Surprising Ways Your Leftover Easter Eggs Can Save You Money
Go thrift mode this Easter, and repurpose your leftover dyed eggs to make creamier soups, lighter baked goods and more. Easter eggs pose no risk of foodborne illness if you follow USDA guidelines for safe egg storage.
Just remember: Place cooked eggs in the refrigerator right after dying them. Don’t eat hard-boiled eggs that have stayed at room temperature for longer than two hours. Store unpeeled leftover Easter eggs in the refrigerator for up to one week. And if the eggs were hidden outdoors, don’t use them in a recipe.
With that said, click through to see how you can make the most of your leftover Easter eggs.
Boost Your Baked Goods
Egg yolks play such a prominent role in baking — emulsifying, creating steam for leavening, contributing to a lush mouthfeel — you’d think you know all they can do by now. But they still have a lesser known use: They shorten gluten strands, helping maximize tenderness in baked goods.
Like butter and vegetable shortening, cooked egg yolks disrupt the formation of the gluten network that gives breads and cakes stability. Baked goods need structure and stability tempered with a tender crumb, and cooked egg yolks help make that happen.
This technique works best for quick breads such as scones, cornbread and muffins, and light pastries. You can use one or two yolks per recipe. Simply press the egg yolks through a fine-mesh sieve with the back of a spoon to crumble them and mix them in with the dry ingredients
Prepare a Better Pâté
Regardless of the main ingredient, all well-made pâté has something in common — creamy texture. If you can detect pieces of ground meat in pâté, it isn’t smooth enough.
For extra smoothness in any pâté recipe, add one or two hard-boiled egg yolks to the main ingredient when processing. If you need an excuse to make a pâté, the Easter bunny has something special for you in a hard-boiled egg pâté recipe.
Whip 7 ounces of mascarpone or soft cream cheese until aerated, and fold in four roughly chopped, hard-boiled eggs, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Chill the pâté for 30 minutes before serving.
The same subculture that resurrected penny-farthing bicycles, flannel shirts and circa 1970s Mick Jagger hair — hipsters — have made pickled eggs a “thing” again. Once a staple of saloons and pubs, pickled eggs sort of went into hiding, mainly because of restaurant health codes regarding room-temperature foods.
Today’s pickled egg recipes have more of an artisanal touch, giving them a lot more uses than beer-chasing. Whatever secondary ingredients you use to flavor pickled eggs — miso and scallions, garlic and curry, and bourbon and mustard are a few ideas to get you started — or if you just want to go classic, you must use a 1-to-1 ratio of water to 5 percent vinegar, and process them in a hot-water canner to prevent bacterial growth.
Make Meatloaf ‘Surprise’
Germany has a historic love for hard-boiled eggs, particularly colored Easter-style eggs — you can buy dyed eggs in Germany and bordering countries year-round. In fact, German immigrants brought the pickled-eggs-as-bar-food culture to the U.S in the mid-19th century and introduced meatloaf to Brazil, where the variation of including whole, hard-boiled eggs in the center likely started.
Hard-boiled eggs add a pleasing textural contrast to regular meatloaf and a unique aesthetic. To add eggs to meatloaf, place them in a row in the center of the ground-meat mixture as you pack it into the pan.
Make Scotch or Mexican Eggs
Tracing food origins can prove difficult. Scotch eggs likely didn’t originate in Scotland, but rather made their way there via France via North Africa during the reign of Elizabeth I. Or, they might have come to England by way of India. Or, they originated in England as a hard-boiled egg covered in fish paste. Or, they originated in Mexico as “albondigas rellenas de huevo,” or egg-filled meatballs, and somehow made their way to the U.K.
Confusing in origin but tasty in conclusion, Scotch eggs are simply breaded and fried hard-boiled eggs coated with a sausage stuffing. If Scotch eggs don’t really do it for you, give the lighter Mexican version a go.
Coat whole hard-boiled eggs in a quarter-inch-thick mixture of ground beef, chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, onions, cooked rice (as a binder) and spices. For smaller portions, slice the eggs in thirds before wrapping them in the meat mixture.
Make a Sturdier Mayo
You can make quality mayo at home, but why would you want to? Homemade mayo has a tendency to break at the slightest bump or temperature change and has a shelf life of only a few days. Even fine-dining restaurants use store-bought mayo to make stable sauce bases.
Hard-boiled egg yolks remedy the stability problems that plague homemade mayo. They don’t extend shelf life, so keep cooked-egg mayo in the fridge for no more than a couple of days.
To make mayo with hard-boiled eggs, boil a mixture of one uncooked egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of flour and a half cup of water for 30 seconds. Transfer it to a food processor along with two cooked yolks, 1 cup of vegetable oil and salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Blend everything until smooth.
Marinated eggs add an extra punchiness to everything from soups to antipasto to ramen. And you have so many ways to go with the marinade — any marinade you would use for meat or fish, you can use for hard-boiled eggs, just omit the oil.
If you haven’t tried marinated eggs before, give the super-simple classic Japanese version, “ajitsuke tamago,” a try. For each soft-boiled egg, mix 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and mirin with 3 tablespoons of water in a bowl and add the eggs. Cover the eggs with a folded paper towel (keep the paper towel inside the bowl), and marinate the eggs in the fridge for two to 12 hours.
Pump Up Pizza
Done well, hard-boiled eggs on pizza make for a crisp, flavorful addition that complements just about any topping. First, slice the eggs crosswise into quarter-inch-thick slices and coat them in olive oil.
Bake the pizza according to the recipe or at 450 degrees Fahrenheit just until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced eggs, adding a pinch of cheese on top if desired, and continue baking them pie until he crust browns.
Like salade nicoise, another Provencal classic, pan bagnat uses ingredients sourced from the nearby Med. In fact, pan bagnat is essentially a salade nicoise on toasted pan de champagne, a crusty French country-style bread.
To make a pan bagnat, build a sandwich using the basic salade nicoise ingredients — in-season vegetables, quality tuna, olive oil, tomatoes, basil lemon juice or vinegar — and add sliced hard-boiled eggs.
Make Mimosa Sauce
Mimosa sauce has little to do with the classic brunch mixer other than that you can probably drink a mimosa along with any food you pair with mimosa sauce. Sauteed or steamed asparagus pairs exceptionally well with mimosa sauce.
Separate the yolks from the egg whites, and chop them separately as finely as possible. Push the chopped eggs through a fine-mesh sieve with a spoon, and add them to a jar along with a classic vinaigrette and fresh herbs to taste. Shake the jar vigorously to emulsify the sauce and spoon over the asparagus.
Make Eggs Goldenrod
First published in Fannie Farmer’s “The Boston Cooking School Cookbook“ in 1896, eggs goldenrod’s name references its resemblance to the yellow leaves of the goldenrod plant. The dish itself, a variation of the American classic creamed eggs on toast, calls for boiled eggs and makes a fitting Easter-morning breakfast.
To make four servings of eggs goldenrod, separate the yolks from the whites. Finely chop the whites and press the yolks through a fine-mesh sieve using a spoon. Next, fold the chopped egg whites into 1 cup of simmering bechamel sauce and spoon over buttered toast. Sprinkle the top of the sauce with the sieved yolks to finish.
Create Creamier Hummus
Homemade hummus tends to feel a bit grainy on the palate no matter how long you process it. But here’s a trick to make it smoother: Adding a bit of baking soda to the chickpeas helps resolve this — the baking soda helps break down the fiber in the beans, leading to a smoother final product.
Egg yolks tend to make any puree just a bit creamier, and hummus is no exception. Add one or two hard-boiled egg yolks to each batch of hummus for a richer, smoother consistency and texture.
Make Eggs Masala
The versatility of curry makes it a frugal favorite when it comes to clearing leftover vegetables from the fridge. You can use just about anything in curry, and leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs are no exception.
Eggs masala consists of a basic curry sauce — onions, coriander, garlic, ginger, ghee (optional), tomatoes and your favorite curry spice mix — served over hard-boiled eggs (chopped or halved) fried with masala spice mix.
Spruce Up Salads
Just about any salad can make good use of a hard-boiled egg. Potato, Cobb, chef, California and mixed green salads, for example, all take those straggling Easter eggs off your hands.
If you want to go with a less traditional take on egg salad, add less traditional ingredients — it’s that simple. Start with a basic egg salad in a mayo-mustard or vinaigrette sauce and go wild. A few examples to get you going include smoked salmon and fried pancetta, seared tuna and black sesame seed, nicoise olives, tomatoes and peppers, and smoked chicken with toasted sunflower seeds.
Make an Easy Hollandaise
Hollandaise beats mayonnaise when it comes to instability. Like all emulsion sauces, external factors like temperature and humidity can cause a Hollandaise to break.
Unless you need a true Hollandaise to impress your guests, make a faux Hollandaise and enjoy the same flavor without the risk of demulsifying. First, press three or four egg yolks through a fine-mesh sieve using a spoon.
Next, melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a saute pan over medium heat until it foams and pour in about a half cup of stock. Whisk in 2 or 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the egg yolks, simmer until thickened and season to taste.
For the creamiest texture, process the warm sauce in a blender until it reaches the desired smoothness.
Temper Coffee’s Bitterness
Consomme, a light, delicate clarified stock, commonly calls for eggshells in the “raft,” a mix of lean proteins that collect impurities and makes the final product “cleaner” tasting and less bitter. Cowboy coffee also calls for eggshells to help clarify it. But how do eggshells make coffee less bitter?
The shells’ alkalinity neutralizes the coffee’s acidity. So, add one or two rinsed and crushed eggshells to the coffee grounds before brewing.
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Make Silkier Sauces and Soups
Like with hummus, egg yolks make cream-based soups and sauces smoother. Puree one or two cooked egg yolks from your leftover Easter eggs into any sauce that needs a kick of creaminess.
Take into account the slight change in color and taste egg yolks contribute before adding. You might have to add a little more cream to balance the color and flavor.
Clean the Kitchen
Want to make your own DIY house cleaner? Leftover Easter-egg shells make an effective abrasive for removing the food debris on all those pots and pans you used while making dishes with the leftover Easter eggs. Crush the eggshells and use them in combination with dish soap to scrape away burned-in fats and caramelized bits of food.
To make an eggshell cleaner for porcelain surfaces like bathroom sinks, grind the shells in a coffee grinder to a fine powder and add just enough water to moisten them.
Clean Kitchen Drains
To clean out your kitchen drain, use more eggshells. Crush the shells to a coarse texture, and add them to the kitchen sink strainer. The shells act as a filter. As they break down, they help clean the pipes.
Make Green Eggs and Ham
Like the Grump in Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” this playful culinary take on the classic book might delight your little ones.
Peel the leftover eggs, and dye them green using food-grade green dye. Slice the eggs and serve alongside a few slices of quality, thick-cut fried Virginia ham.
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