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Eggs are one of the most versatile foods in existence. Seriously, what other food is a quintessential building block of just about every baked good, can elevate a burger from meh to showstopping, is relatively inexpensive and has an entire meal based around the dozens and dozens of uses for it?
The simplest way to cook with eggs is to just scramble them up in a pan, but even an ingredient as uncomplicated as eggs can be completely transformed by the addition of a simple ingredient or two. We've tracked down some of the best ways to step up your egg game, be they scrambled, fried, poached or hard-boiled. You're going to have an egg-cellent time giving these unexpected ingredient pairings a try.
Potatoes and eggs are a match made in heaven, just look at any brunch menu across the country and there will be some sort of egg and potato entree option. But there's more to the classic combination than just home fries. Believe it or not, potato chips make a great addition to a plate of scrambled eggs. Sliced wafer-thin and fried crisp, potato chips of any variety will add a salty, crunchy flare to eggs — whether served on the side or crumbled on top — that you never knew they needed.
You've likely tried caramelized onions on a burger or on pizza before, but the sweet ingredient is unmatched when added to eggs. Because caramelized onions are umami-rich, they add a gourmet depth of flavor to the protein that's easy to achieve from the comfort of your home. Tuck them into an omelet, mix them into a frittata or add them to an egg sandwich.
Adding any sort of cream based ingredient to eggs is a great way to give them that cloud-like fluffiness that's so sought after. One way to achieve this is by adding one scoop of sour cream per one scrambled egg and whisking the mixture together in a pan until the eggs are cooked. Or, if you're making an omelette, you can use sour cream as a topping with some avocado and hot sauce for the perfect contrast of cool, salty and spicy flavors. Also, two words: breakfast. nachos.
Baking powder doesn’t affect the flavor of your eggs, but it does impact the texture. Double-acting baking powder releases carbon dioxide bubbles when it comes in contact with water and when it’s heated — that's why they call it double-acting. Mixing a small amount of baking powder (just one-eighth of a teaspoon per two large eggs) into your eggs before scrambling will result in eggs that are extra light and fluffy.
If you're hosting a Mother's Day brunch or if you're just in the mood to mix things up, try adding crab or lobster meat into your eggs. The salinity pairs perfectly with the flavor of eggs, and the end result is decidedly restaurant worthy. Both can also serve as the foundation for an incredible quiche, or a perfect eggs Benedict in lieu of Canadian bacon. Garnish with some chives and a dollop of creme fraiche.
Quinoa is one of the best foods for your gut health, and not only does it taste great, it’s also full of protein and complex carbs. Adding some cooked quinoa to a couple cracked eggs before scrambling is a great way to start off the day on a nutritious foot. You can also make a breakfast grain bowl with a base of quinoa topped with a poached egg and roasted veggies or avocado.
‘Nduja is a spicy, spreadable salami, and a tablespoon or two mixed into some eggs will give the dish a complex, meaty and spicy flare. You can find it in most Italian specialty markets.
Sure, pairing meat with eggs is nothing new — but usually it's in the form of bacon or sausage. However any ground meat, including beef, chicken and lamb, will also complement eggs nicely. Add the mixture to tacos with salsa and sour cream for a Mexican-inspired breakfast meal.
Don't throw away your bacon grease, instead store it in the fridge in an airtight container and use it to cook a multitude of ingredients, like veggies, potatoes and of course, eggs! The grease will add a delightful smoky bacon flavor to your breakfast dish.
Lentils are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and they’re also super-versatile. When added to eggs, they make for an easy, affordable and filling meal for any time of day. They are especially delicious served with a poached egg.
If you've ever struggled with ways to dress up eggs — beyond the usual veggies and cheese combos — try anchovies. Their briny flavor adds a meaty savoriness to any dish, whether you add it to scrambled eggs or serve it on toast with a runny, softboiled egg. If you cook them in the pan first, they'll practically melt away, leaving only umami traces — and no fishy taste.
Creamy and tangy, a spoonful of cream cheese whisked in can easily take a plate of scrambled eggs from ordinary to extraordinary. Top the dish with scallions and smoked salmon and you've got a desconstructed lox sandwich. Or mix the lox and cream cheese together for a memorable scramble.
If you’re into kimchi then you already know that it adds a serious kick to everything it touches. Do yourself a favor and scramble some into eggs as well. Or make yourself a bibimbap-inspired breakfast with rice, runny fried egg, veggies and kimchi.
Although curry paste is most commonly seen in stews and curries, the intensely flavorful ingredient also works well when mixed with eggs. Just add a small spoonful to a bowl with a few cracked eggs, whisk and scramble in a pan over medium heat until done.
Gochujang is a spicy fermented Korean red chile condiment that’s an absolute flavor bomb. If you love spicy food but are tired of topping your eggs with sriracha, mix in some gochujang instead.
Bouillon is just concentrated stock, so it’s full of umami and easily imparts a heady dose of whatever flavor it is — chicken, beef or vegetable. It’s also packed with sodium, so there’s no need to add additional salt. Instead of adding a full bouillon cube, which would be overdoing it, add a pinch of bouillon flakes to your eggs before scrambling.
Rich and fatty, like sour cream on steroids, crème fraiche adds a rich, creamy elegance to scrambled eggs. You can also top omelets with it, dress up baked eggs, serve with lox and eggs, mix into quiches and more.
Curry powder is totally different from curry paste; this Indian-inspired spice blend usually contains spices including ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper and fenugreek. It’s also a quintessential pantry staple. Add a dash to your scrambled eggs and you won’t know what hit ya.
Ever want real green eggs and ham? Add a spoonful of pesto to your scramble or a pesto asparagus egg skillet. The tasty paste of basil, cheese and nuts is a perfect accompaniment to pasta and sandwiches, but it also lends a deep, rich flavor to eggs.
If you’ve noticed a trend here, it’s probably that if something is loaded with umami, it’ll be good in eggs. Hence, worcestershire sauce, which is a little sweet and very savory. Add a couple dashes to your next batch of scrambled eggs and wait for the compliments to roll in.
If you’re looking to give your eggs a Mexican-inspired twist, crumble some tortilla chips and mix them into your scramble before cooking. No other accompaniments are required, but we’re fans of also adding some queso fresco and avocado to the equation, similar to how chilaquiles are prepared.
Pickles pack a salty, briny punch, and when diced up and mixed into scrambled eggs they take the dish to the next level. And don’t just stick with pickled cucumbers, either; mix in pickled carrots, cauliflower, jalapenos, banana peppers, capers and more.
Chickpeas and eggs make for a filling and inexpensive meal on their own, but together you'll be getting a protein packed, flavor blasting dish. Cook the chickpeas in a pan with some oil and serve them as a base alonside spinach and tomatoes with a runny egg on top.
Avocado is certainly not the most unexpected ingredient to serve with eggs, but when's the last time you went the extra mile and made some guacamole to splay on top of the breakfast food? Rich, creamy guacamole is almost as versatile as eggs, and when paired up they form the foundation of a great breakfast. Serve it with some home fries and more of our best brunch meals perfect for any occasion.
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