by Sheridan Lane, interim director, LLCC culinary program and operations
It’s that time of year — back to school or bust! If your mornings have returned to general chaos, and your pocketbook is empty having traded your hard earned dollars for folders, notebooks, colored pencils and the latest trends in fashion for the under 18 crowd, consider simple, delicious breakfasts made at home in minutes for a fraction of the cost of running through the drive through on the way to school or work. Behold the power of what we call in my family, “the stirred egg!”
Our bodies need protein packed breakfasts to help us power through busy days, and eggs pack in roughly 6 grams of protein and only 75 calories. Eggs are relatively cheap, fast to make, and can be the springboard for all kinds of morning creations. Better yet, get the kids involved in making their own specialty stirred eggs while you take a moment to relax with that second cup of coffee. To make the morning magic all you need are some simple ingredients:
Non stick spray (I prefer the olive oil spray for my egg breakfasts.)
Salt & pepper
Using a microwave safe container (a small coffee mug works well too), quickly spray the inside with non-stick spray; crack 1 egg into the container, add 1 tablespoon milk, a pinch of salt and pepper, and using a fork, mix up your egg.
Then, stir in fun ingredients using different combinations each morning for fast omelet-like creations.
Once you have added your desired ingredients, pop your stirred egg into the microwave for approximately 1 minute.
The stir-ins can be simple or gourmet, but the set-up is key.
Each Sunday, I take about 10 minutes to prepare a week’s worth of ready-to-stir-in items. I have found that storing small containers inside a cheap, dollar store “plastic shoe box” is a great way to keep them from roaming around in the refrigerator.
The French term professional kitchens use for this process is called “mise en place,” meaning everything in its place. In one fell swoop, I can pull the box out of the fridge, open the lid, and my ready prepped ingredients can be quickly stirred into my egg a teaspoon at a time
(Note: use a different utensil to scoop ingredients than the one you are stirring your egg with to keep your ingredients safe from harmful bacteria, and because of the short cooking time of the stirred egg, all stir-in ingredients should be ready to eat prior to stirring into your egg. For example, precook your sausage, render your bacon, etc.).
For example, my box might contain a small container of chopped onions, leftover black beans, leftover corn that I cut off the ear, fresh herbs rinsed and ready for tearing apart, chopped green peppers, and shredded or crumbled cheese. While I am listing some favorite combinations here, let your mind be creative and get making your favorite versions of this quick and powerful breakfast treat. Buen provecho!
Stirred Egg Variations
Spinach, garlic, bacon & Gruyere
Tomatoes, jalapenos, onions & black beans, with Monterrey jack
Peppers, onions, ham & cheddar
Pesto with cherry tomatoes & mozzarella
Zucchini, feta, onions & a pinch of dried oregano
Fresh dill, smoked salmon, with fresh goat cheese
Want to know more?
Lincoln Land Community College offers associate degree programs in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management and academic credit certificates in Hospitality Supervisor, Hospitality Professional, Culinary Manager, First Cook and Baking/Pastry. For more information call 217-786-4613 or visit www.llcc.edu/hospitality-culinary-arts.