Robin Anish | The Table is Set: The wonderful, versatile egg ...

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Eggs bring out the foodie in me.

As long as I have eggs in my refrigerator, I know I can always whip up a delicious and satisfying meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

No food is more useful than eggs. They are the basis of endless recipes. Eggs can be fried, scrambled, boiled, baked, poached or pickled. They are essential in providing rise and richness to pastries, cakes and cookies not to mention souffles, custards and meringues. And there would be no hollandaise with which to nap perfectly poached eggs for eggs Benedict or luscious, light as air Sabayon that requires nothing more than a bit of sugar, sweet wine and egg yolks.

My favorite cookbook is simply titled, "Eggs," by Michel Roux. It's a passionate presentation of information all about eggs and fabulous recipes with eggs as the main ingredient. I highly recommend it.

Eggs for dinner are my comfort food. They make for an inexpensive, quick meal with plenty of hearty, savory egg dishes that fill the bill.

Often, a simple herb and cheese omelet and a green salad is all I require, but sometimes I go for saucy and spicy, like Mexican huevos rancheros or this version of Shakshuka, a classic North African dish.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add onion and bell peppers. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add jalapeno pepper, garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. Cook 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes and their juices, season with salt and pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes.
  6. With the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce, gently crack eggs into the sauce.
  7. Season eggs with salt and pepper.
  8. Sprinkle with feta and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with cilantro.
  10. Serve with warm pita or a crusty bread.
  11. Coriander and cinnamon are not necessarily essential to the dish but add a wonderful exotic flavor. Dried oregano or fresh basil would also be a nice variation to the dish.

One more recommendation: Jacque Pepin to me is a culinary treasure. If you are a cook who appreciates good technique, do an internet search for Jacque Pepin's famous omelet technique video and learn how technique can yield two different omelets, the classic French and a rustic type, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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