Crispy eggs. And everything else.
We’re in the midst of packing Miss Chelsea’s car for its long journey ahead.
Her VW will board a moving truck tomorrow, take a week to make its way across the dusty winding roads of America, and like its owner, show up ready to soak up the California sun.
Thankfully, Dom, Chels and I will board an aircraft, take 6 hours to make our way across the baby blue skies of America, and show up ready to help the rooting begin.
As is customary for big moves, Chelsea’s final week home has been met with many arrivedercis. Friends and family have made their way to say good-bye and wish her well, sometimes more than once. Her two best pals even figured out how to wiggle in a third goodbye. During one of her goodbyes, as Chels was getting ready to meet Meg and Danielle for a goodbye lunch (to soon be followed by a goodbye HS marching band practice viewing, for old-times sake) I made myself a crispy egg.
I’d like to tell you that this dish met my expectation of taking my mind off all the goodbyes.
It did not.
But I got a nice meal out of it. And hey, if I gotta eat, why not eat something that looks like a chip?
What you’re seeing here is the bottom of a crispy egg. What’s prettier than that?
And what’s better than a crispy runny egg set atop perfectly wilted baby spinach neatly tucked into a ring of hot tomato oil?
Oh yes – a dash of fresh gremolata. That’s what’s better.
It’s in the layering of flavors and accumulation of textures that makes this dish a winner.
There’s a very good chance it’ll be making its way to the table a few more times in the next couple days. Yep, I see it happening. (Tonight’s the marching band goodbye…)
It’s very simple really, as long as you pay close attention when your pan gets blazing hot. Once your tomato oil and gremolata are prepped and ready, you’ll take two minutes to wilt the greens in a splash of olive oil dotted with minced garlic. Once the greens are perfectly wilted and the color of emeralds, remove from the pan and set aside. Pour another tiny splash of olive oil, get your pan screaming hot, add the egg and watch the fireworks begin. There’ll be more sounds coming from that pan than from the sky on the 4th of July. Don’t be afraid to let the egg go until you see the edges curl up and take the shape and color of your favorite kettle chip. Once finished, rest the egg on the greens. Drizzle tomato oil around the plate. Sprinkle gremolata over top. Butter a piece of crusty bread. Pour yourself a cup of joe. And call it comfort.
With only a few more days at home, we’ll be leaving this weekend by way of Boston (Hey, Luc!), I’ll be taking a short break from Ciao Chow to focus on my chiclets and all the nesting that is about to ensue.
Good luck to everyone whose children are beginning pre-school, beginning kindergarten, beginning college, beginning careers away from home. And although these crispy eggs won’t do anything to lessen the sting of goodbye…
…eat them anyway.
- Hot Tomato Oil
- ½ cup olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
- Wilted Greens
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large bunch baby spinach (5 oz.)
- Crispy Egg
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 extra large egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- When making the hot tomato oil, place olive oil and sliced garlic in a large pan over medium heat.
- Cook the garlic until it just begins to brown.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar, Sriracha and red pepper flakes.
- Bring to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or longer, enough time to let the flavors meld.
- Stir continuously. When finished, remove from heat and set aside.
- For the gremolata, zest the lemon into a small bowl and mince one clove of garlic.
- Add garlic and parsley into bowl with the zest. Set aside.
- For the greens, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until just golden.
- Add cleaned spinach to the pan.
- Using tongs, toss until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from pan and keep warm.
- To the same pan, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
- When pan is piping hot, add egg.
- Cook until bottom is browned and crunchy looking.
- Place wilted greens in center of a plate.
- Top with egg.
- Drizzle tomato oil around the greens and sprinkle egg with gremolata.