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The Egg Trilogy, Part I

At Lottie + Doof we’re aware that the economy has fallen apart. Everyone is concerned about the future and we’re all trying to be frugal. This is the first in a three part series aimed at helping you save money while continuing to eat pretty fantastic food.

Eggs are the official protein of 2009, says me. Even the most expensive eggs you’ll find are cheaper than buying meat or tofu. So, start off by finding some organic, drug-free, cage-free eggs. The best you can find. Even better if they are from your farm, or your neighbor’s farm, or a local farmer’s market. You might try to argue with me and say that eggs are eggs, but I promise they are not. I normally buy good eggs, fresh, organic, drug-free, but over the holidays I was desperate for eggs for some cookies I was making and bought a dozen conventional eggs at a nearby market. I gasped when I cracked the first one open! Why were the yolks pastel yellow? I am used to bright, almost neon orange/yellow, yolks. Yolk color has been tied to the diet and health of the chicken and the general consensus it that the bolder the yolk color the better the egg. The chickens are eating healthier food. So, look for good eggs. Even in these tough times I think it is worth the extra dollar or two to buy better eggs. Once you have the perfect eggs, it is time for dinner.

I found this recipe for an omelette filled with mustard croutons and cheese and it sounded too good to pass up. I don’t have the patience or skill for an omelette, but I thought this could also work as a scramble. I slowly scrambled some eggs and at the end added some delicious mustardy croutons and shredded Gruyère. The resulting dish was pretty delicious. I served it with an herb salad in vinaigrette dressing and a bowl of oranges. A really good, and affordable, dinner for two.

Eggs with Gruyère and Dijon Mustard Croutons (Adapted from the Zuni Cafe cookbook [1], which is amazing)

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Take the eggs out of the fridge.

Tear the bread into fluffy wads, about 3/4 inch and smaller. You’ll end up with about 2 1/2 cups.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, wine, mustard seeds, and lots of black pepper. Add the bread and toss well to coat. Salt to taste.

Spread the bread out on a sheet pan and toast for 10 minutes or until evenly browned on the outside and still chewy in the center. The smaller pieces will be totally crunchy and the larger pieces will still have a little chew left.

Scramble the eggs using your preferred method, just before the eggs set toss in the cheese and croutons and finish cooking. Serve immediately.

*** I used 3 whole eggs and 3 egg whites to make this a little healthier. I also added a tablespoon of milk to the eggs when I whisked them, which is what I always do for scrambled eggs. I also cook the eggs slowly over a very low flame. This recipe is easy to adapt to your tastes, I am sure that croutons could take on a variety of different seasonings and still be delicious.