Thursday, March 31, 2011

New In Food

Today's cookbook is The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes by Connie Green and Sarah Scott. This cookbook can be found in the New in Non-Fiction section of the West Virginia Library Commission Reference Library.

Ramp-Up Sunday Brunch Scrambled Eggs

(Serves 4 to 6)

There's a good reason why ramps and eggs are served at all the ramp festivals. The hillbilly breakfast trinity of ramps, eggs, and bacon is a boisterous way to begin a weekend spring day. While the other two ramp recipes here (in the cookbook) show the gentler side of ramps, these slowly scrambled eggs proclaim their oniony glory. Munching on the ramp swizzle stick in your bloody Mary is the crowning touch to complete the traditional breath treatment for your own home-based ramp festival.

12 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
6 ounces cleaned ramps with greens
3 tablespoons bacon fat or unsalted butter
Bloody Marys garnished with fresh ramps (optional)

1. Whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside while cooking the ramps.

2. Cut the greens off the ramps and slice them into 1/4-inch strips. Cut the bulbs into 1/4-inch dice.

3. Heat the bacon fat in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the ramp bulbs and saute until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the greens and cook until wilted and tender, 2 to 3 more minutes.

4. Pour the eggs into the saute pan with the ramps and turn down the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon, gathering the cooked portion as it forms curds and stirring the curds back into the liquid to form a creamy, moist scramble. Depending on the heat, this will take from 5 to 7 minutes. For moist eggs, remove them from the pan just before they are fully cooked and still look wet. They will continue to cook a little bit more off the heat. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Tips and Techniques
-The slow stirring method for scrambling the eggs produces a creamy texture. For larger curds, turn up the heat slightly and stir less often.

-The bacon fat gives this a southern taste and is a nice flavor complement to the ramps.

Substitutes and Variations
-You can add grated cheese-Monterey Jack or Gruyere, for example- to the eggs halfway through cooking. A milder, nuttier cheese will complement the flavor of the ramps.

-Scallions can be substituted for the ramps. There is no need to separate the greens form the white parts of the onion when cooking.

-The sauteed ramps can also be used as a filling for an omelet or in a frittata.

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