It's the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we're hungry. Like, "can't-think-straight" hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner's Ready, her monthly column on weeknight wonders, she shares three simple, flavor-packed recipes that are connected by a single idea or ingredient. Stick with Emily, and you'll have a good dinner on the table in no time. Today, Emily shows us how to make wholly creative dinners out of the incredible egg.
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When I think of weeknight dinner superheroes, no food comes closer than eggs. They're nutritious, filling, inexpensive, and versatile. They come to our rescue when we haven't planned ahead. They can transform a side dish into a complete meal, be a meal themselves, or take even days-old leftovers to new heights. (The "put an egg on it" mantra has saved the day in my house about a gazillion-and-one times during the last year alone.)
But I'll be honest — as much as I rely on eggs for quick dinners for my family, I'm pretty unadventurous. My routine goes something like this: Fry eggs over-easy and perch them on top of a salad or whatever leftovers we're having, or blanket them with melty cheese and sandwich between mayo-slathered slices of toast — maybe with sliced avocado or bacon if we're feeling fancy. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate these no-recipe standbys, but many nights I want something a little more put together and satisfying.
So for this month's column, I challenged myself to come up with three hearty, dinner-worthy egg recipes that go beyond my usual fried egg routine — ones where eggs are center stage, can satisfy a hungry brood, and come together easily any night of the week.
For starters, I wanted to highlight eggs' range — from soft-boiled to baked to whisked and sizzled. Each meal needed to be riffable and rely on pantry and long-lasting ingredients — because, despite my old (pre-pandemic) ways, I'm not down for running to the grocery store on a Tuesday night. Lastly, I sought bold, bright and lively flavors — for preparations distinctly different from standard breakfast and brunch fare.
Below are the three recipes I came up with that happily expanded my egg horizons and left me wondering, "where have these been all my life?" They're meals I'm now happily planning for, not just defaulting to, on weary weeknights. And while they're hearty and satisfying enough to stand alone at the dinner table, they're convenient and — well, eggy enough — to shake up morning and midday routines, too.
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This is not your usual egg salad. Here, the eggs are whisked, seasoned with lemon zest and Parmesan, and cooked in a pool of olive oil — then torn into bite-sized pieces and nestled up with toasted farro and fresh, springy ingredients. (The technique is similar to the thin omelettes found throughout Asian cuisines that are flash-cooked in a wok or skillet on one side, then torn or cut into strips or noodles.) It's a vibrant, meal-worthy salad I can't get enough of, and leftovers hold up for days.
In this play on huevos rotos (a fried egg, potato, and chorizo dish found in taverns throughout Spain), a sheet pan's large surface area results in a mostly hands-off dinner that easily feeds a family of four. It's hard not to fall for the ultra-caramelized coins of chorizo, the tender, spiced potatoes, and the crispy-edged greens — but the eggs, which cook quickly and evenly in the oven's high heat, are the crowning jewels.
This cozy, flavorful dinner takes its inspiration from Brazilian moqueca, a hearty seafood stew I turn to every year during Lent. In this weeknight, vegetarian-friendly spin, jammy-yolked eggs stand in for the seafood and are the perfect complement to a creamy, mildly spiced coconut-tomato sauce fragrant from lime. Mound over rice, and eat like a king.