Put an Egg On It: My Favorite Way to Make a Meal Out of Nothing

Kitchen Diary: Kate in New York City

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You know that sinking feeling when you arrive home absolutely famished, only to realize those ingredients you just knew were in the fridge have absolutely vanished? Poof! In an instant all those grandiose dreams of spaghetti carbonara you concocted on the commute home are gone. Left in its place: a carton of leftover delivery rice, mysterious cheese, and orange juice. In my house the only salvation is eggs, which are almost always hiding out somewhere in the fridge, ready to transform something unsubstantial into dinner.

With an increasingly busy work and social schedule, it's easy to forget the little things like oh, buying toilet paper and milk for instance. The convenience of New York definitely runs both ways, making it equally easy to pop in a store any time of day or dine from deli to deli for half your meals. These days, I find myself shopping for specific meals rather than working with a fully stocked fridge. As a result, my fridge is sprinkled with the remnants of ingredients for big meals, rather than the building blocks of something else entirely.

It's funny way to shop, and it's meant getting a little bit more inventive with quick meals on the fly. Good thing I always love this kind of kitchen challenge! This week, eggs have come in particularly handy, as I almost always have at least a handful in the fridge. A runny yolk is my kind of heaven and the perfect way to transform nothing into something meal worthy.

A handful of angel hair pasta and frozen peas gets the royal treatment with a sunny side up egg, while a bunch of leftover greens gets sautéed quickly and topped with an oozing poached egg. On Saturday afternoon, we crisped up Friday night's lemon risotto with a pat of panko for a lazy arancini that soaked up an egg beautifully. Sure, I could use up these extra ingredients in an omelet, but there's something more elegant about this approach.

What is your favorite dish to top with an egg?

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(Image credits: Dana Velden)