Eggs for dinner? Yes. They're not just for breakfast -- eggs work well in so many dishes, and they're so easy to prepare. (And no, you don't have to love "Pink Flamingos" or Edith Massey - the egg-loving mother in the John Waters film - to enjoy them any time of day.) Let us offer some suggestions.
If salad is your thing, look no further than Nancy Silverton for some great dinner ideas. In this layered creation, she combines the lettuce with toasted hazelnuts, crisp bacon, hard-cooked eggs and Gorgonzola cheese tossed with a bright sherry vinaigrette.
Sometimes there's nothing more comforting than a plate of eggs Benedict -- poached eggs nestled on top of Canadian bacon on a toasted muffin half and doused with rich Hollandaise. Pair it with a nice glass of wine, and it's a perfect way to end the day. Cheers!
RECIPES: 15 easy dinners - pasta, enchiladas, shrimp skewers, more
Even scrambled eggs work well at dinnertime. Gently cook them to a soft scramble, sprinkle over some chopped fresh herbs, and serve alongside some toasted baguette slices. It makes for a perfectly light main course, as Food editor Russ Parsons found with this simple recipe.
For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUTTER LETTUCE WITH NUTS, BACON, CHEESE, EGG AND SHERRY VINAIGRETTE
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 to 6
Note: Gorgonzola dolce is a sweeter type of Gorgonzola; it is available at cheese stores as well as select gourmet stores and well-stocked markets.
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the shallots, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if desired. This makes about one-third cup vinaigrette, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. Use the vinaigrette or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Salad and assembly
6 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
2 heads butter lettuce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 hard-cooked eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce
1. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Lay the bacon on a baking sheet and cook it until it's done but still chewy, not crisp, 17 to 22 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices. Remove the bacon from the oven and cut each strip into four pieces.
3. At the same time, scatter the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place them in the oven to toast until they are golden brown and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the hazelnuts and set them aside until they are cool enough to touch. Gather the hazelnuts into a clean dish towel and rub them together inside the towel to remove the skins. Place the hazelnuts in a small bowl, drizzle with the hazelnut oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss to coat the nuts with the seasoning.
4. Remove and discard any bruised or unappealing outer leaves from the lettuce heads. Break the remaining leaves off from the cores, putting them into a large, wide-mouthed bowl, and discard the cores. Season the lettuce with salt, drizzle with one-fourth cup of the vinaigrette and the lemon juice, and toss the lettuce with your hands to coat it with the dressing, gently massaging the seasonings into the leaves.
5. Slice the eggs with an egg slicer or a large sharp knife and lay the slices out on a cutting board. Sprinkle the egg slices with salt, grind a turn of pepper over each slice, and sprinkle with the chives.
6. To build 4 individual salads, place 2 of the largest leaves on the bottom of each of 4 plates, cupping one inside the other to create a bowl. Place 2 egg slices, 2 crumbled bits of the Gorgonzola and 2 pieces of bacon inside each "bowl." Place 2 lettuce leaves on top of the first layer and repeat, building 2 more layers just like the first, using medium-size leaves for the second layer and reserving the smallest leaves for the top. Alternatively, build the salad in the same style on one large platter and serve it family style.
Each of 6 servings: 347 calories; 16 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 179 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 743 mg sodium.
Total time: 20 minutes
Note: From "The Gourmet Cookbook, Volume 1"
4 egg yolks
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into three parts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Combine the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir in the cubes of butter, piece by piece, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as the last piece melts.
2. Add the lemon juice. Taste, season. If the sauce curdles, add a chip of ice and stir.
Eggs and assembly
12 strips Canadian bacon
6 English muffins
1. Grill the bacon, reserve in a warm oven. Split and toast the muffins (allowing for some more cooking while they stand). Reserve in a warm oven. Heat 6 plates in the oven.
2. Fill a broad-faced frying pan half full of water, and bring the water to a simmer. Carefully crack the eggs into the water a few at a time. Poach the eggs (3 minutes for soft runny eggs), trimming away any straggly whites. When the eggs are almost cooked, using a slotted spoon, remove them to warm water and continue poaching until all the eggs are done.
3. Arrange the muffin halves on plates. Cover each with a slice of bacon, then an egg, then a generous spoonful or two of hollandaise sauce. Serve with well-drained, steamed spinach and a good Chardonnay.
Each serving: 550 calories; 30 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 34 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 634 mg. cholesterol; 1,111 mg. sodium
CREAMY SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH FINES HERBES
Total time: 25 minutes
3/4 teaspoon minced herbs, from a mixture of fresh tarragon, parsley, chives and chervil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes, divided
4 slices hot toasted and buttered baguette
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat briskly with a fork to break them up and homogenize them. There should be no trace of white remaining. Beat in half the fresh herb mixture and the salt and stir in about 1 tablespoon of the cubed butter.
2. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When it is warm, pour in the egg mixture and stir briskly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, scraping the bottom and sides to make sure the egg doesn't set too quickly. If you feel the cooking is going too quickly, remove the pan from the heat for a moment or two, stirring constantly, then return it.
3. After a couple of minutes, the butter will be melted and the eggs will have begun to thicken into a creamy sauce. Add the remaining cold butter in 2 or 3 portions, continuing to stir briskly. When the eggs are thick but not yet set, arrange the hot toast on warm plates (and let your partner know dinner is seconds away).
4. The moment the eggs begin to set firmly (they will still be slightly creamy), spoon them over the toast, season with just a little black pepper and the remaining fresh herbs and serve immediately. These must be eaten hot to be appreciated fully.
Each serving: 412 calories; 16 grams protein; 17 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 31 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 428 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 581 mg sodium.
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