Scramble for a quick supper

When my mom and I traveled to France recently, we loved shopping at the open market just up the "rue" from us. Each week, we loaded up on fresh cheese, eggs, vegetables and, oh, my goodness, the ham.

But some nights when we arrived at our apartment after a long day of walking in the city, we were just too tired to dive into preparing a big meal.

So we found ourselves desperate for dinner, but for new a reason: Our feet hurt too much to stand up long enough to cook.

It was in that moment that today's recipe for Fresh Egg Scramble was born. Breakfast for dinner has long been a "Desperation" staple in my family, and being in Paris didn't change this comforting and quick solution.

You can mix the scramble any way you want, depending on what you have in the refrigerator. The only secret is to thinly slice or chop the vegetables, and don't overcook them before adding the eggs.

Scramble the eggs for only a minute or two, even if they look a bit runnier than you prefer. The eggs will continue to cook for up to another minute after removal from the heat source due to the residual heat in the pan.

This trick ensures a perfectly soft scramble and not hard little balls of egg.

Bon appetit!

Menu suggestion

Yield: 2 servings.

Start to finish: less than 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 small shallot or 1/4 small white onion

3 large eggs

1/4 cup chopped ham

1/4 cup shredded cheese of choice, such as white cheddar

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat oil over medium heat in an 8-inch or larger skillet. Peel and thinly slice garlic and shallot, and add to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until translucent. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs and stir in ham and cheese. Add to pan and lightly scramble for 1 to 2 minutes, or until eggs are softly cooked. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper or pass at the table.

To double, use a larger pan and allow a bit more time.

Approximate values per serving: 257 calories (69 percent from fat), 19g fat (6g saturated), 338mg cholesterol, 17g protein, 3g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 400mg sodium.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross can be reached at Desperation Dinners, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or email tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Visit the Desperation Dinners website at www.kitchenscoop.com.