Spring is in full swing on our homestead. We have been planting fruit trees, berry bushes, and plants in the garden. We have also planted piers in the ground: the construction on the house addition has begun!
With daily chores, spring projects, house addition, pregnancy, school coming to an end, and the change in season, I tend to feel overwhelmed at the end of the day, when my son asks: what’s for supper?
As mentioned in a previous post, we don’t have any other source of heat than our woodstove. Planning a weekly menu is not feasible in the early spring days. The weather might warrant a fire on Monday. It could also be in the eighties the next day. I tend to go with the flow and have a lot of salad on hand.
With the constant flow of fresh eggs coming from our 12 chickens (that’s about 10 eggs a day), I have a stock of recipes that use a LOT of eggs I go through constantly. Here are some ideas to add to your recipe box, for those early days of spring when your chickens are in full on laying mode. They all take less than an hour from start to finish. (All recipes serve about 4 people)
Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)
I only can make these on cold days, as it requires an oven to run. They bake fairly quickly, about 15-20 minutes. We eat them throughout the day as a snack, or with soup for supper. They also are great for potlucks, they transport easily. They keep well, I usually triple the recipe to have them on hand for a few days.
1 cup water
6 tbsp butter1 cup + 2 tbsp flour4 eggsNutmeg, salt, and pepper1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or swiss)
In a pot, boil water, butter, and salt. Add the flour and mix the dough well with a wooden spoon. Stir over low heat until it dries out, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let it rest for a minute.Start adding the eggs, one by one, making sure the eggs are well incorporated before adding the next one. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, and cheese.On a greased baking sheet, drop about 2 tbsp of dough (you can use a piping bag, but it’s a pain to wash) about 2 inches apart. They will puff up, so don’t worry if they are not perfectly round.Bake in a preheated oven (400F) for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.
I love pancakes, but as far as egg-users, they are not the best. Crêpes, on the other hand, use far more eggs, and can be served for breakfast and lunch the same day!
2 cups flour
4 eggs2 cups milkPinch of salt1 tbsp sugar4 tbsp butter, melted
Whisk together flour and eggs. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Mix in butter, salt, and sugar.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour about a ⅓ cup of batter per crepes. Swirl the batter to completely cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook on each side for about a minute, or until light brown.
Suggestions for serving:
- Sprinkle with sugar, add a tbsp of lemon juice, and roll up.
- Serve with jam, honey, maple syrup, fresh fruits, or Nutella, and roll up.
- For lunch, if you have leftovers: add ham, spinach, and cheese. Serve with salad.
Tortilla de Patatas
This is a great recipe for summer. It cooks fairly fast, is great with salad, can be served warm or cold, and uses 10 eggs! It is not the traditional recipe, which calls for a lot more olive oil, and for the omelet to be flipped at the end (which creates a huge mess in my kitchen).
1 onion, finely chopped (red, shallots, yellow: whatever you have in your cupboard)
4-6 potatoes, finely sliced (any type will do)
10 eggs,2 tbsp olive oilsalt and pepper
Saute onions for a few minutes in oil (I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet). Add the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on VERY low heat, no peeking.
After 10 minutes, the potatoes should be cooked. Beat 10 eggs, and add to the hot skillet. Cover the skillet again, and cook until the top of the eggs is cooked too, about 7 minutes.
Quatre Quart (French Pound Cake)
A very simple cake, that my 6-year-old can make by himself.
2 cups flour
2 sticks melted butter5 eggs1 cup sugar
Mix all ingredients. Butter and flour a 6-cup (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pan.
Bake at 375 F for at least 45 minutes, until you insert a knife in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.
What to do with hard-boiled eggs
I like hard-boiled eggs on their own, with a bit of salt. But with 10 eggs of fresh eggs per day, I need to be a bit more creative if I want my family to eat them.
So here are some ideas on how to use them for sandwiches:
- Tuna salad: about 6 hard boiled eggs per can of tuna. Mix with salt, a tbsp of mayo, a pinch of nutmeg.
- Egg Salad: Same but without the tuna. I carve and stuff tomatoes or cucumber with this salad. And serve with a green salad and bread.
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder3 eggs2 5oz cans of tuna1 cup of shredded cheddar⅓ cup milk⅓ cup olive oilSalt and pepper to taste
Mix flour and yeast in a bowl.Whisk the eggs, milk, oil, salt, and pepper, and add to the flour. Mix well. Stir tuna and grated cheese.Place in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and bake 375F for 30-45 minutes. Serve cold or warm with salad.
Quiche without crust
This one is probably my favorite because it uses a lot of eggs and takes about 2 minutes to prepare. It is super easy to make, bakes fast, and uses leftovers I have in the fridge.
1 cup milk⅓ cup of heavy cream (if you don’t have cream, just add another egg + ⅓ cup milk)3 tbsp flour1 cup shredded cheeseSalt and pepper
Optional: about a cup of ham, pieces of bacon, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, or anything you have in your fridge.
Mix all the ingredients except the optional ingredient.Butter a pie dish, add the optional ingredient, then pour the mixture over it. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 400F.
Making pasta doesn't require any fancy machine (if you have one, that's great, follow the instructions from the manufacturer). You need a rolling pin, and ... that's it.
3 cups semolina flour
1 tsp salt
Mix salt and semolina flour. Make a well, and add 4 eggs. Incorporate the flour into the eggs, first using a fork, then your fingers. Add a little bit of water until all the flour is incorporated, not more than a tbsp. Knead until all the dough is not sticky anymore, about 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
After the resting time, start rolling the dough as thin as possible, until you can almost see through, adding as little flour as possible.
Cut as wide as you like them
Let them rest for 5 minutes
Cook in boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
What are your go-to recipes for keeping up with your egg production?
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