As a child, feeling awe struck occurred with great frequency.
There were magic tricks (someone has my nose!), there were waffles (which start as gooey liquid and then become, well, WAFFLES), there were butterflies (caterpillars…need I say more ?), there was glitter (so glittery), there was Cirque Du Soleil (which meant hours, okay a lifetime, of dancing by myself in my room). There was awe. Everywhere.
Then logic and middle school and to-do lists crept in. And feeling giddily overwhelmed by bubbles and full moons seemed silly. Awe got covered up by “ah whatevers.” And stopping to play with leaves blowing on the street got replaced with rushing to homeroom, to work, and to bed.
But recently, awe has returned. Maybe it’s because I share a life with a kid now and along with her, I find everything fascinating again. Even mashed up cauliflower. Maybe it’s because I’ve chosen to slow down the clock, take control of my time, and do things I love — like cook a dish from scratch with my own two hands. Maybe it’s because I finally learned to make the wondrously impossible looking layered scotch egg (a magic trick in its own right).
Whatever the reason, awe is good. Like breakfast and naps, awe is an important part of your day. And it also happens to be an essential ingredient to enjoying a low-sodium diet and lifestyle. Meaning, is time to grab yourself some awe.
Of course there will be nights filled with simple steak dinners and bowls filled with salad. But the more color, adventure, whimsy, and awe you put into the food you eat and life you live, the more you will enjoy it. Promise.
So have fun. Play with leaves, play with your food, play your favorite song. And make something awesome tonight for dinner.
BAKED SALT-FREE SCOTCH EGG
adapted from Food52 and Molly Yeh’s Scotch Egg recipe
- 6 large eggs
- 1 pound ground chicken (pork, turkey, or even beef if you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons salt-free garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 stalks green onions, minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (dill, oregano, thyme, or chives…whatever you have on hand)
- 1 cup homemade salt-free breadcrumbs or crushed matzoh crackers, corn tortilla chips, or even salt-free corn flake cereal
- Four 4 by 4-inch square pieces of parchment paper
Start by making four hard boiled eggs. And my go-to method is as follows: place eggs in a medium-sized pot and fill with cool water. Then, with the lid on top, bring the water to a boil. Once rolling, turn off the stove and take your pot off of the heat. Let it sit for six minutes. While all this boiling and sitting is happening, make sure you have a cold water bath ready — i.e. a big bowl of chilled water.
When the six minutes is up, place the eggs in the chilly water.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine your ground meat, black pepper, two teaspoons of salt-free garlic powder, smoked paprika and green onions. Use your hands to mix everything together until combined. Then be sure to wash your hands. With soap. Thoroughly. No one like salmonella.
Now it’s time to set up your breading stations. Be aware that things are about to get messy, but that is why the world invented dust busters and non-chemical cleaners. So have fun and don’t worry about the mess you are about to make.
Preheat your oven to 400dg F.
You will need three bowls and a baking sheet. Pour your flour into the first bowl. In the second , whisk together the two remaining eggs with a splash of water. And in the third, mix your breadcrumbs with the remaining teaspoon of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and dried herbs. Place your baking sheet at the end of the breading line. Finally, peel your eggs and set them at the starting line. Now let’s do this.
Using your trusty hands again, place four equal-sized balls of your meat mixture onto the parchment squares. Then flatten the meat out into larger circles about 1/2 inch thick. Dip an egg in the flour and then into the center of a meat circle. Use the parchment paper to fold the meat around the egg and then use your fingers to spread it around until the egg is evenly covered. Then dip the meat-covered egg back into the flower, then the egg wash, and then the breadcrumbs. And onto that baking sheet. Repeat until all your eggs are scotched.
Place that baking sheet into the oven and let them cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink. Remove the pan from the oven. Serve with your favorite condiments or just a fork. And enjoy.