Po-ta-toes. Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew…Or, in this case, a couple of hearty eggs.
Welcome to The Hobbit Menu, a series of dishes both savory and sweet which shed light on the bucolic, rustic, fresh ingredients one might discover in Bilbo Baggins’ pantry. The intent of this feature is to reintroduce simplicity to kitchens overwhelmed by the newfangled lime hue of spirulina, by powdered whey, fruit-infused water, and packaged snacks more various than leaves on a tree.
Hobbit cooking is based on the olden English style of dining, the likes of which might be found in the dusty Betty Crocker cookbook flaking away in your attic. Good and plain is the motto of hobbits. The food is meant to fill one’s tummy easily without overwhelming the palate with herbs and spices and too-experimental combinations. It requires hands-on preparation rather than dependence on a Vitamix or an electronic beater (though, for the sake of modernity, one can use these tools if the urge strikes).
Eggs are a staple in bobbit cuisine, generally fried or scrambled and not embellished like most omelets gracing platters today. Hobbits have a tendency to cook most of the moisture out of their vegetables, but in this scramble the tenderness of the tomatoes and eggs is preserved. A dash of salt and pepper and a small handful of cheese fresh from the cheesemaker in Hobbiton break up the plainness.
With The Hobbit menu, we go back to basics, avoid complicated assemblies, and relish in individual tastes and textures.
‘Tatoe and ‘Matoe Egg Scramble
4 eggs + yolks
4 T milk
1 small potato, finely diced
1 vine tomato, chopped
1/2 cup cheese (any kind)
Butter for pan
Salt and pepper
ASSEMBLY: Heat about a tablespoon of butter in a fry pan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk eggs vigorously with milk. Chop potatoes and tomatoes; add potatoes to the pan, stirring to coat with butter, and cook for about three minutes. Add tomatoes and cook an additional two minutes. Add eggs, breaking them up constantly as they cook – about 1-2 minutes – with a spatula and mixing with the potatoes and tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese and shake salt and pepper over the eggs until desired taste is acquired (mine totaled around 1/8-1/4 teaspoon each) and fold into eggs until eggs are lightly brown and no longer liquidy. Transfer to plate and serve.
Makes 2 servings.
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