Remember when I said that I followed recipes for my cooking endeavors, well that was mostly true. There are a few dishes, the Kontos family comfort foods, that I know by heart. One of my favorites is our take on scrambled eggs, a version described by my mom as a “scr-omelet:” a hybrid scrambled egg-omelet. This dish has the best of both worlds: the fluffiness of scrambled eggs (the secrets: whip them in a large bowl and lots of butter) and the delicious mix-ins of an omelet.
For what I’m going to call an ‘Everything Scramble,’ my family has trial and error-ed our list of preferred mix-ins, but yours can vary based on dietary restrictions, season, preference, even your mood. Occasionally, we’ll try out new mix-ins to switch it up (like tonight’s spinach addition), but our omelet always includes a base of peppers and onions. For us, mushrooms and potatoes have also become staples. If we want to include a meat, we’ll throw in some ham, or the rare splurge of bacon (if using bacon, cook the vegetables in the bacon fat to get the most of the heavenly bacon flavor).
Along with the eggs, we threw together a fruit salad with fruits that had been sitting on our counter or in our fridge for far too long and needed to be used before our weekly grocery run tomorrow. I’m not going to include a recipe for the fruit salad because it would be about one sentence: wash fruits, cube/pit those fruits that need to be cut (i.e. fruits that aren’t grapes or berries) and enjoy. If you want to mimic our fruit salad exactly, use one yellow nectarine, one orange, one box of blackberries and one box of strawberries, but use anything that is seasonal or looks good.
For the eggs, feel free to adjust the amount of eggs, vegetables and cheese based on how many people you need to feed. The version below was a substantial dinner for three people along with a fruit salad. A good rule of thumb is two eggs per person with at least an equal volume of cooked vegetables to scrambled egg.
Remember you can vary this recipe as you wish: change the type of cheese or vegetables base on what you like!
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 c freshly grated sharp white cheddar
- 1 c baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly diced
- 1/2 sweet (or yellow) onion, diced
- 1 medium yukon gold potato
- 5 medium white mushrooms, chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
- Put potato in microwave on high for 3 minutes. Check periodically until potato feels soft to the touch, but is not disintegrating.
- Place large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add mushrooms to pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until most of mushrooms appear slightly golden brown.
- Then, form a well in the center of the pan and add onions to the pan with another tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir periodically to prevent burning. (Do not over-stir or the vegetables will not brown.)
- Once onions are mostly brown, repeat process with bell pepper.
- Chop the microwaved potato into rounds. Following the same process as before, add the potatoes to the other vegetables. Allow the potatoes to become golden brown on both sides before using wooden spatula to break the rounds into small chunks.
- With these vegetables in the pan, season with cayenne pepper. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (yes, please, taste the vegetables as cooking).
- Form another well in the vegetables and place the spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt to nearly half its initial size before mixing it into the other vegetables.
- While waiting for the browning and/or wilting of the vegetables, crack the eggs into a large bowl. Whisk and season with ground pepper. Mix in the grated cheese.
- When the vegetables are ready, add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan. Once the butter melts, pour in the scrambled egg mixture. Allow the mixture to cook until partially set, about 1 minute, before gently mixing with a spatula.
- Continue gently and periodically mixing, until all of the egg is set.
- Serve the eggs immediately. Season with additional black pepper as liked.
Notes: If adding protein (ham, cooked bacon), add directly to egg mixture along with grated cheese.
About making the eggs:
I know twelve steps for a simple egg recipe sounds like overkill, but I promise you this dish is worth it. There is a reason that both of my parents and I know how to make this dish without help: its just that good. I’ve eaten this for breakfasts and dinners for as long as I can remember, and I still love it (Often, when we’re running out of food towards the end of the week, we’ll throw a variation of this dish together, and no one complains. Ever.).
As always, these eggs were delicious and satisfying. And with only three dirty dishes to clean, everyone was happy. For something simple and satisfying and just plain good, these eggs are the best!