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Israeli Shakshuka – Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce

In Eggs Selections On April 19, 2019 0 Comments

I just returned from Israel last night. There are no words to describe the beautiful people, culture, history and gastronomy! Every day, for breakfast, I enjoyed Shakshuka – poached eggs in tomato sauce.  Here’s the delicious recipe I learned in Jerusalem. Happy Passover!

Prep time: 8 to 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 2

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white or brown onion
1/2 of a red bell pepper, finely chopped
1-1/2 to 2 cups tomato purée
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground paprika
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 eggs
parsley leaves and fresh dill, for garnish

1. In an 8 to 10-inch skillet, heat the olive oil.

2. When oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper; stir fry until mixture has softened.

3. When onion-bell pepper mixture has softened, stir in the tomato purée; bring to a boil.

4. Cook tomato sauce on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. After 5 minutes, stir in the paprika, salt and ground black pepper.

6. Cook the tomato sauce for an additional 10 minutes. It will reduce and thicken.

7. After 10 minutes, break the eggs and drop them gently into the skillet – leave about 2 inches between the eggs.

8. Cook eggs until they are to your desired consistency. Serve immediately with Matzo crackers.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real


Green Omelet

In Eggs Selections, Holidays On April 7, 2017 0 Comments

The word “green” has a healthy connotation these days. If we’re eating “green”, then it can be assumed that your intake of foods consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here’s a recipe for a green omelet. The eggs turn green when you add finely-chopped spinach or chard. Add parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve the omelet at your Easter Brunch! Happy Easter!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves:4 to 6

1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely-packed
3 cups spinach leaves (you can combine fresh chard & spinach leaves), loosely-packed
3/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, loosely-packed
10 to 12 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
dash ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil

1. In a salad spinner, combine the mint, spinach (and/or chard) and parsley leaves.

2. Wash, drain and spin dry the leaves – finely chop all leaves.

3. After leaves are finely-chopped, set them aside in a 3-quart mixing bowl.

4. In another 3 to 4-quart mixing bowl, combine the eggs, salt, black pepper and grated cheese.

5. Using a fork or a wire whisk, beat the egg mixture.

6. When egg mixture is uniform, stir in the chopped leaves to combine.

7. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet; when oil is hot but does not smoke, pour the egg and leaf mixture into skillet.

8. On high setting, check that the edges of the omelet begin to curdle; immediately set heat on medium-low and cover the skillet.

9. Every so often, using a spatula, lift sides of omelet and title skillet so that the raw egg escapes to bottom of skillet.

10. Cover the omelet and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.

11. When omelet top has set, using the spatula, cut it into fourths.

12. Gently flip each omelet fourth over and cook on low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes.

13. Check underside of omelet. If it looks golden-green, the omelet is ready to be served.

14. Transfer omelet to a serving platter. Cut omelet to yield 10 to 12 pieces. Serve as part of a breakfast menu or at lunch with a green salad.

Text and Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real

Spaghetti Frittata

In Eggs Selections On April 24, 2015 0 Comments

Do you ever throw out cooked, leftover spaghetti? While living in Italy, my grandmother (Nonna Annunziata) never threw out extra ingredients. To my amazement, she used the leftover spaghetti to variate our frittatas. She simply beat eggs with Pecorino Romano cheese. She then added the cooked spaghetti to the egg mixture and cooked it in an oiled skillet. Wow! Everyone loved it, except for me. And now, everyone loves my spaghetti frittata, including me!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

8 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley (optional)
2 to 3 cups cooked, drained and cooled spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil (for coating skillet)
1 to 2 large, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into cubes and set in a bowl
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for tomatoes)

1. In a 3-quart mixing bowl, beat the eggs, cheese, salt and black pepper together.

2. Stir in the parsley (optional) and the spaghetti; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil.

4. When oil is hot, add the spaghetti-egg mixture to the skillet.

5. Immediately set heat on low and cover the skillet.

6. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes.

7. After about 6 to 7 minutes, tilt the skillet. Using a spatula, left edges of frittata and let the raw egg escape to the sides and bottom of skillet.

8. Cover the skillet and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

9. After 3 to 4 minutes, place a large, flat platter over skillet and quickly flip the skillet with frittata over and onto the platter.

10. Carefully slide the flipped frittata back into the skillet.

11. Cover the skillet and cook the frittata for about 5 minutes.

12. After 5 minutes, using a spatula, lift the frittata bottom to check if underside is golden brown. If it is golden brown, the frittata is done. If not, cook it for another 2 to 3 minutes.

13. Slide the frittata into 6 to 8 wedges and garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley.

14. At serving time, add extra virgin olive oil, salt and ground black pepper to the cubed tomatoes; stir together.

Serve immediately with Italian bread or toasted bagels.
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real

Easter Brunch Menu (Frittata)

In Eggs Selections, Holidays, Vegetables On April 21, 2011 2 Comments

Easter Brunch Menu

-Pecorino Asparagus Frittata
-Cherry Tomatoes with Oregano
-Hearts of Palm & Olives
-Italian Sweetbread (la Colomba)
-Easter Chocolates

You’ll love this – of the five food items listed in this menu, you only need to prepare three of them (the sweetbread and chocolates are ready-made). Total prep time is approximately 50 minutes. Imagine spoiling your family and friends with these easy and exquisite foods for brunch next Sunday – Happy Easter!

My Easter foods always include Francesca Sciscente’s (my mom) Pecorino Asparagus Frittata. With sweet ham bits, this traditional Easter morn frittata was usually paired with tomatoes. But I’ve discovered that cherry tomatoes are sweeter and look cuter next to this gourmet egg dish. Prep time for both recipes combined – only 35 minutes! [see recipes below]

Hearts of Palm & Olives, tossed with olive oil, red onion, bell pepper, celery and lemon is a refreshing side to the frittata (found in our Recipes, under “Salads” ).

The easy grand finale: slice a premade Colomba sweetbread, arranged on a platter and surrounded by your favorite chocolates. Serve with coffee, tea or cappuccino. After the grind, this brunch menu is ideal. I can relax now … and so can you!

Prep time: 25 to 30 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

For the Pecorino Asparagus Frittata:
1 bunch fresh asparagus
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 ounces sharp, imported Pecorino Romano cheese*
4 ounces (about 5 slices) boiled ham (optional)
4 large eggs
6 large egg whites
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin or vegetable oil

1. Prepare the asparagus – trim 3 to 4-inch stems (white parts) from asparagus bottoms and discard. Cut asparagus into 1/2-inch thick rounds and place them in a 2-quart saucepot.

2. Add enough cold water to cover the asparagus.

3. Place saucepot on burner set on high heat. Cover and bring to a boil.

4. Add the salt and boil 2 minutes, uncovered, or until asparagus is crunchy-tender when pierced with a fork.

5. Drain asparagus and transfer it to a glass or porcelain bowl to cool, 4 to 6 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, prepare frittata ingredients – finely grate the Pecorino Romano Cheese to yield 1/3 cup; set aside.

7. On a flat surface, cut ham into 1/4-inch wide strips and then into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.

8. In a large bowl and with a fork or whisk, beat the eggs and egg whites with the grated cheese and black pepper until well-blended; set aside.

9. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the asparagus and ham pieces.

10. Stir fry with a cooking spatula on medium-high heat until the ham begins to turn light golden, about 3 to 4 minutes.

11. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the skillet ingredients, swirling the skillet around so that the mixture covers entire diameter of the skillet.

12. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 7 to 8 minutes, occasionally lifting frittata sides and swirling skillet to let raw egg escape to bottom. Check bottom of frittata by lifting sides with the spatula. When bottom is golden, it is time to flip the frittata over.

13. To flip the frittata, put a large platter over skillet, making sure the platter is large enough to overlap skillet edges by 2 inches.

14. With one hand on platter and the other firmly gripping the skillet handle, make a quick flip. Slide the frittata back into skillet and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. Transfer frittata to a serving platter and divide into 8 equal wedges.

15. Alternate flipping method: Divide the frittata into four equal pieces and, with the spatula, flip each piece over in skillet.

16. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. Transfer to a serving platter and cut each wedge in half (there will be a total of 8 pieces)

*Note: Imported Pecorino Romano cheese can be purchased at Italian grocery stores or international gourmet food stores, such as Trader Joe’s™ and Wholefoods™.

Text & Photographs © Nancy Real 2011 (the Balocco™ Colomba is a brand name – the packaged product was photographed by Nancy Real).

Misto Peppers Frittata

In Eggs Selections On June 21, 2010 2 Comments

Have you ever reached for an onion in the refrigerator drawer, but also found some forgotten, mixed peppers? Well, now you can turn it all into a delicious frittata and presto – you just made a nutritious breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mixed red, yellow or green bell peppers
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced (optional)
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
8 eggs, beaten with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. In a 12-inch, nonstick skillet set on medium-high, heat the oil.

2. When oil is hot but not smoking, stir fry all peppers and onion for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.

3. Lower heat (on lowest setting) and add beaten eggs to the pepper-onion mixture.

4. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Uncover and with a spatula, lift frittata edges, tilting pan to let raw egg escape to bottom of pan.

6. Cover and cook an additional 2 minutes.

7. After 2 minutes, uncover and with the spatula, lift frittata edges, tilting pan to let raw egg escape to bottom of pan. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

8. Uncover the frittata and, place a 14-inch round, flat platter over skillet.

9. With one hand securely holding skillet handle and the other firmly holding platter, make a quick flip (you will have raw side of frittata underneath and cooked side on top).

10. Slide the frittata back into skillet and cook one more minute.

11. Transfer the frittata to a platter and cut it nto 8 wedges or other decorative shapes.

Serve immediately with a salsa, tomatoes and bread or hot tortillas.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real