Is it just me, or is the new food trend to place a perfectly fried egg on top of everything?
To me, everything just tastes better with a fried egg on top!
In reality, there is nothing new or trendy about finishing off a dish with a friend egg. I've seen fried eggs on top of burgers, pizzas, pasta and salads for years.
Koreans top kimchi with eggs. Brazilians place a runny egg over steak. In Spain, I'll take my fried egg over rice and tomato sauce, please. And...let's NOT forget what the do in Hawaii!!!
In addition to adding a decorative touch, eggs act as a flavor emulsifier and add protein to dishes...especially vegetarian fare.
Here are two dishes that I found which showcase the incredible...edible egg.
Warm Spinach Salad with Fried Egg
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
2 bunches flat leaf spinach, stems removed, leaves washed and torn
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
4 large eggs
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until potatoes are tender and browned, 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the vinegar, mustard and shallot. season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add spinach and cheese (but do NOT toss); set aside.
When potatoes are done cooking, immediately transfer to the bowl with the spinach. Toss salad until the spinach is slightly wilted, then divide among four plates.
Heat skillet that you cooked potatoes in over medium-high heat and gently crack the eggs in the skillet (I like to only cook 2 at a time). Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg white are almost set, about 2 minutes. Cover and turn off heat, and let stand until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny, about 1-2 minutes more. Top each salad with a fried egg and serve immediately.
Poletna with Mushroom Ragu and a Fried Egg
1 cup Polenta
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 spring fresh rosemary, chopped
2 springs, fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or dry white wine)
Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of vegetable broth to a simmer in a sauce pan.
When liquid is simmering, stir in the polenta. Whisk until it is incorporated. Reduce heat slightly and let the polenta bubble gently.
Stir and scrape the sides of the pan occasionally, allowing the polenta to cook, about 30-40 minutes or until thick and creamy.
(While polenta is cooking, start the mushroom ragu)
Once the polenta is done, turn off the heat. Whisk in the butter, milk and cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning, but keep on the bland side (the mushroom and egg will add flavor).
Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add all but 1 clove of garlic and the shallots, cooking for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
When the mushrooms have browned, add the fresh herbs, them tomato paste and stir. Add the vegetable stock or wine and remaining garlic clove (you may need to add a bit more wine or broth). Once sauce is mixed together, simmer on low.
Heat saute pan over medium-high heat and gently crack the eggs in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg white are almost set, about 2 minutes. Cover and turn off heat, and let stand until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny, about 1-2 minutes more.
To serve; scoop some polenta in the center of a plate or bowl. Top with once scoop of ragu and add egg on top. Dust with tablespoon of fresh Parmesan cheese.