Friday, January 1, 2016

Bare Bones With Style: Elegant Eggs

How many protein items do you know that are cheap (especially in the spring), quick to fix -- and delicious?  Eggs fit the bill, from souffles nice enough for gracious dining, to breakfast dishes you'll be proud to serve at nighttime, too.

Eggs - a hidden pleasure

Starting the lineup:  Susan's Breakfast Casserole, from's Food department. Essentially it's a savoury bread pudding. But your guests will call it tasty.

  • 4 slices bread
  • 12 to 16 ounces bacon or sausage, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
Start your oven at 350 degrees. Break up the bread in a greased 9 x 13 pan; add meat and cheese, mixing well. Stir eggs, milk and mustard, then pour over all. Bake for 35-45 min., and serve hot. (4-6 servings)

Another option: quiche. Serve it hot or even lukewarm, with a crisp salad.

A Farmers Fry will make you think of Hobbitses, third breakfasts...and plates steaming in the morning sunshine. This rendition is an American version of what the British would refer to as a 'mixed grill' -- plus eggs. Sprinkle with parsley or marjoram for contrast, and serve with sliced oranges and hot coffee. 


2-3 potatoes
1 onion
1 cup mushrooms (or half of a small can, drained)
2 slices bacon
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Microwave potatoes 4-5 min. in microwave. While they're cooking, chop onion, bacon and mushrooms. Start frying in a hot pan; when the microwave dings, slice the potatoes and add to the sizzling mixture. Press with the back of a spatula, then turn the heat down to med. and cook for 5 min. without turning. Carefully stir, and cook an additional 5 min. Add eggs -- stir in (cooks more quickly), or carefully break eggs in, one at a time, cover and cook 5 more min.
    Sprinkle cheese over...or wait until you've spooned the fry onto plates. (Looks more decorative that way.) 2-4 servings.

And finally, a cheese souffle that will make your guests swoon.  Warning: it collapses quickly, so serve asap. This version comes from Julia Child via Epicurious.


  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)

    1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides. Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.
    2. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes. (Do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape mixture into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm.
    3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Gently fold 1/4 of whites into the first mixture; fold in remaining whites  while gradually sprinkling in Gruyère cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.
    4. Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes. (Do not open oven door during first 20 minutes). Serve immediately.  (4-6 servings)     
(And here's what to do with the eggshells...)

 Next time: I Yam What I Yam  (Sweet Potatoes)

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