Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, you can make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Today: Gabriella shows you how to dress up even the simplest meal with an egg.
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There is a very simple trick to make even the most frugal meal instantly seem fancy -- and you probably already have it in your fridge:
Add one little egg.
You already know that they're one of the cheapest sources of protein out there. But there's something about the aesthetic of a singular egg that just makes any dish a little more beautiful to look at. It's the culinary equivalent of red lipstick on days when you're feeling especially disheveled.
You'll want to have your technique down first, so we'll walk you through how to make the perfect fried, poached, and boiled eggs.
Then, get inspiration from these egg-topped dishes:
Shakshuka I'm a firm believer in the one-pot meal -- and shakshuka is one of the best. All you need is tomato sauce, eggs, and pita bread for dipping, and you're set for any meal. I grew up with a version from my Egyptian grandmother that relies on a generous amount of spinach, but there are endless variations, from the mild, yogurt-based recipes to the hot and spicy.
Tell us: what are you favorite foods to top with an egg?
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).