Eggs are a pantry basic, used from everything to eating for breakfast or baking a cake. They play many different roles in the kitchen, from binding meatloaf ingredients together, thickening a custard, or being the star of the meal in a souffle or omelette.
I have included a link to show the nutritional information for eggs. I like to keep some hard boiled eggs in the fridge for a quick high protein snack. These are also convenient for adding to a salad or sandwhich.
I am not going to use this space to debate health benefits of eggs, but to talk about different ways to use them in your cooking, and how to make the most of something so versatile.
Using eggs to make either omelettes, frittata or quiche allows all those bits and pieces in your fridge to be used, and encourages creativity. When I make pastry fro quiche, I make enough for 3 crusts and wrap and freeze the extra 2 pieces of dough for the next time. You can also use a purchased pie crust. Try some of the following combinations next time:
- cooked chicken, green onions, red peppers, olives and grated cheddar
- diced tomatoes and onion, fresh herbs and blue cheese
- chopped ham or cooked bacon, chives or green onion, halved cherry tomatoes and your favourite cheese
- smoked salmon, green onion, wilted spinach and brie
- ham, blanched broccoli and cheese
- quiche with thinly sliced apples, blue cheese and prosciutto
Next time you scramble eggs, consider putting them on a piece of toast, topped with thick slices of fresh tomato and grated cheddar cheese.
Baked eggs are versatile, but don't just use a buttered ramekin to bake them in. Why not scoop out a baked potato, leaving about 1/2" of potato around the edges. Add chopped cooked bacon, green onions and crack an egg into each potato skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a bit of parmesan cheese and bake at 350F until the eggs are set, but the yolk is as runny as you like it.
Too many potatoes in the pantry? Cut them into 1" chunks, boil until just cooked, drain and cool. In a large pan heat olive oil and cook your favourite sausage (removed from the casing), sliced onion and red pepper until the sausage is half cooked. Add the potatoes, season well with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring often until the sausage is cooked through. Add some frozen corn, fresh parsley check the seasoning and serve, topped with a poached egg.
Make a fun breakfast for little kids. Take a thick slice of bread and lightly butter both sides of the bread. Cut a shape out of the centre using a cookie cutter. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add the bread and crack an egg into the cutout. When the egg is almost cooked, flip the whole thing over to crisp the other side.
Making homemade pizza? When the pizza is almost cooked, crack an egg in the centre and put back into the oven to finish cooking. This gives Toast Soldiers a whole new meaning...
Top potato salad with chopped hard boiled egg.
Egg salad sandwiches with minced chives and poppy seeds.
Try making a souffle, it's not as intimidating as it sounds. The souffle base can be made the day before, which leaves only the egg whites to deal with. Whip them to firm peaks and gently fold them into the base before carefully scraping it into a well buttered souffle dish and baking. Add a salad and you have a nice light dinner.
Try this souffle recipe, and then think of all the other options for your next one...
- roasted shallots with herbs and cambazola cheese
- smoked salmon, chives, lots of black pepper and white cheddar
- ratatouille (finely chopped zucchini, eggplant, onion, red pepper, garlic, tomatoes, basil and thyme) and goat cheese
HAM, CORN AND CHEESE SOUFFLE
2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
2 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED
1 SHALLOT, MINCED
1 CUP CORN KERNELS
SALT AND PEPPER
3 OZ HAM, DICED
2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
3 TABLESPOONS FLOUR
1 CUP MILK
SALT AND PEPPER
4 EGG YOLKS
3/4 CUP GRATED CHEDDAR
4 EGG WHITES
- COOK THE GARLIC AND SHALLOT IN THE 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER UNTIL SOFTENED.
- STIR IN THE CORN AND COOK UNTIL STARTING TO CARAMELIZE, SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE.
- MIX IN THE HAM, SET ASIDE.
- MELT THE REMAINING 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER, STIR IN THE FLOUR AND COOK FOR 2 MINUTES.
- ADD THE MILK AND COOK, WHISKING, UNTIL THICKENED AND JUST BEGINNING TO BOIL.
- STIR IN THE CHEESE, SEASON TO TASTE WITH SALT AND PEPPER.
- WHISK IN THE EGG YOLKS. ALLOW TO COOL COMPLETELY.
- HEAT OVEN TO 400F. BUTTER A 2 QUART SOUFFLE DISH AND COAT WITH GRATED PARMESAN.
- WHISK THE EGG WHITES UNTIL FIRM, NOT DRY, PEAKS FORM. FOLD GENTLY INTO THE SOUFFLE BASE.
- SCRAPE INTO THE PREPARED DISH AND BAKE FOR 20 - 25 MINUTES (GOLDEN AND PUFFED)
- SERVE IMMEDIATELY