Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eggcellent Comfort Food

My stepmum let me copy these recipes out of her personal archive during the Independence Day weekend, during which she served one of them for lunch...

What You Need:
8-10 eggs beaten
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
paprika for color
2 teaspoons dry mustard
3 cups milk
2 cups chopped ham
8 slices cubed bread
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

What You Do:
Beat the eggs, salt, paprika, mustard, and milk together. Put the bread cubes on the bottom of a greased 9"x13" pan. Scatter the ham on top, then pour the egg mixture over it. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover with foil, refrigerate overnight, then bake 45 minutes at 350° F. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes or until it sets (i.e. until a knife stuck into it pulls out clean). Cut into squares, it serves 12.

This first recipe is a lot like the "strata" I fondly remember from many church functions. It can be a little heavy, though, owing to its bread-puddinglike consistency. The next recipe is a nice alternative, omitting the bread and having more of the character of a fluffy baked omelette:

What You Need:
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup half & half
dash pepper
1 cup mozzarella or other cheese
1/2 cup ham (or crab meat or shrimp)
1/4 cup diced green onion
1 small can mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup diced bell peppers

What You Do:
Blend the first six ingredients and pour them into a lightly oiled quiche dish. Add cheese, then ham, then the remaining ingredients, and press them down with a spoon. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes or until it tests done, as above. Serves 6; though you can also double or treble the recipe and use a 9"x13" pan. Leftovers keep nicely in the freezer, individual portions cling-wrapped to a plate and reheated for lunch.

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