During my childhood, we had many different pets. Of course the standard types were represented; there were innumerous cats and one small but very loud and lively dog. As a pre-teen, I chose a hamster as the pet I wanted to call my own, which only ensured that my mom and I would have a weekly battle regarding the cleanliness of the cage (and probably my room, too). My sister brought home a King snake that she named Elvis (har har), which my dad had to feed because of the “ick” factor of the live mouse situation. There was also a rabbit that chewed on all the bookshelves in the living room, a gigantic fish called Big Hex, a trillion guppies, and two ducks named Bonzo and Quackers.
I don’t remember the circumstance of why Bonzo and Quackers came to live with us, but they roamed free in the back yard and frolicked in the kiddie pool. Our neighbor took to plucking the snails out of his yard and bringing them over for the ducks, served up on a Frisbee platter. They were living the high life, except for when my dad would
steal gather up Quackers’ eggs. I don’t think she appreciated that too much. I believe the story goes that he had to nab them when she wasn’t paying attention or catch her wrath. But he loved those duck eggs and I remember being appalled by it. First, how awfully mean of him to take Quackers’ eggs. What’s wrong with having a back yard overrun by ducks? (I should mention that we did not live on a farm.) Second, duck eggs? Gross. My six-year-old brain couldn’t comprehend eating any kind of egg other than the “regular” kind.
Actually, I've had a bit of a rocky relationship with eggs in general. There was a period in my partying days when it seemed like anytime I was even the slightest bit hung-over, someone in the house would make eggs. The smell of eggs has a way of making my already upset stomach even angrier. Needless to say, I didn’t eat a lot of omelets in those days.
Then there’s the other slight problem: I cannot cook eggs. Scrambled, I can fake my way through…but fried or poached? Forget it. I have never been able to fry an egg without breaking the yolk or turning the entire thing to rubber. This is a well-known fact in my family, and both my dad and Andy snickered and had hilarious things to say when I informed them that I needed to come up with an egg dish for the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and Eggland’s Best. Normally they handle all egg-making duties, but I was determined to do this on my own. And I’m not going to lie…my scrambled eggs did look a little funny, but they tasted just fine.
Scrambled Egg Breakfast Tostadas with Caramelized Onions and Herbed Goat Cheese
8 corn tortillas, fried in canola oil until slightly crispy, then salted (see note)
Herbed goat cheese:
4 ounces goat cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and chives)
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
chopped herbs and red pepper flakes, to garnish (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine onions, bell pepper, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Turn heat on low and let mixture caramelize for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and reserve. (This can be done the day before. Refrigerate and reheat when needed.)
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Combine goat cheese and minced herbs together in a small bowl. Reserve.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and whisk in cream, tomato, gruyere, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Melt butter in a non-stick pan and pour egg mixture in. Cook eggs to desired doneness.
To serve, spread about 1 tablespoon herbed goat cheese onto a tortilla. Top with scrambled eggs and caramelized onion mixture. Garnish with chopped herbs and red pepper flakes.
(Note: I make 8 homemade tortillas by combining 1 cup maseca, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons of water. Press on tortilla press, then cook on a hot, dry pan. Fry to desired crispness.)
So, even though my scrambled eggs weren’t picture perfect, the dish as a whole was. The combination of the deep, rich flavor of the caramelized onions, the freshness of the herbs and the tang of the goat cheese was just right. If every egg dish tasted like this, we could be very good friends.
(As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for a carton of Eggland’s Best Eggs.)