One of the main things I set out to do as a food enthusiast is to put our own food in front of us; it matters not which part of the region you are from. My goal is simple – appreciation. It is my hope that through the appreciation of our bounty, variety, and freshness, that we will strive to cook at home more often, buy what we produce, pass along cooking techniques that can only be learned by doing, and share know-how that cannot be found in a cookbook.
Sometimes the familiarity of our food can make us think that it is simple, ordinary, and unflattering. Way too often, it takes outside sources to make us realize that what we have is special and that it is food/dishes to be celebrated and uplifted. A few years ago I watched as a very famous TV chef rubbed her hands in glee in anticipation of a guest coming on her show to make Mexican-style scrambled eggs. Her enthusiasm was infectious so I stayed glued to the show; I'm always looking for new and different ways to cook familiar ingredients. When I saw the dish being made – onions, tomatoes, minced hot peppers being sautéed with beaten eggs mixed in – I laughed, not in mockery, but with the pleasure that I already knew how to cook eggs like this. I grew up on this stuff!
What I took away from the show is that what is ordinary for someone is extraordinary for another, and, that we must constantly showcase and celebrate all of our food. Over the years, my preference for the ways in which I like my eggs has meant that I have not had this style of fried eggs in years. I made it the other day, and having not eaten eggs this way in such a long time, it brought back warm memories of growing up in Guyana. The eggs were absolutely delicious. I don't know why it has taken me so long to get back this childhood favourite.
Fried eggs, Caribbean style
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
Finely minced hot pepper, to taste
Salt to taste
2 scallions, white & green parts, sliced wafer thin
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1. Add oil to pan and place over medium heat until the oil is hot. Toss in tomatoes and hot pepper along with salt to taste, stir to mix then reduce heat to low and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
2. Mix scallions with eggs and then add to pan with tomatoes; raise the heat just a little and cook, gently scrambling the eggs with the tomato mixture. Cook until the eggs are cooked through with big tender pieces of egg.
NOTE: Use white/yellow onions in place of scallions and parsley or finely minced Chinese celery (aka known as Guyanese celery), leaves only for the herb flavour.
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