Sunday, January 23, 2011

Piper's Joe's Special

If you’ve never had a Joe’s Special, you need to try this!  There are many origins of this dish, but I like the one that said it was created for musicians for a late night snack.  In Seattle, the best place to have this is at the iconic Thirteen Coins, usually in the wee hours of the morning after a night on the town. 

Most Joe’s Special recipes call for mushrooms, and I’m not the world’s biggest mushroom fan.  So, I started thinking what else would be marvelous with the eggs, cheese and ground beef… I guess the question IS, what wouldn’t be?
Here’s my rendition below, but I would encourage you to see what you have and make tweaks to what sounds good to YOU.

This is a hearty dish that is perfect for brunch, but also good for a quick dinner when your inspiration is low.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 medium bell pepper
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced, (optional)

½ tsp truffle salt, or regular salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 oz (half a bag) fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped,
4 to 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup of grated parmesan

Note:  Other traditional spices in a Joe’s special are ¼ tsp ground nutmeg and ¼ tsp dried oregano.  I chose to omit those because I felt the truffle salt had enough flavor on its own.  If you don’t have truffle salt, you should get some… it’s fantastic!

In a wide frying pan over high heat, crumble the ground beef and cook, stirring often and breaking into smallish chunks, until browned. Drain excess fat, but leave a little to sauté the onions and peppers (or mushrooms).  

Add onions and peppers (or mushrooms) and cook about 5 minutes over medium heat until onions are softened. Add the salt and pepper at this point and make sure the mixture is well seasoned, it’s easier at this stage than trying to season later on while the eggs are cooking.

Add the garlic and the spinach and stir to wilt the spinach, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the eggs and stir for another 1-2 minutes and then add about ½ cup of grated parmesan.  Cook eggs until soft set, they will continue to set up while you are getting it on the plates and then onto the table.

Top with more parmesan cheese.

Side Dish Inspirations
Here are some ideas:
        Sourdough toast is ideal for scooping it up!
        Green salad, if you’re serving it for dinner, but it does have lots of veggies in it, so you could even skip that!

What else would this technique work on???
You could easily use this technique on:
        A mixture of ground beef and sausage
        Ground turkey
        Crumbled tofu, for those wanting to avoid the meat but are OK with eggs and cheese.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the inspiration Piper! I have not had this since I was a kid. I left out the tofu and kept to all veggies. Yummy!