Use up those eggs
By LORI DUNN
For my family, the reasons for raising chickens are many and varied. We enjoy the entertaining antics of our flock; we like that the birds help with pest patrol; we especially like knowing what goes into the foods we eat and taking responsibility for the animals that feed us. Our flock consists of dual-purpose chickens that give us brown eggs and meat for our table. If you are just starting out, you will eventually ask yourself this question: “What on earth am I going to do with all those eggs?” Read on for some EGGcellent ideas.
First, never overlook the obvious. Tomorrow morning, instead of going for that box of cereal, make your family a wonderful, cooked breakfast with eggs.
I like to make a big batch, scrambled. Break your eggs into a container. Add any seasoning you want: salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, red pepper, whatever you prefer. Beat them up with a fork and cook in a skillet (I use no-stick for easy clean up), over medium heat. When the eggs are done, sprinkle with your favorite cheese.
Deviled eggs in a salad
If I want to use up a few dozen eggs at a time, I turn them into little devils. My family loves deviled eggs. They are easy to make, and you can be so creative with them. First, you have to hard-boil your eggs. When they are done, peel and rinse.
Now you simply take a sharp knife and cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and pop out the yoke into a bowl. Set the whites aside. I use a spoon to smash the yolks, and then the fun begins.
You can add almost anything you can think of to the mix. I start with mayo and mustard. I just spoon some into the egg yolk and stir. If it seems a little dry, I just add more.
Then I start adding the “good stuff.” Add whatever seasoning you like and want to try. There are no rules. You can also add bacon, chunks of ham, onion, green pepper you name it. For my last batch, I used bacon-onion seasoning mix, dill and some horseradish sauce. When you are finished with your own concoction, spoon the filling into the egg whites. Use on top of a salad, or serve them on a tray.
Egg salad sandwich
When I peel my hard-boiled eggs, I always have some that don’t look so pretty when I’m finished. Those eggs get chopped up and put into a separate bowl. I use them for egg salad another great way to use up eggs. Like the deviled-egg filling, you can be creative with egg salad. To my chopped eggs, I add, once again, mayo and mustard. Then I like to add onion, and whatever other seasoning I’m in the mood for. I like to add ground red pepper for a little kick. Taste test as you go and adjust accordingly. Spread on some bread, add some lettuce, and voil’, a yummy sandwich.
I think you could ask 10 different people how to hard-boil eggs, and you would get 10 different methods.
This is what I do. I place my eggs in a pan and cover with water. I bring that to a boil. When the eggs start to boil, I turn the temperature down and set the timer for 10 or 12 minutes. Less time for smaller eggs, more time for larger eggs. As soon as the timer goes off, I drain and put them in cold water. Let them cool until you can handle them, then peel.
The trick to getting the shell to come off easily has to do with the age of the eggs used. It is best to use eggs that are at least a couple weeks old. Eggs will keep in the refrigerator for a fairly long time. The USDA and the California Egg Commission both say you can keep eggs up to five weeks in the refrigerator. Buy a few extra dozen eggs, or if you have chickens, set some eggs back for a couple of weeks and designate them for hard-boiling.
I’ve also had all kinds of advice on things to add to the water when boiling to make the shell come off easier. I don’t know that any of them really work. I’ve been told a little vinegar or vegetable oil added to the water both help when removing the shell.
Fruit custard pie
By Dunn’s daughter, Ashten
I make it into either a peach custard or raspberry custard, but you can use pretty much whatever type of fruit floats your boat! I think the next time I try this recipe, I’m going to try something off the wall like mangoes just to see what happens.
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fruit, blended
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon (heaping) flour (or 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch)
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until custard is thick.
Let cool after removing from oven, then cool in refrigerator.
This recipe is delicious and very easy. It must be said that eggs truly are one of the most versatile foods we have available to us, from breakfast to lunch to supper to dessert.
Old-fashioned baked custard pie
Dunn says this recipe is from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking, A Mennonite Community Cookbook by Mary Emma Showalter. Editors
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pastry for 1 9-inch crust
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Combine sugar, salt and flour. Add beaten eggs.
Bring milk to boiling point and add gradually to egg mixture.
Pour into an unbaked pie shell and sprinkle nutmeg over the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Jean’s shared quiche
Another wonderful way to use up a few eggs is to make a quiche. Grit has a great recipe; this is from Comfort Foods of the July/August 2009 issue. I highly recommend this one.
Yields 6 to 8 servings.
Pastry for 10-inch pie, unbaked
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 can (2 1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
12 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Line pie pan with pastry and flute edge. Sprinkle bottom with cheese, mushrooms and crumbled bacon. Combine remaining ingredients; pour into shell.
Bake for 45 minutes or until custard is lightly browned and set.
Find more recipes for eggs and chicken in Grit’s Guides to Backyard Chickens; visit the Bookstore today: www.grit.com/store.
Excerpted from Grit, Celebrating Rural America Since 1882. To read more articles from Grit, please visit www.grit.com, or call 866-803-7096. Copyright 2017 by Ogden Publications Inc.
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