RECREATE EGGCELLENT RECIPES AND LEARN THE TRICKS OF THE EGG TRADE
By Bailey Gilliam
Easter Sunday isn’t complete without eggs — and we’re not just talking about the chocolate, dyed and plastic varieties (those are must-haves as well). Celebrate the holiday in style with a boss breakfast bake, an outstanding omelet, a tempting torte or a heavenly shrimp hash. Local chefs were kind enough to share their favorite ways to cook and bake with the incredible, edible ingredient, so hop to it!
THE G-FREE SPOT
1/2 cup milk (or heavy cream or half and half)
1/2 cup spinach (frozen, thawed and drained or fresh)
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 cup bread pieces, cubed
Directions  On the stovetop, cook bacon and spinach in a small pat of butter together until soft.  Scramble eggs and milk. Add bacon and spinach mixture, cheese and bread to eggs and mix gently until bread is moist.  Line an 8-by-8 pan with parchment paper and fill with mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly, cut and serve.
BAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT
For a quick egg dish for a large group or for leftover lovers, this breakfast bake from Nicole Gardner at the G-Free Spot is the perfect meal. Scramble and bake your leftover eggs and whip them up into this light and delicious dish.
Mother Earth Omelet
NECTAR FARM KITCHEN
3 local eggs, whites only
2 ounces roasted broccoli
2 ounces diced tomatoes
1 ounce fresh spinach
1 ounce vegetable oil to heat nonstick pan
2 ounces fresh avocado, sliced
1 ounce goat feta, or normal feta
Directions  Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and add oil. Add broccoli, tomatoes and spinach. Season with salt.  Sauté until spinach is wilted and then add egg whites. Sauté and flip until the omelet is cooked to your liking.  Slide the omelet out of the pan and add the goat cheese before folding it onto the plate. Place sliced avocado on top of the folded omelet.
1 ounce arugula
1 ounce sliced radish
1/2 ounce celery leaves
Directions  Toss the herb salad into a bowl and mix well with all of the ingredients. Place a little bit of the herb salad on top and serve with freshly made hash browns or local grits.
LOVE YOUR MOTHER
You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Make this healthy and delicious version from the team at Nectar Farm Kitchen with egg whites, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and avocado. Spice things up with an egg and herb salad on top.
Baked Pan Eggs
ODD BIRDS CAFE
(Makes 9 egg squares)
1 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomato
1/4 cup chopped ham or bacon
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice or 9 slices American cheese for topping
Directions  Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the melted butter into a 9 x 9 non-stick metal baking dish. Brush to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.  Whisk the eggs, half and half, salt and seasonings, if using. An immersion blender also works great for this. Stir in any add-ins.  Pour the egg mixture into the pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle but still slightly jiggly.  If topping with cheese, cover the top with the shredded or sliced cheese and return to the oven until melted, another 1-2 minutes.  Let the eggs cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then slice into squares and enjoy!
FLASH IN THE PAN
Besides the heavenly buttermilk biscuit, what makes the breakfast sandwiches at Odd Birds Cafe so amazing are the eggs. They are soft and creamy but firm enough to slice, making breakfast sandwiches a snap. Mix and match the add-ins to create your own.
PALMETTO BAY SUNRISE CAFE
2 cups refrigerated hash browns
2 tablespoons chopped bell peppers
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped blanched broccoli
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces homemade hollandaise
Directions  In a hot sauté pan with butter and olive oil, sauté hash browns, peppers, onions and broccoli until crisp.  Pan sauté the shrimp and toss into the hash brown mixture.  Cook eggs to any style preferred.  Plate hash brown mixture onto two plates topped with two eggs on each plate. Finish with 2 ounces of hollandaise on each plate.
Make your eggs a delicious nest out of shrimp hash. This recipe from Leslie and Paul Stewart of Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe is a delicious way to cradle your beloved Easter eggs.
Crab Louis with Boiled Eggs
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup tomato chili sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 tablespoon chopped cornichon (pickled cucumber)
1 garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
Fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 Belgian endive
1/2 pound asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 European cucumber
4 large radishes
12 cherry tomatoes
3 soft-boiled eggs
1 lb Dungeness crab meat
Fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Directions  To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper; let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.  To make the salad, start by halving the Belgian endive lengthwise, brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, char-grill for 15-20 seconds over high heat and lay on a tray to cool.  Trim asparagus 2-3 inches from the bottom, mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, marinate asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and char-grill over high heat 30 seconds to 1 minute until tender and lay on a tray to cool.  Halve cherry tomatoes, cut the cucumber lengthwise, and cut slightly to make bias-cut half-moons. Combine and marinate with remaining olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  In a small pot of boiling salted water with a touch of white vinegar, place eggs below water, boil for 8 minutes, remove from water and shock in an ice bath, let rest for 5-7 minutes, remove the shell and halve.  To compose the salad, place endive flat grilled side up, decorate the asparagus, egg, tomato and cucumber around the plate, place 2 1/2 ounces of crab meat on top of the lettuce and top with dressing.
BOIL WITH HUNGER
Ditch the boring salad and try Crab Louis with boiled eggs. This recipe from the culinary team at Indigo Run is delicious and the perfect post-Easter dish if you prefer to dye boiled eggs – as long as you don’t mind green eggs and crab!
Chocolate Godiva Torte
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 whipping cream
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup Godiva liquor
6 large eggs, separated
Directions  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and sugar four 6-ounce ramekins, shake out excess.  Combine 1/2 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a processor until combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Combine remaining flour and oil until blended. It should have a peanut butter consistency.  Stir butter and half of the whipping cream in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and smooth. Stir in both flour mixtures and cool slightly.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/3 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Beat egg yolks in another large bowl until very pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat the chocolate mixture into egg yolks. Fold in egg whites in 3 additions.  Evenly distribute mixture into ramekins and bake for 22-25 minutes or until the center is soft and fudge-like. Serve with vanilla gelato or mascarpone sorbet.
CHOC FULL OF EGGS
The egg in cooking is one of the most versatile ingredients and is used in so many ways without acknowledgment. At Lulu Kitchen, they use 45 dozen eggs a week on average and are only open two days for brunch. This chocolate Godiva torte recipe is the perfect example of egg versatility.
• When cooking fried eggs, remember “low and slow.”
• Use a nonstick pan.
• Metal fish spatulas are best for getting underneath eggs.
• Check the Julian date on the carton, not the expiration date.
• For scrambled eggs, pass them through a fine-mesh strainer.
• For poached eggs, don’t crack them directly into the water.
• Older eggs are easier to peel when boiled than fresh ones.
• Always cook eggs straight from the fridge, not from room temperature.
• To easily peel boiled eggs, drop them in an ice bath right away.
• Store leftover poached or boiled eggs in water.