Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scrambled Eggs Sandwiches (Sweet Pepper and Tomato Flavor)

We eat a lot of scrambled eggs sandwiches at my house, and we do so because they're very good, quite filling, and entirely appropriate for essentially any meal of the day. After trying to describe the process of making these beauties to a friend, I realized that I'd probably have to write an instruction manual to make it clear. Here's an attempt at that, using the recipe I made today with Nardello peppers and tomatoes from our garden:

Ingredients (for two sandwiches):

  • Four large eggs;
  • Four slices of bread, toasted;
  • Two Nardello peppers (substitute approximately half of a sweet bell pepper), chopped into small pieces;
  • Six cherry tomatoes, chopped;
  • Half a fresh, red Cayenne pepper from our garden, finely chopped;
  • The leaves of a tiny sprig of fresh rosemary from our garden, finely chopped;
  • A splash of red wine vinegar;
  • 1 tablespoon of canola or olive oil (or butter... mmm) for cooking;
  • 1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise;
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
The process is rather simple once you get it (like it is for everything I make), but describing it without pictures makes it tough to get. Thus, this is going to be a photo journal of the process!

ripe Nardello sweet frying peppers Here are the Nardello peppers on the cutting board, getting ready for chopping. Aren't they pretty? Seriously, they are.

cooking down peppers and tomatoes for gourmet scrambled egg sandwichesOnce everything is chopped, I added it to a pan over medium-high heat and added salt and the vinegar. Usually I wait on the vinegar, but since tomatoes were involved, it was going to get very juicy anyway, so I went for it. Observe that if you added the eggs now, it would be sloppy. This is too wet, so it has to cook down for a few minutes.

cooked down tomatoes and peppers for gourmet scrambled egg sandwichesAfter cooking (with some occasional stirring) for a few minutes, much of the liquid has concentrated and evaporated, making the mix eggs-ready. At this point, I turn the heat down to just above low and let the pan cool for a moment before cracking the eggs directly into the pan. Once in, I salt them lightly and vigorously stir them around with a spatula, scrambling them in the pan and mixing them with the veggies. Then I turn the heat back up. Don't forget to do that... the result is not so good.

shaping gourmet scrambled egg sandwichesAhh, the action shot! This is the key to the whole process. As the eggs start to come together, use the spatula to push them into roughly the shape of two slices of bread, as shown (this is the hard part for people to get). It's not as hard as you might imagine. Lightly salt the top of the eggy rectangle when it's formed, and let it cook for a few minutes to really solidify. The bottom should be browning a little bit here. This is usually when I start toasting the bread. Make it a square and ignore the next step if you're only making one sandwich.

gourmet scrambled egg sandwiches flipped and cookingOnce it has cooked for a little bit and seems to be coming together rather nicely, use the spatula to cut it down the middle into two pieces. Scoot the spatula under the halves carefully and make sure it detaches from the pan (which really almost has to be nonstick). Flip each half and let them cook on the other side. Observe the beautiful, golden brown caramelization. That's good, not burned.

gourmet scrambled egg sandwiches on the bread and mayonnaise with Nardello peppers Charentais melon and teaOnce the wet side has had a chance to cook a little, slide the spatula under a half and deliver it onto the toast, which should have popped up by now. Mayonnaise is optional, but without it or some other kind of sauce, the sandwich will be quite dry. You could add other things like fresh veggies here if you wanted, but we usually don't. Close up the sandwich at this point and cut it in half. Then enjoy it.

Oh... and notice some of the cornucopia from our garden in the background of the last picture. There are real benefits to growing your own produce!

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