Hen fruit recipes plentiful

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, March 18, 2009

By Staff
With Easter just a few short weeks away, I began thinking about eggs last weekend. I know that there will be cups filled with a mixture of water, vinegar and food coloring in no time and that I’ll have to figure out what to do with all of those eggs.
I know that I have shared recipes using boiled eggs as the main ingredient in this space, but I wanted to share something a little different.
From omelets for breakfast and egg salad for lunch all the way to stuffed eggs with dinner, eggs are one of the most versatile and economical ingredients found in the kitchen these days.
Currently, a dozen Grade A large eggs averages $1.87 bringing each egg to just over 15 cents each. Considering the amount of protein and B vitamins found in eggs, the nutritional value alone is certainly worth the cost.
Cooks from every socio-economic walk of life wouldn’t allow their kitchens to be without eggs. Cakes wouldn’t be as fluffy without eggs and of course, breakfast would be boring at best without what has been affectionately called hen fruit.
Because of the versatility of the egg, recipes printed in this space will be filled with dishes that use eggs as the main ingredient. You’ll find something for every meal of the day including a snack or two on the way.
Looking at breakfast dishes, eggs can be prepared in ways other than frying or scrambling. The first recipe is a Benedict recipe with a little southwestern flair for good measure.
Southwest Eggs Benedict
8 (5-inch) corn tortillas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
8 large eggs
Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce (recipe follows
1 cup salsa
Fry tortillas in hot oil in medium skillet one or two at a time. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side until crisp. Top each tortilla evenly with shredded cheese and keep warm. Add water to a depth of 3 inches in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and maintain a light simmer. Add vinegar. Break four eggs and slip into water one at a time as close as possible to the surface. Simmer three to five minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Removed with slotted spatula. Repeat with remaining eggs. Top each warm tortilla with poached egg, Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce and two tablespoons salsa. Serve immediately.
Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce
1/3 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup butter, melted and lightly cooled
1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
3 to 4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
2 tbsp. fresh limejuice.
Process egg substitute, salt and pepper in a blender or food process on high for one minute. Reduce speed to low and pour butter in a slow, steady stream. Add cilantro, peppers and limejuice. Continue blending until smooth. Microwave sauce on high for 10 to 15 seconds before serving.
If you plan on using eggs in a luncheon or brunch situation, you may want to consider a quiche.
In this recipe, four eggs are used to create a pillow for vegetables. The dish is typical for a luncheon and will offer you a chance to strut your kitchen and culinary skills. The following recipe calls for spinach as the base for the dish. However, if your family doesn’t like spinach, chopped broccoli can be used as a good substitute.
Spinach Quiche
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed.
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-inch pie plate. Drain spinach by pressing out moisture with a slotted spoon. Spread half of the spinach in the bottom of the prepared pie plate. Sprinkle with red pepper. In a large bowl, beat eggs and stir in cottage cheese. Add salt and pepper. Stir in remaining spinach and pour into pie plate.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let stand for five minutes before cutting into wedges.
There are so many ways to prepare eggs that the possibilities seem endless.
If you’re like my son, you may even enjoy just a plain old boiled egg sandwich.
If you want to give it a try, just boil some eggs to the doneness that you prefer. Slice them either lengthwise or crosswise, it’s just a matter of choice. Lay each egg slice on a slice of bread so that they barely overlap each other. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on one or both slices of bread. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with the slice of bread and enjoy a simple sandwich.
In the coming weeks, I plan to share some recipes that incorporate eggs as the main ingredient in a dinner meal or two. You’d be surprised at how some fancy restaurants can poach an egg and pour some kind of sauce over it and put a price tag on it that would cause your grandmother to drop all the eggs in her apron. Just think of the money she could have made from her eggs if she charged what those restaurants are charging.
If you want to share a recipe or tip with me, please give me a call at 867-4876. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next week, happy cooking.