Monday, October 22, 2018

The McFerrin: Eggs, Potatoes, and More

The McFerrins ready to hit the road.
A while back my fellow farmers market enthusiast and blogger, Askans, wondered on Twitter why there weren't more recipes affiliated with farmers markets information. I'm paraphrasing him a bit, but essentially his idea was that if we want people to shop at farmers markets, they need to know what to do with the items they purchase. 

Over the years, I've posted a number of different recipes that use seasonal ingredients. They often came from my own garden or the farm where I helped out in Tokyo. The recipes were either my own creative concoction or taught to me by neighbors, friends, or farmers. I've enjoyed making them all and look forward to them as the seasons come in turn.

The following recipe is the first in a series aimed at helping people find a use for all those wonderful things they see at the markets. Made for us and subsequently taught to me by a Canadian family of five on the last bit of their year-long, round-the-world trip, I call it the McFerrin. It can be made year-round and with just about anything you have in the refrigerator or market bag. At home, pre-bike-tour-life, they made it in the oven and gave it a nice topping of shredded cheese near the end. I don't have an oven, so I just make it on the stove top.

The McFerrin

4-5 eggs
3 Tbsp. milk*
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 small potatoes or sweet potatoes, sliced somewhat thinly
1 sliced carrot, head of broccoli, or whatever veg you have on hand
130 grams salmon or other fish (no bones!), tofu, sausage, ham, etc.**
Handful of chopped spinach or other greens
Salt and pepper and other herbs and spices to taste

Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and other spices together in a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a frying pan and lightly saute meat, fish, or tofu. The aim is to cook it a bit so you're not eating raw or half-warm/half-cooked protein in what is an otherwise delightfully hot dish. Remove from pan and set aside.

Let the layering begin.
Layer bottom of pan with potatoes. Cook until they soften a bit Layer in other items and pour the egg-milk mixture over the top. I tend to let things settle down some and then fiddle with the egg edges a bit. I lift it up to help the egg mixture move about and cook, and to make sure things aren't sticking to the bottom.

Ready for the egg!
Once I'm satisfied that the egg is setting nicely and the middle is cooking, I put the lid on the top and let it ride on low heat for about 10 minutes or so. This can vary and should be monitored. Believe you me, it is possible to burn the bottom.

With the egg to hold it all together.
It is also possible at this point to cut it into fourths and flip the pieces. This isn't easy and, depending on the thickness of your layers, may not be necessary. However, while making a recent version of this, I got a bit carried away with my amounts and had to flip it.

Cooking away!

When the egg is set and the middle cooked, serve it up!

Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to increase the amounts. The McFerrins made two pans of this when they were visiting us, and one was double the size of the pan pictured here.

If the middle doesn't set or the ingredients seem cold, never fear. Plop it back in the pan and heat it more. If it doesn't look picture perfect, don't fret. I always say that a messy meal is a tasty meal.

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