Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Soft scrambled eggs with feta, pine nuts and roasted broccoli

We had this dish at Barleyswine when we visited Austin last month. As is evident from the name, the chefs have a passion for beer and pork, but there is lots of other stuff to eat, and to drink as well. This dish was one of our favorites. Soft scrambling eggs slowly takes a little more effort than cooking them fast on high heat, but every once in a while it is worth it. They should be cooked with plenty of fat and are remind me of the bad old days when people thought that eggs were bad for you. This is a great brunch or supper dish and can be a nice main dish on Pesach during the week for those who feel that they aren't eating enough eggs.

The quantity below serves two, and it can be doubled or tripled in a larger pan. The keys to the success are almost constant stirring, low heat, and  making sure that all the toppings, the serving dish and plates are warm before combining and serving so that the eggs don't cool off.

Soft-scrambled eggs with feta, pine nuts, and roasted broccoli

  • Small head broccoli stem peeled and separated into long florets
  • Olive oil or olive oil spray
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper (ideally freshly ground white pepper, but black will do)
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts roasted lightly in a dry skillet
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs well in a bowl. Beat in cream and season with salt and pepper and leave at room temperature.
  3. Toss the broccoli with oil or spray it (why would you spray it when you are already using so much saturated fat?), put on a baking pan, sprinkle with coarse salt, and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Broil until brown and slightly charred but not burnt, about another 5 minutes.. Set aside in a warm place.
  5. Heat butter on low heat in a medium nonstick skillet until melted.
  6. Add the beaten eggs and cook on low heat, stirring constantly. One you get the hang of holding them, two pairs of chopsticks work perfectly for this, breaking up the curds into small pieces. If you don't trust me on the chopsticks, you can use a whisk instead, a regular whisk with a conventional skillet or a plastic one in nonstick.
  7. Meanwhile, set oven on the lowest setting, and put in  your serving plates, feta,  nuts and sour cream in separate heat-proof dishes.
  8. Keep stirring the eggs, moving them around the skillet so they don't stick. The texture should be similar to that of a soft risotto.
  9. When still very soft and slightly runny, mix in the sour cream and half of the pine nuts and feta.
  10. Turn the eggs into the serving dish, and top with the remaining feta and then the pine nuts. Arrange the broccoli around the eggs, sticking the base of the florets under the eggs. If you have an extra floret, stick it in the center of the dish.  Next time I make this I will include a picture to this posting.
  11. Serve immediately to two on warmed plates. Great with fresh baguette, whole grain toast, or matzah.

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