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eggs and spinach in twelve easy steps
cooking the mohnkern way
by ken mohnkern

Your wife has just left for a week away, leaving you to cook for yourself. This is a good first dinner alone.

Eggs are protein, aren't they? I don't know why, but protein is supposed to be good for you. And if my early years watching television cartoons taught me anything, it is that spinach makes bulging muskles.

1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in your wife's good All-Clad saute pan and squish a couple cloves of garlic in the oil. It will sizzle, but not burn. Say to the dogs, "This is gonna be really good. What did you varmints eat today? Kibble?" They will look at you, but will feel no jealousy.

2. There will be fresh organic spinach in the fridge. Dump all of it in the pan. It will hiss a little in the oil, just right.

3. As you pull the last leaves from the bag you will notice dirt on them. Consider your options, one of which is to eat it dirty.

4. Scoop the spinach out of the pan and into a lettuce spinner. It will not all fit. Turn a slow circle in the middle of the room as you try to remember where the larger spinner is kept. It will be in the bottom drawer. Transfer the spinach to the larger spinner along with the last of the oily wilted leaves from the pan.

5. Run water over the spinach and work the crank on top of the spinner to dry it. Put the spinach back into the pan. The pan will still be hot, so the spinach will sizzle, but this time you will not gloat. The dogs will have gone to sleep, even the one that always begs for food. Put the lid on the pan.

6. Break two eggs into a bowl. Use the bowl you used earlier for cheddar popcorn; it should be okay. Pick the larger bits of egg shell out of the bowl. Mix the eggs together with a fork, the way they do it on tv.

7. Check the spinach. It will be sticking to the pan because you removed the olive oil with the dirty spinach and rinsed it down the drain. Scrape at the pan with a wooden spoon. Decide that the spinach is done enough.

8. Use your wife's good All-Clad tongs to transfer the spinach to a plastic container. Notice little brown things on the leaves. They might be worms, but if you don't examine them too closely you can feel confident that they are not.

9. Melt a little butter in the pan and pour the eggs in.

10. While the eggs set put a tortilla on one of your new Fiestaware plates. Use the red one. Decide that's your favorite plate color. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on the tortilla. Hopefully it will melt when you put the eggs on top of it.

11. Scramble the eggs and spoon them onto the tortilla. Add a dollop of spinach. Put the pan in the sink and put water in it. By Sunday you should be able to scrub the burnt spinach out of it. Fold the tortilla over and enjoy.

12. Your first bite will include a clod of dirt.

Remember, if it takes longer to make than to eat, it's cooking.


There's a fifty-fifty chance that Ken is wearing a shirt with a stain on it.

more about ken mohnkern


alex b
6.18.07 @ 10:43p

Ken! You've written food porn! (That dish looks really, really sexy).

ken mohnkern
6.18.07 @ 10:44p

'Cause it's dirty?

alex b
6.18.07 @ 10:48p

Oh God, yes. And you said clod.


tracey kelley
6.19.07 @ 12:37p

I second Alex - it's definitely food porn. The steps...

I also like the fact that, like Matt, you'll use the same plate, bowl, pan, and three utensils until KR comes back.

"They Might Be Worms" was the test name They Might Be Giants used, yes?

marki shalloe
6.20.07 @ 10:28a

Alas, I think it's only pornez if one uses UNclad tongs. Great column, Mr. Ken, as always. But you will never cook at my house, ever.

ken mohnkern
6.20.07 @ 11:26a

Or All-Clad thongs.

ken mohnkern
6.20.07 @ 12:54p

as i read this, i could see KR's eyes burning the spinach off of the pan. keep up the eating, however you can. she'll be home soon.

(This was submitted by my wife's assistant, writing on the computer at the shop. I've signed in to IM from there, so when Laura posted this it came out as from me. Heh.)


russ carr
6.21.07 @ 1:44p

Put my spinach
in the hot pan
and I try not to notice that it's
fryin' dirty

notice that it's
fryin' dirty
olive oil
fryin' dirty
Popeye says I'm
fryin' dirty

andrea augustine
3.6.08 @ 12:26p

Eggs are good and protein helps you because it gives you long lasting energy, calories, and burns evenly in conjunction with your metabolic rate. Just FYI

ken mohnkern
3.6.08 @ 12:31p


I hope the dirt contributed something to my well being too.

russ carr
3.7.08 @ 8:57a

Keeps you humble.

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