The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Let’s get cracking: How to spice up your egg dish

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Selection of goose, duck and chicken eggs

More often than not, those of us who are college students who have to provide our own food look for ways to eat cheaply. I am a proponent of cooking your own food, and I believe that people can eat good food for a fair price if they prepare it themselves. Today, I want to offer some suggestions about how to spice up your budget buffet—particularly with eggs.

Eggs are cheap. You can get a dozen eggs for less than one dollar. And one or two eggs can make up a solid meal.

Eggs are versatile. You can scramble them, fry them, boil them, poach them, all sorts of things. Personally, I find that eggs are good at adopting the flavors of whatever spices you use to season them. As such, by employing a variety of spices, you can create a number of interesting egg dishes that keep your breakfasts fresh.

For instance, I am a fan of Mexican food, so I sometimes use seasonings common to that spice palette when cooking my eggs.

An egg dish that I enjoy is a fajita-style fried egg sandwich. If you have made a fried egg before, then you may find this variation of the simple recipe a refreshing way of mixing things up in the kitchen in the morning time (or dinner time, if you like breakfast for dinner).

Fried eggs begin cooking fairly quickly, so I recommend sprinkling all of the spices you plan to use for this recipe in a small bowl first and blend them so that you can evenly season your fried egg without worrying about it overcooking in all the time it takes for you to open each spice container individually.

I do not usually use exact measurements with my spices, but I have a visual ratio I tend to use. Primarily, a fajita seasoning mixture will include a decent amount of cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. These four make up the core flavors for the dish. I like to add supplementary spices as well, such as black pepper, chicken bouillon powder, jalapeño or habanero pepper and salt.

After these spices are blended, you can start frying your egg. Lightly sprinkle your spice mixture over the egg (be careful not to put too much; you do not want to overpower your dish), and cook the egg as you normally would.

Once the fried egg is cooked to the level you prefer, scoop it up on your spatula and place it on some bread you already had lightly toasted. Top the egg with sliced or shredded cheese, and you have a nice fajita-style fried egg sandwich.

To get the most bang for your buck, though, I recommend adding a few more items to your sandwich.

In the frozen food section of many stores with grocery sections, you can find a bag of frozen peppers and onions. I like to get a three-pepper and onion blend bag for about one dollar. If you sauté some of these in a small saucepan using butter with some of the seasoning blend you prepared before, the peppers and onions really start to smell aromatic.

I like to add these sautéed peppers and onions to my fried egg sandwich to really bring out that fajita flavor. I personally like to add a little cilantro, either fresh or dried, to my fried egg, and cilantro is fairly cheap as well (again, less than one dollar for a considerable amount). Lastly, I like to have a little salsa or sour cream on my plate for dipping.

There you have it. For only a few dollars, you have made a cheap and filling yet interesting meal for yourself. And you will have enough leftover ingredients to make this dish again and again until you run out.

For those who do not like fried eggs, an alternative for this dish would be to scramble the eggs while using these seasonings and then put the scrambled eggs into a tortilla wrap.

Other spice palettes can flavor your eggs in other ways. You are only limited by how creative you want to be.  

While not everyone may agree, I enjoy the complex flavors that come with using many different spices. A little spice can go a long way. A lot of spice can go even further.

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