Potato and Egg Scramble with Pilpelchuma

June 26, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Potato and Egg Scramble with Pilpelchuma


Bulked up with potatoes, this Middle Eastern scramble is hearty and satisfying. I learned to make it from a Palestinian Muslim, sans pilpelchuma. This make sense because pilpelchuma, according to Jerusalem authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, is used by Jews from Tripoli. Ottolenghi and Tamimi go on to say that it’s great whisked into eggs when making scrambled eggs. I immediately wondered if a touch of the fiery hot pilpelchuma would be a good addition to the basic potato-and-egg scramble I learned to make years ago. It’s not just good, it’s addictive.


Serves 3 with hearty appetites


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon pilpelchuma (recipe in the cookbook Jerusalem)
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
3 pita breads


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and ¾ teaspoon of salt and cover. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and pilpelchuma together. Add the eggs to the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, to desired doneness. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and serve with pita bread. To eat, tear off a bite-size piece of pita bread and use it to scoop up the potatoes and eggs.  If you have leftovers, they can be lightly rewarmed and are good served as a sandwich in a pita envelope with salad greens.


Thai-Style Eggs, and the Hens That Laid Them

March 24, 2012
By Holly Jennings

The Eggs:

One of the plates of eggs shown above is for Jack Sprat, the other, for his wife. Both preparations—deep-fried eggs and steamed eggs—are found David Thompson’s Thai Cooking, the current DCCC pick, where they are presented more as method than recipe.


The process of making deep-fried and steamed eggs was an interesting novelty; the process of eating Mrs. Sprat’s clear choice opened a door in my egg-eating life. Deep-fried eggs represent a distinct category in the pantheon of egg preparations—scrambled, fried, poached, soft-boiled, and so on. Which means (more…)

The Wide World of Mexican Eggs

April 20, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Mexicans must eat a lot of eggs. The range and styles of egg dishes available to the Mexican cook makes those of her American neighbors to the north seem bland and limited by comparison.

The basic cooking methods will seem familiar: fried, scrambled, poached, prepared as an omelets. It’s the south-of-border ingredients, and the treatment of them—such as broiling tomatoes or chiles to making a sauce with deep, roasted flavors—that make Mexican egg dishes an exciting change from our repertoire in the U.S.—and a more flavorful way to start the day. Some of the more transformative preparations, like Brick Layers Eggs, may even appeal to those who, claim they do not like eggs. (more…)

Hash, Mexican Style

March 04, 2011
By Holly Jennings


A lot of good cooking is derived from using up what’s at hand. In this case the recipe for Dried Beef Hash, or Aporreada de Huetamo, from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy allowed me make use of some dried beef I had in the freezer (it’s always a good day when I actually remove something from our over-packed freezer instead of just adding to it) and, since this hash include eggs, some of the eggs that are being produced (more…)

Lunch with Lynne: Indian Scrambled Eggs and Paratha

December 03, 2010
By Holly Jennings

My friend Lynne is a librarian. She loves books; in fact, she used to sell them. That’s one reason her book displays at the library are so good. She enjoys participating in book clubs, and gave me some tips about running book club meetings when the Dowdy Corners Cookbook Club was still just an idea. I would love to have Lynne in DCCC, but the thing is, Lynne likes to eat better than she likes to cook. So I’ve decided that a lunch with Lynne, featuring the food of the current DCCC cookbook, is a great way for Lynne to participate, Lynne style.

Luckily Lynne has an open palate and welcomes food made with fiery chili peppers—just so it’s not too hot. A few weeks ago, I had Lynne over for a lunch from the cookbook Entice with Spice: Indian Scrambled Eggs (Anda Bhurji) and Flaky Wheat Bread (Sada Paratha). Actually I had an ulterior motive when deciding to attempt homemade paratha for our lunch.