Left over Easter eggs—some are so pretty you almost hate to use them. They sit in their basket, beautiful reminders of the rite of spring. Renewal. Nevertheless, use them you must, so you’ve made deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, and potato salad and you still have more to use. What to do?
The start of my families Easter egg breakfast ritual is unclear but after much research, here is what I know. My grandmother took home economics in 1942. Her curriculum included making many recipes, among which was Creamed Eggs on Toast. My mother and her sisters all grew up eating this delightful dish on Easter morning and it was one of my favorite breakfasts as a child. It was a hard and fast Easter ritual—after the Easter egg hunt, everyone brought their eggs to Mom (saving out the prettiest) and she would make Creamed Eggs on Toast for breakfast. No one I talked to however, remembers whose idea it was to add cheese. My grandmother says she never made this dish with cheese and her eldest daughter, my aunt Vickie, does not make it with cheese. My mother, who is second eldest and her younger sister, my Auntie Pam on the other hand, both use cheese. My mother does not remember a time when she did not make this dish with cheese thus for my family, it has been made this way for at least forty years.
I can still remember the first time I made this for my husband and his ho hum attitude at my mention of our beloved Easter ritual. It only took seconds for him to embrace our favorite breakfast as he too had grown up with no cheese in his ‘Eggy Toast’. I searched the internet today for possible origins for our recipe and found that none of the recipes I looked at contained cheese—thus the mystery.
My internet search did bring to light many interesting facts about the history of food. The base for this recipe is a basic Béchamel sauce whose primary ingredients are a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour, making a roux, and milk. Adding cheese to this turns it into a Mornay sauce often used in soufflés and gratins. Béchamel Sauce or white sauce has long been considered one the four basic ‘mother’ sauces of French cooking. Chefs have used it since the mid 1600’s. (If you are interested in reading about its history I found a very interesting web site, you can view here.) For our Creamed Eggs on Toast we start with the béchamel and use it as the base for my favorite Easter breakfast and the best way to use up those extra Easter eggs.
Note: Traditional Béchamel sauce contains butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. For this recipe, we are going to leave out the nutmeg and add onion and garlic powder.
In addition, followers of this blog please note: This is another ‘dump’ recipe in which I usually do not measure exactly…feel free to play around with the proportions as needed.
Cheesy Creamed Eggs on Toast
1/3 C butter
1/3 C flour
4 C milk
1/8 t or fair sized pinch garlic powder
¼ t onion powder
Fresh ground pepper
Seasoning salt to taste—can add either while cooking or allow people to add their own at the table
1 ½ C Cheddar Cheese (usually don’t measure…this morning it was three large handfuls)
4-6 hard-boiled Easter eggs—sliced
Hearty whole-wheat toast (to be healthy…)
To make your béchamel, melt butter over medium heat, in a saucepan and add flour, stirring to mix with butter—this is your roux. Allow roux to cook, stirring continuously for about 1 minute. Do not allow it to brown. Whisk in milk and continue whisking until roux is dissolved. Sauce will thicken as the milk warms. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. (To thicken quicker, warm milk in microwave prior to adding to roux.) Add garlic and onion powder, pepper and seasoning salt if desired. When béchamel is thick and beginning to bubble, add cheese and stir to melt. Sauce should be smooth and creamy. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from heat and add eggs. Serve over toast.
My husband and children like to add Baco bits to their ‘Eggy Toast’. My parents and I eat it with seasoning salt sprinkled at the table. Crisp bacon bits are also tasty. Enjoy!