We’re just a few weeks out from Easter, and you know what that means: eggs are going to be cheap. Religious holidays aside, late winter/early spring is always a great time for eggs – that’s why they became a symbol of this spring religious festival. I have occasionally seen eggs as cheap as 4 dozen for a buck – these were medium-sized eggs, to be sure, but still, at that price they might as well be giving them away. At prices like that, we can eat a lot of eggs.
It’s good to know that despite dire warnings about eggs spoiling easily, they actually keep pretty well. In pre-refrigeration days, people used to rub their shells with tallow to block air flow through the shells, and keep them through the winter! (Of course, houses were colder in the winter back then.) So you can surely keep eggs for a month to six weeks in your fridge, assuming you’ve got the space. True, month-old eggs won’t be good for frying or poaching. But they’ll be just fine for hard-boiling – better than fresh eggs, actually – and they’ll work for quiche, other egg casseroles, and in recipes that use egg for a binder, like meat loaf.
The point is, if you find a killer loss-leader sale on eggs, feel free to buy as many as your fridge will hold.
What to do with all those eggs?
- To start with, all the things you do with eggs. You know, fry ’em, poach ’em, scramble ’em, make omelets, the usual.
- When they start getting a tad stale (ie, the white doesn’t stand up around the yolk, but runs out in a thin layer across the bottom of your skillet,) hard-boil ’em. Make egg salad, grate them over asparagus (yum!), add them to tuna salad, or just eat them out of hand. The best way to hard boil an egg? Heavily salt enough cold water to just cover your eggs. (My smallest saucepan will just fit 7 eggs, and I use a heaping tablespoon of salt.) Put them on a medium-high burner, and bring them to a boil. Do not leave the room while you’re heating the water! If you’re like me, you’ll space, the water will boil away, and your eggs will scorch. Just putter around the kitchen until the water comes to a rolling boil. Now turn off the burner, put a tight lid on the pan, and set your timer for 18 minutes. When time’s up, pour off the water and quickly cool the eggs with several changes of cold water. Stash in the fridge.
- I came up with an infinitely variable egg casserole for The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook. First choose a filling – I have used salsa and shredded Monterey jack cheese; asparagus and salmon with Swiss, diced cooked ham, thawed frozen broccoli, and shredded cheddar – the choices are endless. The basic mixture is 6 large eggs (I’d use 8 or 9 medium eggs) and 1 cup cottage cheese. Whisk these two things together with seasonings that will compliment your filling – for the salsa and cheese version I used cumin, garlic and oregano, for the salmon/asparagus version I used lemon juice and dill weed, with ham, broccoli and cheddar I used a little mustard and horseradish. Always add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt or Vege-Sal.
Anyway, spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and preheat your oven to 350. Whisk the eggs and cottage cheese with your seasonings, and pour half of it into the baking dish. Cover with your fillings, and pour the rest of the egg mixture on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or till puffed and golden.
Next I’m going to try it with pizza sauce, mozzarella, and cooked, crumbled Italian sausage! I’ll put garlic and Italian seasoning in the egg mixture, of course.
To get you started, here’s a recipe to try. This would be great for breakfast, lunch or supper, and it could be your ace in the hole if you have vegetarians coming over.
- 4 ounces chopped mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or Vege-sal
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Preheat oven to 325, and spray an 8×8″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. If you use a glass baking dish you can make this in advance and then microwave it to reheat it.
Start your mushrooms and onions sauteing in the butter over medium-low heat.
In the meanwhile, crack your eggs and measure your cottage and Parmesan cheeses into a mixing bowl, preferably one with a pouring lip, and whisk them up. Now go stir your onions and mushrooms!
Measure the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the eggs and cheese, and whisk again. Stir your veggies again.
Dump your thawed spinach into a strainer and press it hard with the back of a spoon to get out the excess water. Be diligent; spinach can hold a lot of water! Now add it to the egg and cheese mixture.
Okay, by now your onions are translucent and your mushrooms have softened and changed color. Add them and the mushrooms to the egg mixture, and whisk everything together well. Pour into the prepared baking dish, and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour, or until puffed and turning gold around the edges. Cut in squares to serve. You can top this with a little extra Parmesan if you like, but it’s not essential.
Assuming 9 servings, each will have: 114 Calories; 6g Fat ; 10g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber
However, that’s a pretty small serving for dinner! I’d consider that a breakfast serving. I’d figure on 4 dinner servings, at most. That would yield: 256 Calories; 14g Fat; 23g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber
If you’re warming the whole thing up in the glass baking dish, try heating it for 5-6 minutes at 5 or 6 power, rather than a shorter time at a higher power. One serving heats up nicely on a plate at 1-2 minutes on 7 power.
© 2010 by Dana Carpender. Used by kind permission of the eggs-celent author. What do you think? Please send Dana your comments to Dana Carpender.