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Monday, April 21, 2014

What to do with all those easter eggs! "Egg Stuff" + White Sauce 101

Us girls being artsy.. we love to dye easter eggs.  And that usually leaves us with a whole mess of hard-boiled eggs.  
I love to use them in the next couple of weeks in egg salad sandwiches, a hearty, chopped salad with eggs and even a delicious spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.   These are all good uses for the left over egg dilemma.  However, this recipe is one of my favorites.  Growing up, my mom would make it for dinner and usually when my dad was not going to be there.  That's when we had quiche or any egg based meal. We called it "Egg Stuff" when we were little.  

It is a delicious and easy dish.  Actually, quite "elegant" with the bèchamel or white sauce. I love it for a brunch; the ladies who lunch really love it.  I don't think I've ever come across one person who knew what it was or had it before.  My mother said my grandma Blount would make it.  It does seem to me like something you would learn in Home Economics back in the day.  I want to wear a vintage apron when I make it.  

If sauces from scratch scare you.. This is a good sauce to learn and know. From this basic white sauce recipe, you can go a dozen different ways.  The addition of cheese and you're heading toward an amazing nacho dip that's not processed (love that!).. or macaroni and cheese.  Creamed chipped beef (no, thank you for me.. but that may be your sort of thing!)  Adding different broths.. you come upon dishes like Seafood bèchamel over rice, chicken divan with broccoli, chicken potpie.  Certain broth additions can be the beginning of many different cream soups. The list goes on and what I am saying is this is a good basic to know.   

We grew up using Campbell's cream of chicken, mushroom, broccoli.. soup for just about any recipe and casserole.  This white sauce is where you begin to learn to replace that processed, msg loaded crap with whole ingredients.  I used to make chicken pot pie using cream of chicken and broccoli soup, then when I started this whole foods healthier journey I had to figure out how to replace the processed ingredients in my cooking.  What amazed me was how easy it is.  Recipes like this are so darn simple, I even have them memorized.  
2 tablespoons of butter + 2 tablespoons of flour + 1 cup of milk + little salt and pepper..  and you're there.  Delicious Bèchamel 101  
(Don't think there's MSG in there?  Do you see "yeast extract"? Then it is.  That's a marketing term to get around using "MSG" which has become a worrisome ingredient for consumers. Definitely something I want to avoid especially in a child's diet with a growing brain.) 

Well, if you give "Egg Stuff" a try... let me know what you think! 

Egg Stuff + Basic White Sauce 101 (Béchamel)    
(serves 4 generously)

4-6 Hard Boiled Eggs

2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup Milk
White pepper, to taste

8 slices of Bread, toasted (2 per person)

In a saucepan, melt butter over med high heat.  Sprinkle flour over and whisk.  Add salt. Cook slowly 2-4 minutes.  (this is important, as it gets rid of the uncooked flour taste).  

Meanwhile, peel hard boiled eggs and separate the whites from yolks.  (I use a butter knife for this task.. cutting through whites just to yolk.. open up and yolk comes out whole.) Set yolks aside. Roughly chop whites. 

After flour and butter has cooked for 2-4 minutes..  whisk in milk slowly.  Continue to cook til thickened.  (About 2-4 minutes) Note: if you cook too long and it's too thick .. you can always thin with a little milk. Be Warned!  Add a Tablespoon at a time.. if you add to much, you quickly can have a thin sauce and you can't add more raw flour to thicken. 

Taste to see if you need to add more salt.  (Ending here.. you have a basic white sauce.  Continue on for "Egg Stuff") Stir in chopped egg whites.  

Spoon warm over toast.  Using a mesh strainer (see photo below), scrape yolks through strainer with fork and let it "snow" over the white sauce on the toast.  (the only time yellow snow is good!)

Sprinkle with Pepper... and serve. 

Melt 2 Tablespoons of Butter in saucepan. 

Sprinkle in 2 Tablespoons Flour.

Whisk and let cook 2-4 minutes.

Add 1/4 sea salt.

Add 1 cup Milk.

Peeling the eggs.  For easter egg dying we are forced
to buy store-bought organic white eggs as our usual
cage free brown eggs don't dye very well.

Separate the yolk from the whites.  This is where you can
see the difference between pasture-raised eggs and even store-bought
organic.  The yolks in these eggs barely have any colour! 

Add whites into white sauce.

Spoon over toast.

Using a metal strainer and fork push yolks through
to make a delicious yolk dusting. 

Oh, so good. 

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