Monday, April 2, 2012

Egg Bakes and Springtime

Spring brings to us so many gifts.  The hint of warmer weather with the morning sun glistening off the dew.  Spring showers that give way to newly sprung flower buds of all shapes and colors.  Bright green grass and rich blue skies.  Color and strength blow in with the spring.  And the animals respond.  Groundhogs come out of their dens.  Squirrels run across tree branches and telephone wires above.  More often, birds can be heard chirping their daily tunes.

Spring is also a time when our cuisine cycles as well.  Gone are the thick, winter stews and heavy hearty meals. Instead, lighter dishes are introduced.  Our root cellars (or drawers) are diminishing and we move from tubers and roots, to leaves and flowers.  Eggs, for certain, are a spring favorite.  After a winter of rest, chickens are again ready to lay those protein-packed gems.

Still with a slight chill in the air, an egg bake might be that perfect dinner retreat.  Cooked in the oven, this dish allows the home to be heated while integrating a lighter meal into our cuisine.

Welcome Spring Egg Bake

8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of milk
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
half a bunch of scallions, chopped
1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar is my preference)
2 cups cooked ham, diced
2 cups broccoli, cooked and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Grease a 13 by 9 baking dish.

In a large skillet, saute the scallions, mushrooms, and red pepper in the butter.  Stir in ham.  Meanwhile, steam broccoli.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, liquids, eggs, and spice.  Mix well.

Line baking dish first with meat and veggies.  Then pour egg mixture over.  Top with cheese.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to over night.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until cooked in center.  Let stand for 5 minutes after baking.

Serve with fresh French or Italian bread and a side salad.

Welcome Spring!