Thursday, 8 August 2013

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

I'm such a fan of fancy egg dishes. How can something so banal and work-a-day be so delicious? Oh and they're really easy to cook and really cheap. This one is zippily jazzed-up with fresh spices and veggies - and I kid you not, would be as good as a fancy dinner party starter as a breakfast in bed.

The key is to cook some of the ingredients a lot, some a bit and some not at all. I fry chorizo first to leach out its paprika and garlicky oils, then I stew onions for the longest time to bring out their natural sweetness, then add sweet peppers, tomatoes and courgettes for a short time to retain their crunch and colour; then add fresh chillies and coriander leaves at the very end for their incandescent freshness and zing.

You can really go to town with a recipe like this one - maybe fiddle with the ingredients to come up with a dish from other regions. I reckon tiny lamb koftes...

[KOFTE RECIPE: 200g minced lamb, half an onion, minced, 1 clove of garlic minced, 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried mint, dried chilli flakes, paprika, cumin powder, coriander seed powder, powdered cinnamon, salt and pepper, handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped. Mix all ingredients together and form into 2cm diameter kofta balls]

...instead of chorizo would make an unbelievable Middle Eastern style egg dish. Fab. Or seafood - change the chorizo for prawns and swap the coriander and chilli for parsley and peas - Paella Scrambled Eggs! Double fab.

Anyway, this type of dish is always well received. The only thing to really make sure you do is cook the eggs as little as possible by scrambling them very quickly in a very hot pan, and then serving them straight away on heated plates. By doing that, you won't end up with a puddle of watery condensation on your plate (the scourge of the average scrambled egg).

Cost-wise, my version comes in at £2.50 per serving - but your costing will depend on how extravagant your own ingredients are.

Serves 2 (very generously)


200g chorizo
1 onion, coarsley chopped
1 red sweet pepper, cut into 1cm dice
1 small courgette, cut into 1cm dice
1 large tomato, de-seeded, cut into 1 cm dice
6 eggs, beaten
3-4 fresh red chillies, cut into rings
Handful of fresh coriander leaves, torn

In a very hot dry pan, fry the chorizo until soft but not too coloured. Add the onion and cook until soft, then add the rest of the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes until they have lost their rawness, but are not cooked through, then add the eggs and cook quickly (no more than 2 minutes). Remove from the pan onto heated plates (v v v important) and then garnish with the chillies and coriander leaves. Serve IMMEDIATELY.

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