For those who have been following the joyful journey of this family, you know that my youngest son Luke (pictured above on the far right) is now a missionary and away from home. I know I'm not the first mom who's had a child leave home and want to be sure they eat healthy easy meals.
Missionaries for our church are not paid to serve, for those who don't know. They actually go on a volunteer basis and pay their own way. Their food allowance is meager. So, I decided to send my son a monthly recipe book with several new easy meals and recipes to try out.
Not every missionary has a chef for a mom. Luke told me he has several with him who have no idea where to begin. So here's where to begin. This stuff. The basics. I hope this helps you and your loved ones as much as I hope it helps him. This is the 3rd chapter, so please feel free to go back and check out the earlier ones. We'll sometimes have a theme. Sometimes not. This just worked out with Easter.
April means Eggs! Easter there are always eggs on sale and these are a good source of protein. They're easy to cook and usually something that can be made pretty quickly. So this month we've got 10 recipes for easy eggs that these guys and gals can do.
Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
6 to 12 large eggs, straight from the fridge
Add the eggs to a saucepan and cover with water:
Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch or two of water.
The more eggs that are crowding the pan the more water you should have over the eggs. 6 eggs should be covered by at least an inch, 7 to 12 eggs, 2 inches.
Bring to a rolling boil: Leave the pan uncovered. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a rolling boil.
Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit: Depending on how cooked you like your hard-boiled eggs, the eggs should be done perfectly after sitting for 10-12 minutes. That said, depending on your altitude, the shape of the pan, the size of the eggs, and the ratio of water to eggs, it can take a few minutes more. Or if you like your eggs not fully hard-cooked, it can take a few minutes less. When you find a time that works for you, given your preferences, the types of eggs you buy, your pots, stove, and cooking environment, stick with it. I also find that it is very hard to overcook eggs using this method. I can let the eggs sit, covered, for up to 15-18 minutes without the eggs getting overcooked.
Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water may help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking. Also, some people find adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water helps prevent cracking as well as makes the eggs easier to peel. If desired, add either or both of these ingredients as the water begins to boil.
If you live at a high altitude, let the eggs sit in the hot water longer or lower the heat and maintain a low simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
Mom’s Baked Southwestern Chorizo Scotch Eggs
4 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
4 oz. good quality turkey sausage
4 oz. chorizo or soy-Rizo meat replacement
Home-made dry breadcrumbs or a good quality crumb such as Panko
Vegetable oil for brushing onto eggs.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Place the sausage meats in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Divide the sausage meat into 4 equal portions.
Form each meat portion into a flat cake large enough to fit around the egg.
Work the sausage meat around the egg as evenly as possible whilst working hard to keep the egg shape and making sure there are no cracks.
Place the meat-coated eggs in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
Roll the sausage-coated eggs into the crumbs and press lightly to ensure a good coating.
Mist generously with a spritz of vegetable oil, or coat lightly with oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cookie tray and pop into the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown all over.
Buffalo Chicken Eggs-n-Bacon Salad
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup diced cooked chicken
¼ cup cooked diced bacon crumbles
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp celery, chopped
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles, optional
hot wing sauce (to taste)
· In a medium bowl, combine all salad ingredients.
· Serve on fresh buns or salad greens drizzled with more wing sauce.
Cupcake Quiche Cups
8-10 oz cooked turkey or ham, well-seasoned
8 slices of bacon, sliced into 3 pieces (total of 24 small pieces)
6 eggs, beat well
1/4 bell pepper, chopped fine (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh spinach (optional)
12 1-inch squares of Havarti or Swiss Cheese
· Spray the inside of 12 muffins well with a non-stick coating (or line with a cupcake liner).
· Put pieces of bacon, spinach, and a few chunks of turkey or ham in each muffin cup. Fill cup 2 Tbsp. scrambled egg. Put a nice little cheese on top of each cup. Bake 425°F for 13-15 minutes. Serve warm. Any leftovers need to go in the fridge.
Variations of Flavors: Change the seasoning using your favorite variety of fajita seasoning for a Southwest quiche, French herbs de Provence for a more classic flavor, cooked potato or cooked rice can replace the bell pepper if desired. Play with these!
Easy Ham and Egg Casserole
6 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
1 cup ham or turkey ham, chopped
1 cup cheese, shredded
1 cup chopped tomato or cooked potato
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup Bisquick or pancake mix
· Mix everything together and put in a well-greased 9x13 cake pan.
· Bake at 350° degrees for 40 minutes or until the knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
· Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.
2-Ingredient Fried Rice Patties (AKA Rice Patties)
These rice patties taste a lot like fried
rice but hold their shape and are a great way to use up leftover rice. The rice
must be cold and best if it is the next day. We love them made with
rice-a-roni too. Yes, very fancy-schmancy. Yes, you can use brown rice or
pretty much any cooked grain. Barley is amazing. My mom uses cold cooked
cracked wheat. Yea, those are good too.
You will need:
2 cups cooked cooled rice (leftover in the fridge)
2-3 large egg
Mix the rice and egg.
In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, cook over medium heat. Make sure you use a non-stick pan or one you have oiled well.
Scoop them into little patties, about ½ cup of rice at a time.
Cook 3-4 minutes on one side and then carefully slide a spatula under the patties and turn over gently. Cook 3-4 more minutes. We also like them with a slice of cheese.
Top with butter while hot and season well with salt and pepper. They are delicious with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or anything Asian. Hello daddy. There you go. Simple, comforting, and easy. What a wonderful world.
Mom's Gourmet French Toast
4 thick slices of day-old brioche or Texas Toast
1/3 cup whole milk, (80 ml)
1 tsp vanilla extract, (5 ml)
A pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, (28 grams) for the pan
powdered sugar, to garnish
maple syrup, to drizzle on top
· To a medium, shallow bowl, add the eggs, milk, vanilla and spice, and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine and break up the eggs completely.
· In a medium pan over medium heat, melt 1/2 a tablespoon of butter, moving the pan from side to side to evenly distribute the melted butter.
· Use a fork to dip a slice of brioche or bread into the liquid batter, dipping both sides of the brioche. Place the brioche into the prepared pan, cooking each side for approximately 1 minute, or until it's golden brown and crisp. Repeat this step for the remaining brioche slices, melting a 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the pan before frying each piece of bread.
· Drizzle maple syrup all over, then dust with powdered sugar.
Easy Scrambled Cheese Eggs
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated (or Monterey Jack)
1 tsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Put a frying pan on medium-low heat and put in the butter or oil.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat quickly with a fork.
Grate the cheese and have it ready.
Tip the beaten eggs into the frying pan. Layer the cheese on top. The eggs will start to solidify almost straight away – as soon as they do use a spatula and ‘pull’ the eggs in from the side to the middle. Repeat the pulling in several times.
It doesn’t take long, the idea behind this is you’ll have soft, lightly cooked fresh eggs. It’s hard to undercook an egg really, but very easy to overcook. 2 – 3 minutes of cooking time is all you’ll need. When the egg has no ‘watery’ bits left, you’re done! Add some salt and pepper to taste. Done! Quickly remove from heat and transfer to plate – preferably on top of some lovely, hot, buttered toast.
5-6 cups of bread cubes
6 oz brie, sliced (or any cheese of your choice)
2 cups milk or cream
1/4 lb. bacon, diced (optional)
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (optional)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
butter for coating the baking dish
- Butter the inside of an 8X8X4 inch baking dish and fill with bread cubes topping with brie slices. Crack fresh black pepper over the mixture and fold them together.
- Combine the milk and eggs. Add salt and pepper to them. Whisk well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and brie mixture. Allow to sit awhile. Now for the bacon and jalapeno. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes. Add the bacon. Cook until almost crispy then add the jalapenos. Cook 2-3 minutes more.
- Distribute the bacon mixture over the bread-brie mixture, leaving most of the bacon on top...meaning seriously don't mix them up. Do you know why? Because when you bake it, the bacon will stay crispy.
- At this point, you can either put the unbaked strata in the fridge and chill for up to 1 week or bake for dinner/breakfast right now. We usually opt for baking it right away. 350 degrees 20-25 minutes until bubbly and delicious.
- You'll have this thick rich layer of cheese strata topped with a crispy bacon jalapeno layer that will seriously rock the universe. Most of the time we drizzle it with maple syrup or a simple apricot jam for a savory-sweet yin-yang magical experience.
There you go! Happy Egg cooking!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess