paige_eliz, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
paige_eliz, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

9 Dishes An Egg Can Really Elevate

paige_eliz, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
paige_eliz, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

You might be a wizard with the egg skillet, able to scramble and fry and poach with the best of them. But have you ever tried an egg on top of a pizza, or cooked inside of a baked potato? It turns out the egg is even more versatile than we thought, adding protein and a little culinary oomph to a variety of unexpected dishes. Here are just a few.   

1. PIZZA

These days, pizza for breakfast means more than just a cold slice from the night before. Stoneburner in Seattle features a breakfast pizza topped with porchetta and sunny-side-up eggs, while New York’s Rossopomodoro offers an individual pie topped with buffalo mozzarella, pecorino, and two fried eggs for brunch. You could try recreating either of these recipes, or do as Smitten Kitchen advises: Roll out some dough, sprinkle mozzarella cheese, green onions, shallots, and some cooked bacon bits on top, and then crack an egg (or three) over everything and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

2. COCKTAILS

Kevin O'Mara, Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Americans actually have a long and proud history of adding an egg to their libations. The Colonists enjoyed Sack Posset, a hot dessert-drink made with cream, nutmeg, wine, and eggs. In 19th and early 20th century New Orleans, a foamy drink called a Ramos Fizz (a riff on the gin fizz) was all the rage. Today, restaurants like FIG in Charleston are mixing egg whites in with a variety of sophisticated cocktails like the Chartreuse Fizz, made with rum, lime, egg white, and jasmine bitters [PDF].

3. BURGERS

Add a fried or sunny-side-up egg to a hamburger, and you’ve got instant brunch fare. Restaurants across the country have caught on and gotten pretty creative with their selections. L.A’s Plan Check serves up a cheeseburger with bacon, a runny egg, and hot sauce, while the Peached Tortilla in Austin offers a 6-ounce beef burger topped with fried egg, tempura onion strips, and Chinese BBQ sauce [PDF]. If you’re cooking at home, try making an egg-in-the-hole burger by hollowing out the hamburger patty and cooking the egg inside.

4. Spaghetti

Although it may sound odd, adding a poached egg on top of spaghetti with marinara sauce (or even cooking it in with the sauce itself) is something chefs swear by. If you’re skeptical, or refuse to sully grandma’s time-honored marinara, try this highly rated recipe from Mark Bittman that mixes spaghetti noodles with a sauce of fried eggs, garlic, olive oil and cheese.

5. PULLED PORK

It seems downright dangerous to meddle with a southern favorite like this, but throwing in an egg can add indulgence without detracting from that tangy, meaty flavor. Try a fried egg as a sandwich topper, or do away with the bun entirely and wrap pork, sauce, and egg together in a tortilla. For a lighter take, try this recipe for pulled pork and egg lettuce wraps. And if you’re ever in Nashville, stop by Acme Feed & Seed for a pulled pork, egg and bean dish known simply as Damn Good.

6. Soups

Bobbi Bowers, Flickr// CC BY-ND 2.0

Ramen fans are no stranger to dropping a hard-boiled egg in with their noodles and broth. And it turns out, an egg is a welcome addition to many other soups. Slide a poached egg on top of potato and kale soup and let the runny yolk create a creamy broth. Or if you’re up for a challenge, tackle this Martha Stewart recipe for homemade tomato soup with a poached egg. If French onion soup is your thing, try a fried egg on top next time.

7. TACOS

Scrambled egg tacos are a Mexican tradition that’s easy to make at home. Use the eggs as the main protein along with cilantro, corn and salsa—or spread over top of chorizo or seasoned pork. Mario Batali has a recipe for eggs and black bean tacos that’s super cheap to make, while Martha Stewart recommends cooking salsa with the eggs for a spicy scramble.

8. SALAD

esimpraim, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

According to a recent study, adding an egg to your salad can increase your body’s absorption of nutrients from the vegetables. How? Researchers believe lipids inside the yolk are key to upping the intake, and that fats found in salad dressing can further increase absorption. Spinach and frisée salads are ideal for poached or fried eggs. The same goes for an asparagus salad. And then of course there’s always the tried-and-true hardboiled egg on the side.

9. BAKED POTATO

There are numerous ways to approach this one. You could make the ingenious breakfast hack known as an Idaho Sunrise by cooking an egg, cheese, and bacon inside a hollowed-out potato skin. Or, try the same ingredients atop a twice-baked potato. If you’re counting calories, a fried egg and some pepper should do the trick. There’s really no way to go wrong with a dish that’s made to be decked-out with toppings.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Health
Toddlers Are Now Eating as Much Added Sugar as Adults
iStock
iStock

We know excessive amounts of added sugar can lurk in foods ranging from ketchup to juices to “health foods” like protein bars. We also know Americans get too much of it, often consuming up to 19 teaspoons daily, exceeding the American Heart Association’s recommended limit of 6 to 9 teaspoons a day. That adds up to 66 ill-advised pounds of the stuff per year.

A new study that came out of the American Society for Nutrition’s conference last week demonstrates an even more alarming trend: Toddlers are eating nearly as much sugar every day as is recommended for adults.

The study, which was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined survey data collected between 2011 and 2014 for 800 kids aged 6 to 23 months. Based on parental reporting of their food intake, the tiny subjects between 12 and 18 months old took in an average 5.5 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Older kids, aged 19 to 23 months, consumed 7.1 teaspoons. That’s at or near the recommended intake for a fully grown adult.

In addition to health risks including weight gain and reduced immune system function, sugar-slurping babies stand a greater chance of carrying that craving with them into adulthood, where complications like diabetes and heart problems can be waiting. The AHA recommends that parents avoid giving their kids sweetened drinks and snacks and look out for creative nutritional labels that disguise sugar with words like “sucrose” or “corn sweetener.”

[[h/t Quartz]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
science
Science Has a Good Explanation For Why You Can't Resist That Doughnut
iStock
iStock

Unless you’re one of those rare people who doesn’t like sweets, the lure of a glazed or powdered doughnut is often too powerful to resist. The next time you succumb to that second or third Boston cream, don’t blame it on weak willpower—blame it on your brain.

As the New Scientist reports, a Yale University study published in the journal Cell Metabolism provides new evidence that foods rich in both carbohydrates and fats fire up the brain’s reward center more than most foods. For the study, volunteers were shown pictures of carb-heavy foods (like candy), fatty foods (like cheese), and foods high in both (like doughnuts). They were then asked to bid money on the food they wanted to eat most, all while researchers measured their brain activity.

Not only were volunteers willing to pay more for doughnuts and similar foods, but foods high in carbs and fat also sparked far more activity in the striatum, the area of the brain where dopamine is released. (Chocolate is one of the foods most commonly associated with increases in dopamine, working in the same way as drugs like cocaine and amphetamines.)

Presented with these findings, researcher Dana Small theorized that the brain may have separate systems to assess fats and carbs. Modern junk foods that activate both systems at once may trigger a larger release of dopamine as a result.

This study doesn’t entirely explain why different people crave different foods, though. Much of it has to do with our habits and the foods we repeatedly gravitate towards when we want to feel happy or alleviate stress. Another study from 2015 found that certain treats associated with high levels of reward in the brain—like pizza, chocolate, chips, and cookies—were considered to be the most addictive foods (doughnuts didn’t make the top 20, though).

It's still possible to turn down foods that are bad for you, though. While many people try to improve their self-control, one of the most effective ways to avoid an undesired outcome is to remove the temptation completely. Free doughnuts in the break room? Stay far away.

[h/t New Scientist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios