Eggs aren’t just for breakfast. They are delicious served many ways, any time of day. You might enjoy this delicious healthy mix that takes no time at all to make.

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Start by sweating chopped onions or shallots in hot unsalted butter. Careful not to brown. Sprinkle with fresh thyme or LiteHouse fresh freeze-dried thyme that refreshes when in moisture. A few grinds of fresh black pepper brings all the flavours up a notch.

Use whole small white button mushrooms and quickly stir-fry in unsalted butter, once over lightly. You want to keep the texture. Rubbery mushrooms are not attractive or tasty. No salt yet. Sprinkle your favourite herbs and add a small dab of your golden oven-roasted garlic puree from your sterilized glass refrigerated jar.

Add finely chopped mixed colours of fresh crispy bell peppers. Again, just once over lightly. Remember you can freeze bell peppers so you always have some available. I prefer to freeze larger pieces so there is less flesh exposure. Chop when ready to use.

You could add drained tinned popped roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and/or popped plain pan-fried roasted capers to take the dish up a notch. Or add chopped green pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives or even tinned, drained chopped sweet black olives.

You might enjoy adding ready-cooked small salad shrimps or even crunchy chopped drained tinned tasty water chestnuts.

In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk however many eggs you need – can be three or four or a dozen. Adjust other ingredient ratios accordingly.

Add whisked eggs to the hot sauté mix, lower the heat substantially and using a heatproof spatula move the eggs around like scrambled eggs until just barely cooked and still moist. Scatter with sweet paprika, a tiny dash of nutmeg grains, minced basil and parsley and just a little sea salt finishing flakes. The kitchen aroma is intoxicating. Now’s the time to splash on a few drops of your favourite spirits. Cognac works particularly well; doesn’t change the wonderful flavour mix, just brightens it. The bouquet from Asbach Uralt is special.

Remember the eggs will continue to cook in their own heat once removed from the sauté pan.

Drizzle just a teaspoon of my special vinegar dressing (see below) over the finished dish and serve immediately with buttered toast points.

Gentle hot jalapeño oil and citrus vinegar salad dressing

Start by using your jar of gentle hot jalapeño oil at hand. Pour a cup of the jalapeño Mazola Corn Oil into a mason jar. Add a cup of any fresh squeezed (not store-bought) citrus juice: orange or grapefruit, lime. Add 3/4 cup of your favourite balsamic vinegar, white or red.

Add a small dab of your homemade oven-roasted golden garlic puree from your sterilized refrigerated glass jar.

Sprinkle minced basil, parsley and a pinch of lemon thyme. Add a little minced homemade candied citrus rind from your pantry sugar jar. Grind fresh pepper and add a flutter of sea salt finishing flakes. Shake the covered jar or pulse with your handheld mixer stick until emulsified.

Store, refrigerated until ready to use. This dressing travels well in a cooled sterilized thermos if you are planning a picnic.

Rinse your salad greens well under running hot water. Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel. Refrigerate in crisper and pack the cloth-wrapped greens in a plastic bag, keeping the greens crispy fresh until ready to serve.

Pack all your utensils and napkins and other odds and ends for the picnic in a large wooden salad bowl in a plastic bag for easy return pack-up, along with tossing spoons, for transport. Remember to take along a rubber spatula. Pour the salad dressing in the bottom of the bowl when you arrive at your destination. Let sit, covered with a tea towel. Topple greens into the bowl but do not mix yet with the dressing. Toss only when ready to serve.

Spritz the ready-to-eat salad with Bacardi Lime to highlight all the flavours. Or add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Poke a hole or two in the top of the lemon so you can bring the rest of the lemon back home.

If you have fresh chopped cucumber ready to add to your salad, spritz the cucumber first with Hendricks Gin, for a flavour uptake.

A scrambled supper

Start by brushing a tiny bit of Mazola Corn Oil into a large-pocket muffin tin. You could brush with just a drizzle of avocado oil.

Using a Boston bibb lettuce leaf, split so you can make a base cup in each pocket. Layer thin slices of lox in the bottom and sides of each pocket on top of the lettuce leaf. Fill each pocket with fresh wobbly moist scrambled eggs mounded to over fill the pocket.

Chop a very fresh green tomato into brunoise or run the tomato down the large hole side of a box grater onto a plate so you have only the skin in your hand. Top the egg-filled pocket with the fresh tomato. Sprinkle flakes of Amagansett sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

You might like to add a dab of sour cream on top just when ready to eat. Decorate with a generous deep-fried crisp battered sage leaf from your pantry jar, standing, poked into the egg filling.

Alternate: Fill the lettuce salmon pocket with my special Waldorf salad made with apples, walnuts and my warm blue cheese dressing.

You could fill the pocket with orecchiette pasta shells salad made with chopped tuna as pocket filling on the lettuce lox. Top with a poached egg and hollandaise.

This (pictured) egg mix has mushrooms (absolutely do not overcook the mushrooms; they should still have natural-bite crunch), peppers, onions, crispy bacon pieces, a dab of my homemade golden garlic purée (just heightens the other flavours) and grated parmesan cheese. You might consider filling a flat soup plate, lined with lettuce and lox for a generous supper meal served with buttered toast soldiers; use a compound butter coin from your compound butter coin reserve. A drizzle of my special cooked mustard sauce over top makes an over the top supper for sure. Delicious!

You could serve to guests as a simple gourmet treat if you add chunks of lobster just when ready to serve. Very yum indeed!


© From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: It’s Just a Salad ~ but it’s no Ordinary Salad…  

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The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.

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