Molly Yeh, a Chinese-Jewish American chef, cooks tasty dishes on the Food Network. In a show titled Girl Meets Farm, Molly is equally at home with baking challah as using chopsticks.
“Molly Yeh attended the Juilliard School in New York City to study percussion. There she met and fell in love with a fellow student, a shy [red-haired] trombonist from North Dakota named Nick Hagen,” whose family owned a farm on the Minnesota-North Dakota border. (See more here.)
Sometimes when I want to relax my mind, I watch the Food Network to observe smiling chefs prepare yummy food seemingly effortlessly. Unlike time-intensive writing projects that can span days, weeks, or years, dishes these chefs prepare are usually table-ready in 30 minutes flat. Never mind that onions come magically minced pre-show or celery chopped to tiny bits.
I discovered Molly one day as I ate a tuna salad lunch, basic and nutritious, but not fancy. In a swift segment, she prepared “Bonfire Eggs with Green Peppers and Cheese.” It looked easy and fun, so I copied the recipe, which I have replicated here in pictures.
4 medium Russet potatoes (Or any other good baking potato)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
About 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Hot sauce, optional
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 ounces shredded cheese
Molly’s recipe begins with “Make a bonfire.” I began by assembling my ingredients and then pre-heating my kitchen oven.
I pricked the potato skins all over with a fork. Then I microwaved the potatoes for about 12 minutes. To scoop out the softened potatoes, I used a melon-baller. Taking this step makes space for other ingredients.
Hot Tip: Scooping out potatoes into another pan instantly creates a menu item for another day: the beginnings of a potato-based soup. (The liquid is chicken broth.)
Next I plopped a raw egg into each hollowed-out semi-cooked potato, the insides of which had been previously salted.
Adding other ingredients (chopped onion, and bell pepper, Tabasco sauce and cream), I stirred the mixture with chopsticks, an homage to Ms. Yeh.
Before popping the potatoes into the oven, I placed “hats” on the potatoes before sealing each one with foil, prepping to bake.
After baking for about 40 minutes, I pulled off brown “hats” and I checked for doneness: egg cooked, vegetables soft.
Every cook must sample her food, and so I did!
This recipe is a good vegetarian dish, eggs and cheese supplying the protein.
If you find my directions a little sketchy, you can find the complete recipe HERE.
Lessons Learned, a Mixed Bag
- Having baking potatoes in my pantry would have averted a trip to the grocery.
- My red pepper, which was beginning to wrinkle, worked as well as a green one.
- A melon-baller is a good way to scoop out the partially cooked potato.
- I hollowed out the lower part of the potato too vigorously, so some of the egg leaked out. :-/
- Except for the final photo, I photographed the whole process. (It’s hard to take a photo with a weak left hand. The camera man wasn’t at home.)
- Having a bonfire, as the recipe instructs, may have attracted grandchildren’s involvement. (I used an oven for baking.)
- It’s okay to act on a creative impulse. (A TV show inspired a meal.)
- Improve on a plan if you can. (I view recipes as suggestions and improvise, if necessary. For me, the instruction of making a bonfire became heating the oven.)
- Expect serendipity. (The potato balls turned into a soup dish for another meal.)
What about Molly’s story do you find most intriguing?
What TV shows do you watch as a way to relax?
Have you made a chef-inspired recipe?
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