Spanish-Style Deviled Eggs

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I hated eggs growing up. I’m talking complete revulsion: eggs were up there with monsters and flu shots for me. But somewhere along the way, my adult tastebuds changed their mind and these days, eggs are one of my favorite foods. I can’t get enough of them. Especially deviled eggs.

One of my favorite ways to prepare deviled eggs is with Dungeness crab, but the season only lasts a few months. So for the other half of the year, I make this Spanish version, which is just as delicious. Flecked with paprika, chopped almonds and a generous amount of olive oil, the quality of your ingredients makes all the difference here. These are perfect as an appetizer or alongside a green salad for a light lunch.

Spanish-style deviled eggs

Ingredients:

6 room temperature eggs
1/2 clove garlic
salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled almonds
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish

1. Put the eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Put the pan over high heat. When the water boils, turn off the burner and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Remove eggs from the pan, transfer to an ice bath, and let cool.

2. Peel the eggs, halve lengthwise, and ease out the yolks into a bowl. Arrange the whites on a serving platter.

3. Peel and chop the garlic, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and use the side of a chef’s knife to smash the garlic into a paste. Add the garlic to the bowl with the yolks, along with the olive oil, mayonnaise, almonds, lemon juice, parsley, paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Use a fork to smash the yolks and blend the ingredients. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needed.

4. Pipe the mixture into a pastry bag or ziploc cut with a 1-inch hole. Divide the mixture among the egg whites.

5. Garnish the eggs with more parsley and a dusting of paprika. Serve at room temperature.

Turkish-Style Poached Eggs

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What surprised me most about Turkish cuisine when I visited Istanbul several years ago was how spicy it could be. I thought the food would be more like its Iranian counterpart: herbaceous and drizzled with saffron and turmeric at every turn. And while Turkish cuisine incorporates similar flavors, it’s also laden with peppers, both mild and hot. I loved it. Redolent with fresh vegetables, flatbreads, yogurt, lamb, and ingredients similar to the Iranian palate I’d grown up with, Turkish food was at the same time familiar but not.

One of my favorite dishes were these poached eggs. No one does breakfast like the Turks. The silky sauce is garlicy, yogurty, and has just enough heat so that you can’t stop sopping it up with bread, yolks and all. You can serve this with any flatbread, but I prefer this with some good-quality slices of toasted sourdough. Iranian barbari is delicious too.

Turkish-style poached eggs

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain whole-milk Turkish or Greek yogurt

1 small garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil 

1 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper or Turkish red chile flakes 

2 large cold eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided

2 thick sourdough 
slices or pieces of barbari bread, toasted


1. Fill a large skillet with water to a depth of 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium.

2. Place yogurt in a small saucepan and slowly warm over low heat. Stir in garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until yogurt mixture is the consistency of lightly whipped cream, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.


3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to turn brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oil and Aleppo pepper. 


4. Crack 1 egg into a ramekin or small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Repeat with remaining egg and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice in another ramekin or small bowl.


5. Gently slide eggs, 1 on each side of the large skillet, into the simmering water. Reduce heat so there is no movement in the water, and poach eggs until whites are set and yolks are still runny, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs to a plate.


6. Divide the warm creamy yogurt mixture between 2 
shallow bowls. Top each with 
a poached egg, and pour the peppery butter around and slightly over the yogurt. Serve with bread.

Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Gourd Stir-Fry)

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For the uninitiated, goya champuru is a bitter gourd, pork, and egg stir-fry originating on the Japanese island of Okinawa. It’s like the comfort food I never grew up with, a dish balancing soft with crunchy, bitter with savory.

But is my version even goya champuru? I omit the traditional pork belly, which I understand is a pretty consistent ingredient despite there being countless versions of goya champuru throughout Okinawa. But you know what? This is still one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat. If you’ve never had bitter gourd you’re in for a treat. The soft tofu and ethereal eggs are a perfect foil for the astringent bitter melon.

Goya champuru

Ingredients:

3 small bitter melons (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt
1 block (12 ounces) extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup dashi broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/3 cup bonito flakes

1. Cut each bitter melon in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove and discard the seeds. Slice the bitter melons crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons and transfer to a bowl. Add the salt, toss until evenly combined, and let stand for 20 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze the bitter melon to release as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Squeeze again to drain any liquid, transfer to paper towels, and pat dry.

2. Place the tofu on a flat plate lined with a kitchen towel. Cover the tofu with another towel and plate and then weight the plate with two 14-ounce cans to press the tofu and release excess water. Let the tofu stand for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and uncover the tofu. Using your hands, crumble the tofu into 1-inch pieces into a bowl.

3. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over high. Add the bitter melon and cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Stir and cook 2 minutes more. Add the tofu along with the dashi and soy sauce and cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and cook, stirring to break up the curds, until the eggs are just cooked, 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the stir-fry onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with bonito flakes and serve warm.