When you’re doing two hundred covers per night, it’s imperative to have a winner in your arsenal, one that is all prep and little cook time during service. At home, well, this is the least healthy but the most rewarding of all “night-after” cures.
Out of all my mom’s greatest breakfast hits, dahi toast is easily the most the beloved in our family. This sandwich—a loose interpretation of a recipe from one of my dad’s friends—is totally unexpected (who would ever think to put yogurt between bread?!) and impossible not to like. Imagine a tangier, spicier grilled cheese sandwich. You get that satisfying oily bread crunch, but with onions, chiles, and (my favorite part) a crispy topping of black mustard seeds and curry leaves added into the mix. The glue that holds this recipe together is the tang of the sourdough bread—it’s the perfect foil to the rich, ricotta-like filling. We are a house divided when it comes to accompaniments for dahi toast—my mom and sister like cilantro chutney, while I prefer ketchup. My dad uses both: He swirls the chutney and ketchup together to create a kinda ugly-colored but admittedly delicious super-sauce.
Quinoa is a brilliant and speedy ingredient for the kitchen. Tender when cooked, with a delicate white furl of a tail, it has a nutty, satisfying taste. Mixed here with eggs, feta and herbs, and fried as a fritter, the cooked quinoa provides some welcome ballast to a dish that is bombproof. I’m a sucker for a striking name, and it doesn’t come much better than Green Goddess – a pungent mayonnaise-based sauce made intensely green with masses of herbs and spring onions (scallions). I’ve supplemented some of the mayonnaise with yogurt to lighten the result.
Not a side dish at all, this is a well-stocked breakfast entrée. Make sure the potatoes are diced — that is, in 1/2-inch cubes. They must be small and evenly sized to cook in the stated time. Skip processed sandwich meat and look for whole, roasted smoked ham at the deli counter. Have the butcher cut it into 1/2-inch slices to make the dicing easier for you.
I hated cooked carrots growing up and refused to eat them. My mom was a doctor, and though she might not be the best cook, she always made sure I never missed out on any nutrition. She would shred carrots and cook them with my favorite breakfast crepes, so I couldn’t pick them out. I still dislike cooked carrots, so I include additional vegetables with this pancake. They are crispy on the outside and tender inside, with crunches from the fresh veggies, and the carrots to add some sweetness. I won’t pick them out this time for sure. These pancakes are great as breakfast, and they also make the best side dish.
There are a few things that are crucial to making an epic frittata...
These eggs are exactly what they sound like: fried eggs combined with teeny croutons. I like them on top of vegetables or rice bowls. You can add a sprinkling of herbs like dill to the pan, but not too much while you’re cooking the eggs—you don’t want to introduce excess water. As written, this recipe makes fried eggs with little salty, crunchy breadcrumb bits embedded in them. If you want to go breadcrumb-crazy, or if you have more than one slice to use up, tear up 2 or 3 slices of bread. In Step 4, you’ll need to scooch the breadcrumbs aside in spots to make little nests that you can crack the eggs into.
The Atlas Mountains are a huge draw for avid trekkers looking for challenging peaks and spectacular scenery—as well as for wandering chefs in search of authentic Berber cuisine. I was staying in a tiny village called Tacheddirt to learn about traditional barbecue, and on my last night there, a trekking guide named Abdul arrived at my friend’s house, starving hungry. He knocked up a frittata made with spiced vegetables, herbs, olives, and eggs. Served with masses of soft bread, it was perfect for anyone who had had a long day on the mountain. And if you’re not on the mountains, it’s superb served with a fresh salad as a light lunch.
Of all the savory breakfasts in my book Dining In, this one is deﬁnitely the heartiest and most time consuming. Even so, it’s still a basic one-skillet deal. It’s also the one dish I am most likely to eat for lunch or dinner, with or without eggs, because I ﬁnd chickpeas simmered with dried chorizo and fresh tomatoes to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.
I call this creation “green eggs no ham,” and it’s an ideal vegetarian dish. Spiked with lemon zest, chives, chile, and cream, it really doesn’t want bacon or ham or all the other meaty things I automatically think of when I think of eggs.