gradually add the beef stock. Stir until the gravy thickens and turns brown in about three minutes. add mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste and season with a dash of soy sauce and Tabasco sauce and salt and pepper if needed. Put a strainer over a pot and pour the gravy into the strainer. Set gravy aside. Fry eggs (sunny-side up or over easy) in butter. Divide hot rice mixture onto four plates or bowls, top with hamburger patties and hot gravy, top that off with the fried eggs. Serve with side dishes of your choice; mac salad, fried saimin, or perhaps just a big slice of orange. Makes 4 big serving.


Tobiko Sushi with Quail Egg Yolk
In Asian cuisine, particularly in sushi, raw quail yolks are separated from the whites and placed atop different Gunkan-maki sushi. Gunkan-maki sushi is a ball of sushi rice surrounded by a strip of seaweed with flying fish roe, salmon roe, or sea urchin, and a raw sunny-side up quail egg yolk on top. My favorite sushi ever!

Ingredients:
2 cups sushi rice
1 nori sheet
4 fresh quail eggs
4 ounces Tobiko (flying fish roe)

Procedure:
Before anything else, separate the whites from the yolks of your quail eggs. Discard the whites.

Cut the nori into long, 2 inch high strips. The strips will act as a covering for your sushi
Take a half a handful of rice, roll and shape it into a oval shape that's approximately 1 1/2 inches in height and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Make sure that it's tight enough so your base doesn't fall apart and is sturdy enough to hold some weight.

Wrap a strip of nori around the rice cylinder, leaving roughly 1/2 inch of empty space at the top. Fill half of that space with a spoonful of Tobiko, and the other half with a fresh egg yolk, or create a nest of Tobiko on the top and place the yolk in the middle. Makes 4 sunny-side up Gunkan-maki sushi.

Tsukimi Gyudon
Gyu means beef in Japanese and don means rice bowl (with something on top). In other words, beef rice bowl. Basic gyudon may be topped with beni-shoga (pickled ginger), sliced negi (shallots/spring onion) and is also delicious as Tsukimi Gyudon with a raw egg on top. The raw egg yolk adds a creamy element to the flavor, similar to sukiyaki.

Ingredients:
2 cups boiling water and 2 teaspoons Dashi powder
1-2 onions, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sake (optional)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 pound of beef, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
steamed white rice
pickled ginger
4 raw eggs

Procedure:
Place water, dashi powder and onions in a saucepan and boil 3 minutes.

Add sugar, sake, soy sauce, beef, and stir to combine well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in freshly grated ginger and simmer another 5-10 minutes until beef has absorbed the flavor, and the liquid is reduced to half.

Serve on a bowl of steamed rice and top with beni-shoga (pickled ginger), and a raw egg. Makes 4 servings.

Tsukimi Udon Noodle Soup 
with Shrimp and Beet Root Tops
Tsukimi udon, or "Moon-viewing udon" is named for the raw egg that's placed in the bowl as this Japanese dish is served (the egg poaches in the hot broth). It's comfort food that's full of wonderful goodies.

Ingredients:
2 cups chicken stock or use 1 teaspoon of instant dashi soup granules with 2 1/2 cups of water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil plus a little more for optional drizzle
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into three 1/4-inch coins
2 packages frozen udon noodles (found in the freezer section of Asian grocery stores)
1/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeling and veins removed
1 cup chopped fresh beet root tops, fresh spinach, or kale
1/4 cup cubed medium firm tofu
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
2 eggs
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Optional: 2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce (found in Asian grocery stores)
Optional: sesame oil

Procedure:
To make the broth, bring the chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger to a low simmer for 3 minutes.

To cook the noodles, prepare the udon according to the package instructions (typically a couple minutes).

Drain the noodles and divide them evenly between two bowls.
Add the shrimp, beet tops, tofu, and mushrooms to the broth and cook until the shrimp turns pink, approximately one minute.

Pour the broth over each bowl and divide the cooked ingredients among them as well.

Top each bowl of udon off with a raw egg (the egg poaches in the hot soup), scallions, and sesame seeds. You can also drizzle a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil over the egg and a little bit of garlic chili sauce for added spiciness. Makes 2 servings.
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