Holy egg dish, it’s been a while since I last posted! Life has been like an agility course this past year. Jump through this hoop. And THIS one! Now spin around! Wait…wait…think fast! Catch the spiky ball of doom—WAIT! Don’t catch the spiky ball of doom! I had a rough go this past year—radiation, starting a cancer drug, and working through some pain that lingered from fall to spring. Food didn’t taste good, and pain prevented me from doing many of the things I love, like yoga, and cooking, etc, etc, etc… Cancer’s a son of a blankity blank that tries to bewitch your brain into thinking that you can’t enjoy your life as much, but that’s a lie!
I’ve had to become as adaptable as one of those crazy angler fish deep in the sea. No light?!? I’ll create my own to lure you into my creepy teeth (okay, maybe sans the teeth). I now do what my friend Carol calls “Jenny Morgenthaler yoga”. It’s the buffet method of vinyasa flow, where you plop your hiney on a yoga mat, and you only do the really yummy poses. The rest of the time, you sit and imagine doing that perfect handstand or crow with a dazed half smile on your face that says “I do what I want!”.
My cooking style has had to adapt to my ever-morphing taste buds. At first, I was a little paralyzed. WHAT? My spice tolerance has gone down to practically zero?! Spicy food consumption used to be my badge of honor! Challenges in life force us to either adapt or roll over, and so do challenges in the kitchen! My lack of spice tolerance has led me to discover new flavor combinations I would have overlooked before. Life without challenge doesn’t require any creative finagling, and creative finagling is the key to inventing and living in new ways.
My gateway dish back to creating in the kitchen again was these egg cups. I found a version on marthastewart.com, and I was so seduced by the fanciness, I just had to give them a try. Any sauteéd veggies would work in this application. I used green onions and sweet peppers, and topped the whole thing with smoked salmon. I’m not as much of a fan of “fluffy” breakfasts. You know, those sweet pastry-centered things that are definitely delicious, but leave you with nothing but a sugar spike, then brain fog. My favorite breakfasts have some substance, not just a pretty face. This one has a combination of sautéed veggies, smoky salmon, and golden hash browns which are the perfect way to mop up the egg yolk. I hope you enjoy this version, and that it will inspire you to develop your own combinations of ingredients.
I’ll end with the wisdom of my friend, the egg: when life cracks you open, let your sunny side help you discover delicious new possibilities!
Denver Omelet Cups with Smoked Salmon
These egg cups look complicated, but come together simply. The only tricky step is removing them from the pan in one piece. If your muffin tin isn’t nonstick, use muffin cup liners so that the potato mixture doesn’t stick. If making without liners, be sure to thoroughly butter each muffin cup. Once you’ve removed them from the tins, you’re home free! Chow down and feel fancy!
For the potato cups:
- 1 large russet potato, peeled, about 1 pound
- one egg white
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons butter (or vegan butter), melted, plus extra for greasing the pan
- salt and black pepper to taste
For the filling and topping:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chopped veggies (I used 4 green onions, and about 1 1/2 cups finely chopped sweet peppers)
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces smoked salmon, flaked into small pieces
Preheat oven to 475˚F. Grate the potato and place in the middle of a clean lint-free dish towel. Squeeze as much moisture from the shredded potato as possible. Transfer the potato to a medium bowl, and add the egg white, olive oil, melted butter, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Grease 4 muffin tins thoroughly with butter (about 1/4 teaspoon per tin). Place a half a cup of shredded potato into each cup. With your hands, firmly press and sculpt a layer of shredded potato into the bottom and sides of each tin to form a cup. Bake for 15 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan until hot. Add the green onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.
Place a rounded teaspoon of sautéed veggies into each potato cup. Crack an egg into each cup and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes (yolks will still be runny at 10 minutes, and partially set at around 13 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly. Run a butter knife around the edges of each potato cup to loosen them and remove from the pan. Garnish with the green onion, remaining sautéed veggies and smoked salmon and serve immediately.