Saturday, March 16, 2013

Eggs, Eggs and More Eggs

Having chickens has a real bonus --
   You're no longer out of eggs. 

What - the carton's empty? Wait a few hours. Trot down to the coop, and lift up Mrs. Broody. (One of our chickies is currently trying to hatch something - anything.) Invariably, there's a fresh, warm egg -- or two or three -- underneath, just waiting for use.

An extra bonus: If you don't wash them, fresh-laid eggs have a natural coating that keeps them good, even if they sit on the counter for days. In fact, some people advocate never putting them in the frig in the first place! Brits apparently do not refrigerate their eggs. The American Egg Board, on the other hand, disagrees with this stance, saying you shouldn't keep them out longer than a few hours. (Tell that to Mrs. Broody, who would cheerfully sit on them all day, if we'd let her.)

We sell enough eggs for the chickies to pay for their own keep. Other than that, a bowlful of hen fruit are around for experimenting. One good dish was this morning's breakfast:

FRIED EGGS w/BACON - AND CHEESE GUYS*

(*the family name for quesadillas)

You'll need 1/4 - 1/2 pound of bacon, an egg or two plus three corn tortillas for each person, and a handful of cubed cheese.
    Start the bacon frying in a skillet up-top, and turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Once the bacon is browned, push it to the outer edges of the skillet, and carefully crack the eggs into the middle. Salt and pepper, then add a few tablespoons of water and cover.
     By this time, the oven should be heating nicely. Sprinkle a few cubes of cheese on each tortilla, then slide the cookie sheet into the oven.
     Make the coffee and set table. By the time you're done (7-10 min.), the eggs should be firm and set, and the cheese guys bubbling. To eat: put a scoop of egg and bacon on the tortilla, shovel on some salsa, and fold in half. Let the blend of hot and cool make your mouth a very happy place.

    Variations: Add leftover chopped sausage or chicken to the tortillas, and a few tablespoons of chopped onion and/or mushrooms to the skillet. Chopped vegetables saute well in this mixture, too.

Add a little Commander Cody for a peaceful Saturday morning. 


Another favorite:
     DEVILED (Stuffed) EGGS

2 eggs per person
mayonnaise (or substitute ranch dressing), mustard, horseradish
salt, pepper...and a little basil or marjoram

Boil your eggs, peel and split lengthwise. Mash the yolks, adding about 1/4 cup mayo or dressing for every 6 eggs. Mix in a spoonful of mustard, and about 1/2 spoonful of horseradish, plus spices to taste. Fill each of the egg whites. Serve cold on a platter accompanied by other veggies...or a pile of crisp cole slaw. Goes well with hot dogs, cold cuts and crusty rolls.

There's kedgeree (flaked fish and rice, combined with chopped egg) -- a recipe for this British dish is coming up in Holiday Goodies shortly. Grandma Cumings would bake sliced boiled eggs in cream sauce for a Depression Era treat; I prefer ours poached in tomato sauce or salsa as Huevos Rancheros. (Serve a side of Cheese Guys for perfect munching.)

Or make a naked egg!
The Science of Cooking has all sorts of egg-related goodies, including letting them marinate in vinegar. (The vinegar dissolves the shell, giving the outer surface a translucent look, then 'cooks' the egg inside.)

The bonus to all this: eggs are all protein and budget-priced. They got a bad name from scientific studies in the past, for increasing cholesterol -- those same studies have now concluded that eggs are not so bad, after all. Score one for my practical farmer ancestors, who would have laughed themselves silly. Why would anyone not want to take advantage of this nutritious, frugal food?



2 comments:

Amateur Cook said...

You should trust people by their actions, and not by what is spoken out of them.
 
Because a person may have a heart of gold, but then again...so does an egg.
 
Just something that came to mind after reading that.  ツ

Cindy Brick said...

Good point!
Our chickens would agree... :)

Zzzzzzzz...

After four hours at Tuesday Morning's checkout line today, I can honestly relate. Okay, maybe a nap AND a cookie.