An egg is simply perfect, in shape, nutrition and flavour. An indulgently runny egg yolk on top of almost any savoury dish is the everyday taste-sensation people crave.
These delicious protein-treasures-when-purse-strings-are-tight are highly adaptable, making it almost impossible to run out of egg inspiration.
From North African shakshuka to Durban curry, eggs are an African favourite. Indulge your need for close-to-home comforts during the South African winter with a fragrant bowl of Kerala Curried Egg with Pap, Potato or Rice – a nod to what mom used to cook – or make your new all-day obsession Sweet Potato and Mince Bake Topped with Egg (recipes below).
The combination of egg and mince is a classic and favourite the world over, from American celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian who insists, “when I step into the kitchen in the morning, I go for the scrambled eggs with pine nuts and minced lamb”, to our own beloved South African bobotie, an all-smiles dinner for the whole family.
Eggs are everyday nutrition heroes. South Africa’s National Department of Health dietary guidelines allow for an egg a day.
This imparts healthful doses of immune-boosting selenium and vitamin D, the B-vitamin riboflavin which is vital for converting food to the energy that your body can use, and choline, a nutrient grouped with the B-complex vitamins that is good for your brain.
Eggs are high in protein. According to the health site Healthline, which is written and reviewed by medical and wellness professionals, when assessing the quality of a protein it comes down to the amount of amino acids it contains and in what ratio. And “the biological value (a measure of protein quality) is often evaluated by comparing [other proteins] to eggs, which are given the perfect score of 100.” As we said earlier, eggs are sheer perfection!
The egg is a necessity and culinary marvel in most world cuisines, with even humble scrambled eggs – a quick-eat from daybreak to midnight in most households – provoking infinite debate among chefs on how best to prepare them: whisked, beaten with a fork, cream added, only butter, stirred constantly, folded lightly.
They’re truly an oval ode to joy, for while that lunch and dinner staple, the French omelette, has become a benchmark of culinary excellence, eggs are really a food you can play with and make your own.
For instance, it’s well known that Ferran Adrià, who for years ran El Bulli, regarded as the world’s best restaurant, preferred to make his omelette with a packet of potato crisps baked into it, frittata-style. So your personal egg choices can’t be anything less than magnificent!
The egg is everyone’s food. It can also be paired with every ingredient you can imagine. It’s a treat with a spoonful of mascarpone, a grating of parmesan, a spoonful of just-made-the-way-you-like-it chakalaka or a handful of almost any fresh herb.
That rich golden yolk is just as appealing on a medallion of the best braaied beef steak as over a vegetable hash or simple mound of spicy rice. And let’s not forget the sandwich – we wager that just the thought of an egg and bacon butty has your tastebuds making menu suggestions.
Eggs are always the little pleasures you can use to reinvent and reinvigorate your plate, and not just at breakfast time.