Our parents always say that so long as you have eggs, you have something for dinner. As usual, they are right. Whether you simply dress up some hard boiled eggs, fry up a few, or make a Mediterranean style omelette, eggs are an easy and inexpensive source of protein and nutrients. They taste pretty delicious too! Growing up we may not have had the most fashionable clothes, the coolest toys or the most expensive bikes, but we always had plenty of delicious food to eat. This was possible because our parents understood that you could always build delicious meals using a few staples. Using some everyday ingredients they were experts at creating original, filling and healthy meals for their family. Our kitchen was always stocked with what we’ve learned are the essential Greek pantry items.
One of these essentials, (although it should be kept refrigerated and not in the pantry), is loukaniko. This is a Greek sausage typically made with pork, and flavoured with orange peel and spices, including fennel seeds and oregano. We tend to always have some loukaniko tucked away in the freezer, perfect for a last minute guest (it’s amazing grilled and served with lemon wedges) and last minute meal ideas. When loukaniko is combined with eggs and potatoes (which you should always have on hand), and a few other simple ingredients, you can create an dish which feels as though it was planned for days.
If you happen to read both English and Greek, and are paying attention, you’ll note that in English this is called an egg dish, and in Greek it’s an omeletta. It’s so hard to label things! We know that most people have a very clear idea about what an omelette is; eggs mixed together, cooked in a pan and then flipped over some filling to create a half-moon shape, or a burrito-style roll. But our parents refer to any type of dish that includes eggs which are mixed in with other things, an omeletta. That’s just the way it is…and it seems that this is the way it is for many Greek-speakers, hence we’ve adapted the title of the recipe to suit the reader. How
confused considerate we are!
Our parents are not usually particular about the types of potatoes that they use, so you will rarely find us telling you that you must buy Idaho, or Russet, or fingerling potatoes for any of their dishes…and the same holds true here. Our parents tend to purchase either yellow fleshed or red-skinned potatoes, and they buy them in bulk. So, when it comes time to make a dish which includes potatoes, they use what they happen to have on hand.
You can usually find loukaniko in any well stocked Greek or Mediterranean grocer. There are often several varieties to choose from (if you’re lucky) so shop around until you find the one that you like. At the same time, keep your fingers crossed because our parents actually make their own loukaniko, although they have not done so for several years. It is a huge undertaking, but we’re working on getting them to share their recipe, techniques and sausage-making wisdom with us.
This recipe makes a great lunch or dinner and is especially delicious served with some fresh bread, feta and kalamata olives. Isn’t that the case with mostly anything?
Mia Kouppa: Eggs with loukaniko and potato
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
- 2 cups (500 ml) finely diced potato
- 1 cup (250 ml) Greek sausage (loukaniko), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) finely diced zucchini, unpeeled
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried oregano
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the sausage (loukaniko) with the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are soft and the sausage is golden brown on all sides. Stir in the salt, pepper and oregano.
- Add the zucchini to the skillet and cook for approximately 3 – 4 minutes, until the zucchini is tender.
- In a small bowl whisk the eggs. Pour them evenly over the vegetables and the loukaniko in the skillet. Using a spatula, move the ingredients around so that the egg gets cooked. Reduce heat to medium low and cover the skillet. The steam will help cook the top part of the egg. Cook this way for approximately 3 minutes.
- Remove lid, cook for about one minute more.
- Remove from skillet. Enjoy.