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Table Talk: Turn a bounty of boiled eggs into springtime treats

The Easter baskets I saw this weekend overflowed with the candy-filled plastic variety of eggs, but it's safe to assume that a few refrigerators boast a bounty of colorful hard-boiled eggs.

In case an Easter-egg coloring project left you with more eggs than you can peel, salt, pepper and eat over the kitchen sink, I've searched for some new ideas.

Before we get too creative, let's not forget the obvious uses: egg salad, deviled and pickled hard-boiled eggs. My mom always served a pretty egg platter of pickled egg halves, the whites colored a delicate fuchsia by the beet juice, vinegar and sugar in which she soaked the peeled, whole eggs for several days.

Hard-boiled eggs add a protein bunch to salads, such as:

  • Niçoise salad with greens, blanched green beans, tuna, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, quartered red-skinned potatoes, quartered eggs drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Sicilian-style chickpea salad of chickpeas, raisins, pine nuts, green onions, anchovies topped with quartered eggs and flaked tuna.
  • Warm spinach salad with spinach wilted with warmed olive oil and vinegar dressing and topped with crumbled bacon, red onion rings and quartered eggs.
  • Macaroni salad with elbow macaroni noodles, diced eggs, onion, celery, pickle relish, mayonnaise and, depending on where you're from, mustard.
  • Cobb salad with rows of diced tomatoes, eggs, chicken, bacon, avocado and blue cheese arranged on a bed of shredded lettuce.
  • Potato salad with some combination of diced potatoes, celery, onion and eggs all tossed with a dressing of vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise. Again, some folks use mustard in the dressing.
  • Tuna salad of tuna, diced eggs, celery mixed with a dressing of mayonnaise and lemon juice.

A few sandwich suggestions include:

  • Pan bagnat, sliced eggs, onions, tomatoes, anchovies, tuna, olives, lettuce leaves, drizzled with vinaigrette and sandwiched between the top and bottom of a crusty loaf. Compress the sandwich briefly before serving.
  • Tuna melt of tuna salad on a slice of toasted bread or English muffin halves, topped with a slice of cheddar cheese, and placed under the oven broiler until cheese melts.
  • British egg sandwich of rye bread spread with equal parts softened cream cheese and mustard and topped with sliced eggs and tomatoes.

Other cultures use hard-boiled eggs in creative ways:

  • Italian bracciole: a slice of beef or veal, pounded thin and layered with prosciutto, then wrapped around hard-boiled eggs to form a roll, which is browned and simmered in sauce.
  • Hungarian rakott krumppli: a layered casserole of sliced potatoes and hard cooked eggs, sour cream and butter.
  • Jewish chopped liver of broiled liver, chopped eggs, onions, and schmaltz (chicken fat).
  • Scottish kedgeree: a dish of flaked fish (usually salmon), rice, hard-cooked eggs and butter.
  • Filipino embutido: hard-boiled eggs baked into the center of meatloaf. The Filipinos aren't the only ones who bake eggs in meat dishes.
  • Chinese tea eggs: boiled eggs are stewed in a mixture of tea, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon and other spices.
  • Danish kideaeg: a buttery, warm cake (not sweet) topped with boiled eggs and a mustard sauce.
  • Spanish: spinach with raisins and pine nuts topped with diced hard-boiled eggs.
  • Hindu: curried eggs combined a curry sauce with warmed hard-boiled eggs and served over rice or toast points.
  • Mediterranean eggs: hard-boiled egg whites filled with mashed yolks, diced olives, Roquefort cheese, cottage cheese and mayonnaise.

Sicilian Style Chickpea Salad

 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained

 2 tablespoons lemon juice

 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

 1 tablespoon raisins

 1 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts

 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions

 2 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed under cool water, minced

 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  Salt

 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

 8 ounces tuna packed in olive oil, drained and flaked.

 12 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

COMBINE the chickpeas, lemon juice, wine vinegar, raisins, pine nuts, green onions, anchovies, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir gently to combine with spoon.

TRANSFER to 6 salad plates and divide the hard-boiled eggs and flaked tuna among the plates. Drizzle with some of the reserved oil from the tuna, garnish each plate evenly with the basil and serve immediately.

Source: foodnetwork.com   Hindu Curried Eggs Over Rice

Serves: 4

 2 tablespoons butter

 1 tablespoon finely minced onion

 1 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

 1/2 cup warm beef or chicken broth

 1 cup warm milk (half-and-half is best)

 6 hard-boiled eggs

  Juice of one lemon

  Hot rice or toast

MELT the butter in a medium nonstick skillet, add the onion and sauté over low heat until the onion is clear.

STIR in the curry powder, salt, and flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

REMOVE FROM HEAT, and gradually stir in the broth and milk, stirring until smooth. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. The sauce should be slightly thickened and smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

CUT the hard-boiled eggs into quarters and add to the sauce. Cook just until the eggs are hot, but do not boil. Just before serving stir in a drop or two of fresh lemon juice.

SERVE over hot rice or toast points.

Source: homecooking.about.com

 

Reach Julie Robinson at julier@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.


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