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The egg's possibilities are in the eye of the beholder.

The egg's possibilities are in the eye of the beholder

An almost incredibly efficient package,the egg is as fraught with possibilities as a crystal ball. Stare at one long enough and you may see a cake, a meringue, an omelet, a zabaglione--or, down the road, perhaps even a chicken. But breakfasts and brunches require eggs as eggs, whether they be sunny-side up on toast (the counterman's classic "Adam and Eve on a raft, eyes open'), over easy, scrambled soft, or soft- or hard-cooked in the shell. You can embellish them with salsa and tortillas if your palate requires a stronger stimulus, or give them a benediction --so to speak--with ham, hollandaise, and English muffin.

For something wholly different, though,try Pete Vassler's Dear Eggs. Mr. Vassler leaves the origin of the name shrouded in mystery, but he eagerly shares the recipe.

Dear Eggs

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

3 tablespoons dry sherry

1/4 cup water

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

2 small onions, thinly sliced

1 fresh green Anaheim (California)chili, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons finely chopped freshbasil leaves, or 1 tablespoon dry basil

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional

1 large firm-ripe tomato, cored,peeled, and diced

4 large eggs

Lemon pepper seasoning or saltand pepper

2 split English muffins, toasted andbuttered

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, melt thebutter over medium-high heat. Add sherry, water, bouillon cube, and garlic and stir until bouillon cube is dissolved. Add onions, chopped chili, basil, parsley, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until onion is limp and liquid evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato.

Push all the vegetables into a mound on 1side of the pan. Carefully crack eggs into cleared space in pan. Cover and cook over low heat until done to your liking, 3 to 4 minutes for soft yolks and firm whites.

With a wide spatula, transfer 1 egg ontoeach muffin half; spoon vegetable sauce over eggs and serve. Add lemon pepper to taste. Serves 2 or 4.

Pete Vassler

Aloha, Ore.

Ira Turner has passed away, but we arefortunate to be able to share his recipe for salsa. Although a few of our tasters characterized it as a reasonable simulation of trial by fire or burning at the stake (Mr. Turner would have liked that), the majority proclaimed it the best salsa they had ever tasted. Pointing fingers, they called the dissenters candy-mouths who would be just as happy with ketchup. This salsa will indeed bring little beads of moisture to your brow, but you can always use just a little less of it.

The fuel that feeds its flame is the jalapeno,the highly flavored and very hot sausage-shaped chili (usually about 3 in. long) that takes its name from Jalapa (or Xalapa), appropriately in the tropical Mexican state of Tabasco.

To avoid painful and prolonged burning,which results when you get jalapeno seeds under your fingernails or touch your hands to your eyes (or any tender tissue), wear rubber or disposable plastic gloves while handling chilies.

If you want to know much, much moreabout peppers--a family that includes the hot chilies crucial to this salsa--read Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums, by Jean Andrews (University of Texas Press, Austin, 1984; $40). Dr. Andrews is not only a fine botanist, historian, gardener, and cook, but an artist as well; her 32 paintings in the book are outstanding--as are her descriptions, which help unscramble the pepper world.


1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes

1 medium-size green bell pepper,stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic

8 cups (about 2 1/4 lb.) fresh jalapenochilies (green--immature, hottest; or red--ripe, mellower; or both), stemmed and seeded

1 medium-size onion, cut into chunks

1 can (29 oz.), or 3 cups tomato puree

2 cups dry red wine

3 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar(or red wine vinegar)

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dry basil

1 teaspoon cayenne, optional

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Place about half of the tomatoes and theirliquid, bell pepper, garlic, jalapenos, and onion in a blender or food processor and whirl until finely chopped. Pour into a 5- to 6-quart pan. Finely chop remaining tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic, jalapenos, and onion, and add to pan.

Stir in tomato puree, wine, sugar, winevinegar, distilled vinegar, pepper, basil, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often until mixture is reduced to about 3 quarts, about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. Let cool, then serve. Or store to use as needed: ladle salsa into refrigerator or freezer containers (1- to 2-cup size) and cover. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer storage. Makes about 11 cups.

Ira M. Turner, II


Fruit soups seem strange to most Americans,although they're staples of northern European cuisine. Westerners may find the avocado, although a fruit, more palatable in soup than cherry or plum because the buttery avocado is familiar in roles that are savory rather than sweet.

Even when not thought strange, soups arerarely considered beautiful (except by Lewis Carroll's Mock Turtle, who sang of soup's beauty in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), but this soup has the color and smooth opacity of pale green jade.

Chilled Avocado Soup

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 small clove garlic, minced orpressed

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 cups (or 1 can, 14 1/2 oz.) regular-strengthchicken broth

2 large ripe avocados (about 1 1/2

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon,or 1/4 teaspoon dry tarragon

1 tablespoon tarragon wine vinegar

2 cups half-and-half (light cream)

Salt and white pepper

Chopped chives

Lime wedges

Melt butter in a 3- to 4-quart pan overmedium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir often until onion is faintly browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir until bubbly. Gradually stir in broth; turn heat to high and stir until boiling. Set aside to cool slightly.

Pit, peel, and cut avocados into chunksinto a blender. Add broth mixture, tarragon, and vinegar. Whirl until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, stir in cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until cold, about 3 hours or up to overnight. Stir to obscure any darkening.

Ladle soup into small bowls and sprinklewith chives. Squeeze in lime juice to taste. Makes 5 or 6 servings, about 1 cup each.

Rodway Lauich

Bradbury, Calif.
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Jun 1, 1987
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