Steaming and then browning mushrooms and potatoes delivers tender, flavorful vegetables for our scramble.
Scrambled Eggs with Potatoes and Harissa
SERVES 6 to 8 FAST VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS For a spicy take on scrambled eggs, we looked to North Africa for inspiration and decided to include hearty red potatoes and mushrooms and piquant harissa, a spice paste that is used throughout the region. To ensure that the mushrooms and potatoes were cooked through, we added them to the pan with some water and covered them so they would steam and tenderize. We then uncovered the pan to evaporate the liquid and brown the vegetables. Separately, we scrambled our eggs into large, airy curds, removing them from the heat just before they were done to ensure they didn’t overcook. A bit of harissa, drizzled on the finished eggs, gave the dish bold flavor. We prefer to use our homemade Harissa , but you can substitute store-bought harissa if you wish, though spiciness can vary greatly by brand.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small or quartered if large
½ onion, chopped fine
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
12 large eggs
2 tablespoons harissa, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add potatoes, mushrooms, onion, ½ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and potatoes are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; transfer to bowl and cover to keep warm.
2. Beat eggs, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons water together with fork in bowl until thoroughly combined and mixture is pure yellow; do not overbeat.
3. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add egg
mixture and, using heat-resistant rubber spatula, constantly and firmly scrape along bottom and sides of skillet until eggs begin to clump and spatula leaves trail on bottom of skillet, 1½ to 2 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to low and gently but constantly fold eggs until clumped and slightly wet, 30 to 60 seconds. Off heat, gently fold in potato mixture. Drizzle with harissa and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately, passing extra harissa separately.
Scrambled Eggs with Piperade
SERVES 6 to 8 VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS The pepper and tomato sauté known as piperade is a classic Spanish accompaniment to scrambled eggs. Piperade delivers richness, acidity, and tempered heat from a combination of fresh peppers, tomatoes, fragrant spices like paprika, and subtly spicy, fruity dried peppers. Since we had already perfected our scrambled egg technique, we focused our attention on achieving a great piperade. Tasters liked a combination of red bell peppers and Italian Cubanelle peppers for their sweetness and delicate fresh flavor. By using canned peeled tomatoes, we avoided chewy bits of tomato skin; draining the tomatoes of most of their juice kept the dish from being watery. Onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme offered aromatic complexity; a bit of sherry vinegar brought the flavors into focus. While in many piperade recipes the eggs are scrambled with the vegetable mixture, we found that the liquid from the produce caused the eggs to cook up stringy and wet rather than fluffy and creamy. We opted to cook the eggs separately and then plate the two elements alongside one another to preserve the clean yellow color of the eggs. We prefer to make this dish with Cubanelle peppers, which are chartreuse in color and look similar to banana peppers; if you can’t find them, you can substitute green bell peppers.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
3 Cubanelle peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with ¼ cup juice reserved, chopped coarse
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
12 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika, thyme, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bell peppers, Cubanelle peppers, and 1 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add tomatoes and reserved juice and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture appears dry and peppers are tender but not mushy, 10 to 12 minutes. Off heat, discard bay leaf. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to bowl and cover to keep warm.
3. Beat eggs, water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together with fork in bowl until thoroughly combined and mixture is pure yellow; do not overbeat.
4. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add egg mixture and, using heat-resistant rubber spatula, constantly and firmly scrape along bottom and sides of skillet until eggs begin to clump and spatula leaves trail on bottom of skillet, 1½ to 2 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to low and gently but constantly fold eggs until clumped and slightly wet, 30 to 60 seconds. Off heat, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve immediately with pepper mixture.