Friday, April 18, 2014

Eggs, Eggs, and More Eggs!

Due to time constraints (I was out of town until the wee small hours Thursday morning and this had to be in Thursday because MHC is closed on Friday), I won’t be able to work with what’s on sale this week. Instead, I’m going to be talking about what to do with leftover Easter eggs. Or things to do with hard-boiled eggs in general. They’re usually a cheap source of protein.

When I was a kid, I loved to decorate Easter eggs. And with four kids in the family, we needed a lot of them for our Easter baskets! And that, of course, meant lots of leftover Easter eggs. I assume that families have the same problem today. Whatever do you do with all those hard-boiled eggs? I don’t know why it is, but for some reason leftover Easter eggs seem more “leftover” than just a batch of hard-boiled eggs that you make up to have on hand.

You know the basics, of course. Egg salad sandwiches and devilled eggs, and eggs in potato salad and macaroni salad. But then what do you do? I’ll give a few “real” recipes, but mostly just some general ideas of things that you may have forgotten about or that you hadn’t ever thought of but that you’ll know what to do with.

First the general ideas…

Turn coleslaw or cabbage salad into a whole meal salad by adding some chopped hard boiled eggs and some bacon and/or cheese. Or some sausage cut into small bits. Some sunflower seeds are good, too. I usually shred the cabbage for a whole meal salad instead of chopping it. It somehow makes it seem more substantial. I have this a lot in the summer when I don’t want to cook, but it’s good any time of year.

Combine raw cauliflower, a bit of celery (optional), chopped hard boiled eggs, ranch dressing and sunflower seeds (optional) for another main dish salad. Use lots of eggs, since this will be the protein for the meal.

Add a chopped hard-boiled egg to a can of tuna when you make tuna salad. It stretches the tuna. It works with chicken, too. Or ham.

Make a Cobb salad, with lettuce, tomato, bacon, avocado, egg, and blue cheese. Or any combination of these. I seldom use all of them at once, though they’re all part of an official Cobb salad.

Make a chef salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, egg, cheese, and leftover meat. Add some olives if you like them.

Make a spinach salad with spinach, bacon, egg, onion, mushrooms, and hot bacon dressing or a sweet dressing.

Serve chopped eggs in white sauce over toast. Asparagus is good with it, too. Mom usually uses canned cream of mushroom soup instead of the white sauce.

Add some chopped eggs to soup as a garnish. Especially good with potato soup or a  green soup like cream of spinach or cream of broccoli.

Add some eggs to creamed spinach.

Or just use chopped eggs (especially the yolks) to garnish cooked vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

Peel them and throw them whole into a jar of pickle juice for pickled eggs. Or into the juice from canned pickled beets. Or add the juice from a can of beets to some pickle juice and add the eggs to that.

Chop the eggs and add them to fried rice.

Make your usual meatloaf, but before you bake it put some whole eggs down the middle. Put a layer of meatloaf on the bottom of the pan (it needs to be a loaf pan for this) and put the eggs in a row down the middle of the pan. Put the rest of the meatloaf around and over the eggs. The eggs need to be completely covered. Bake as usual. When you slice the meatloaf, there will be a slice of egg in each slice.

Scotch Eggs - Wrap each egg in bulk sausage meat so it’s completely covered, dip in beaten raw eggs, then roll in bread crumbs. (You can skip the raw egg and bread crumbs if you want.) Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 for about 35 minutes, or until the sausage is done. Scotch Eggs are traditionally deep fat fried, but baking is easier. The picture from Betty Crocker shows them on a stick, like a cake pop sort of thing, which might please the kids.

Add chopped eggs to a white sauce and toss with pasta. Or Alfredo sauce instead of white sauce.

Make a sandwich with pumpernickel bread, mustard, sardines, and sliced hard boiled eggs.

Peel the eggs and marinate them for a few hours in 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar. (recipe from the Boston Globe via several people online)

Add eggs and vegetables to your favorite curry sauce. Or just make a white sauce and add some curry powder and use that as your curry sauce.

Make a “layered” salad. In a big bowl (glass if you have it, so you can show off the layers), put some chopped or torn lettuce. Then a layer of frozen peas, a layer of hard boiled eggs, another layer of lettuce, a thin layer of sliced green onions, a layer of halved cherry tomatoes (sliced regular tomatoes get too juicy), a layer of crumbled cooked bacon and a layer of grated cheddar. Mix some mayo with some salt and pepper and a couple of teaspoons of sugar and spread it over the top, sealing it all the way to the edges. Refrigerate overnight. You’re supposed to serve it from the glass bowl, but I find it works best to show it off, then mix it all up myself. Otherwise some folks get just lettuce and others get the good stuff. It’s a really flexible recipe. Sometimes it calls for broccoli or cauliflower, sometimes for sliced water chestnuts. I like to put some sunflower seeds in it, and some people use chopped or whole peanuts. Basically, just use whatever you have. You could mix some ranch dressing with the mayo for the topping, too, if you wanted to.

Hard boiled eggs are in most chicken liver pate recipes, too. Cook the chicken livers (in bacon grease is best, of course) and set aside. Cook some onions (again, preferably in bacon grease) until very soft. Combine the livers and onions in a food processor until mostly smooth. Add some chopped hard boiled eggs. You’ll probably need to season it too. Salt and pepper, of course, and sometimes a bit of Tabasco sauce. Or however you like your chicken liver pate. It’s good with cream cheese mixed in with it, too.

Add chopped hard boiled eggs to cooked green beans and some onion that has been cooked in butter with a bit of garlic.

Now for some “real” recipes…

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