Sorry, vegans. As much as I have incorporated a few vegan recipes into my repertoire, some animal based proteins remain a constant, eggs being one of them. I had a fabulous buy of 18 cage free (and I know cage free is not same as free range), and have been thinking through how to best use them in dishes to stretch the grocery budget over the next week. From my last post, I need simple uses that do not require me to be on my feet for long, and better yet, that I can have DD2 whip up. While egg's can be high in cholesterol, 18 eggs works out to only 6 each, and stretched out over a week, some used in baking, I think it will be just fine.
There's the basic egg quiche, or egg bake if I do not want to bother with a crust. Egg bakes work really well when feeding a crowd as you can double or triple and use a cake pan or larger baking dish. They also work terrifically in crock pots, so summer brunches can be pulled off without heating your kitchen. If I do have a crust, they are usually the rice based ones because I am not good at making pie crusts and the leftover rice works really well. I wrote about this in my Creative Cookery post.
We eat a lot of sandwiches as I almost always bring a packed lunch, DD2 does sometimes, and DH comes home for lunch. Egg salad makes a nice change from PB & J or deli meat. While I sometimes forget my eggs and overcook them, the shame is hid in a good egg salad. The fool proof (if I remember to set the timer) for perfectly hard boiled egg's is to put the desired number of eggs in a pan of cold water, making sure eggs are completely submerged. I turn on the heat and once they come to a boil, I turn down to a light boil/high consistent simmer, and cook for 8 minutes. I usually turn off the pan and let them sit another couple minutes, then cool them off in cold water and maybe an ice cube or two to speed it up. Chill eggs thoroughly before making the egg salad. My egg salad is very basic. For every three-four eggs, I stir in into the mashed up eggs two healthy squirts of plain yellow mustard, a sprinkle of salt, a healthy sprinkle of black pepper, and just enough mayonnaise to make the salad spreadable, but with egg pieces still visible. I hate egg salad when it has been made so creamy you can't see egg pieces, and I also do not like it dry. The beauty is you can always add more, so start with only a couple teaspoons of mayo at a time. I did say mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip, but that is my preference, as I find Miracle Whip sickeningly sweet and fake tasting.
A variation of my egg salad includes deviled eggs, when I use just the yolk, but basically the same as my salad, then scoop the yolk mixture into the hollowed out egg area. DD2 loves deviled eggs, though harder to pack in a lunch. I like to use egg salad on celery sticks, crackers, or twist pretzels instead of bread-great when we've run out or are short slices.
We stumbled upon making French Toast bake a few years ago when I first took on the Palm Sunday breakfast. My co-coordinator had visions to do this, but then sort of bailed on me, after we had advertised French Toast bake. I learned the hard way it does not work well for a group of 150+, but for a Sunday brunch, with leftovers for Monday morning, it is a perfect way to use up egg and bread that might otherwise go stale. Tear a 1 pound loaf of bread in squares (any bread will do), and place in a greased, sprayed, or buttered cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon over the bread. In a large bowl, scramble 8 eggs with 2 cups milk, 2 more tablespoons of cinnamon, and another 1/2 cup of sugar. Pour this over the bread, soaking the bread completely, cover and refrigerate overnight.. Bake the next morning in a 350 degree oven for about 45-55 minutes (depending on thickness of layers and size of pan. It can be served with butter on top or for those that really like it sweet, syrup. It makes 8 healthy sized servings. I played around with the ratios of sugar to cinnamon, and have added nutmeg and cloves to have more of a fall flavor. This will be tomorrows brunch. I've never done this, but because it makes so much,I bet half could be carefully wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored for later use. It warms up well in the microwave.
Besides a little baking, there's three ways I'll be using up eggs this weekend and for the coming week. Does anyone else have some fool proof recipes they use when they have a glut of an ingredient on hand? How do you ensure you use it while fresh and not get tired of the same thing?