Brunch at home

It was my first time frying ham, first time frying mushrooms and first time wilting spinach. Pretty alright for a first time eh? This is the order I cooked this breakfast in (all in the same pan of course):

  1. Ham (I don’t really care much for this ham. I was hoping some of its flavours would infuse into the later ingredients though I’m not sure if it did.)
  2. Mushrooms (I’ve seen mushrooms displayed at salad places where you choose what goes into your salad so I figured that they don’t need to be piping hot.)
  3. Spinach (Felt that the eggs were more temperamental than spinach so I chose to cook the eggs last, just before serving.)
  4. Egg (because I feel that cooled scrambled eggs are terribly unappetising.)

So I was clueless about how to cook to the spinach and mushrooms. I only added some butter and minced garlic to the pan when I cooked them both.

Whenever I eat mushrooms at a cafe, I always wonder what secret sauce do they use! Turns out, the secret comes from within! [Learning point alert!]

Taken from the other side of science:

“The flavour of the mushroom is due to the many aromatic compounds, which stimulate your nose with exciting smells. These compounds are concentrated mostly in the gill section of the mushroom, which is the furry bit on the underside of the mushroom top. A mushroom that has a large gill section, like a Portobello, will have a much richer aroma than a closed, small gill mushroom like a white button.”

> FLAVOUR comes from the gills of a mushroom. More gills, more luck. I meant, more flaaava!

“Mushrooms are 80-90% water and we want to get rid of most of this water to concentrate the flavour. Thankfully, the surface area of the mushroom is semi-permeable to water, so addition of dry heat will help expel most of this water. The heat also collapses air pockets, which when combined with water loss, causes mushrooms to shrink upon cooking.

But while concentrating the flavour is easily achieved by heat addition, complementing and boosting the natural flavours is achieved by addition of one handy ingredient: balsamic vinegar. “

> I will definitely be adding balsamic vinegar the next time!!

Also, I learnt that you can never overcook mushrooms. Great news for the newbie cook who has not gotten her timings down pat. Read more about it on Business Insider. So the mushrooms basically went from “How long am I going to push these mushrooms around on the dry pan” to “WOW, what saucery? Where did this sauce magically come from?” Do note that these were white mushrooms, though they look like button mushrooms in the picture.

There are a gazillion ways to cook eggs and at least 3 ways of cooking scrambled eggs. Some like them very cooked (McDonalds Big breakfast-style), others like it mushy (pictured) but I love it glistening, like how it’s served on some Omu Rice dishes. I will figure out how to scramble my eggs that way in the future! For now, I shall stick to mushy, veering on runny. :p The trick to do so is to keep the flame extremely low, cooking it little by little.Nothing to rave about the spinach in terms of taste. It tasted healthy! That’s all, folks!


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