By Amanda Stone
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Except for forgotten decapitated chocolate bunnies, boiled eggs are my favorite Easter leftovers. They come in a rainbow of colors, unlike the boring old eggs from the rest of the year.
I've always liked boiled eggs, but I formed a real appreciation for them after watching "Cool Hand Luke." Forever handsome Paul Newman made 50 of those suckers slide down his gullet on a bet. My best friend and I had a dilapidated but loved second-floor apartment in the cool part of Kansas City where 20-somethings enjoy their easy, single lives while watching movies, such as "Cool Hand Luke," on Tuesday afternoons.
A seemingly stray cat climbed up to our balcony during the movie. We instantly decided it was fate; we would take him in and name him Luke. Several vet bills later, that unappreciative cat left us. I'm left with memories of carefree afternoons and a fondness for boiled eggs.
I'm of the firm belief that happy chickens make happy eggs. A farm-fresh egg is noticeably different than its distant store-bought cousin. The yolk is thicker and much darker. A person could scramble one whole egg with two or three egg whites, and no one would know that you've cut their fat intake in half. The color is remarkable. So, buy your eggs from the farmers market if you can. It's worth the extra quarter or two. All you need to do is watch a food documentary or read a tell-all book about where our food comes from in order to want to buy eggs straight from the farm. It comes down to knowing where your food is coming from.
Dying Easter eggs is becoming a thing of the past. Plastic eggs can be filled with treats and used repeatedly. No mess. I see the appeal. But dyed Easter eggs hold such a fond place in my memory. I remember my poor grandparents desperately searching for the source of that putrid smell after every rainy Easter where my cousins and I were forced to bring the hunt inside.
If you still have Easter eggs in your fridge, make use of them. I can't imagine being sick of deviled eggs or egg salad, but if that's the case, just eat the whites. You can feasibly eat as many as you like. They're an excellent low-fat protein source. Be sure to mash a box of tofu into your egg salad; it goes unnoticed and doubles your recipe. You can freeze yolks for later use in rich salad dressings or crumble them up and feed them to the birds. Although a bit cannibalistic, birds love to eat crumbled egg yolks.
I could eat leftovers until they're gone. But I understand if you need to change it up a bit from ham sandwiches and deviled eggs. Chop up the chocolate and freeze it for cookies or fondue later. Try these recipes for your Easter abundance, whether it be eggs, ham or candy.
Asparagus and ham salad with cheddar, lemon and egg
2 bunches fresh asparagus
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
1 cup cooked ham, diced
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey mustard
Immerse asparagus bunches (with rubber bands still on) in a pot of boiling water. Cook 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and immerse in ice water to prevent further cooking. Drain, trim woody ends and cut spears into 2-inch pieces. Transfer asparagus to a large bowl and add eggs, ham, cheese and parsley; set aside. Whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, oil and mustard; add mixture to asparagus mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Egg, nut and mushroom pate
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onion, garlic and mushrooms until soft, but not browned, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place hard-cooked eggs, walnuts and almonds. Pulse about 5 times until minced. Add cooled onion mushroom mixture, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Process about 5 seconds to combine.
Pour into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the pate and refrigerate at least 2 hours to let flavors meld.
Before serving, let pate sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve with your choice of crackers, veggies, melba toast or toasted bread rounds.
Sparkling jelly bean martini
1 ounce jelly bean-infused vodka
3 ounces Champagne
1 lemon wedge
Put vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Add Champagne and squeeze lemon wedge into shaker. Stir gently and strain into glass.
To make jelly bean-infused vodka, place 1/2 cup vodka and 1/4 cup jelly beans in a glass jar for about 48 hours. Strain. Makes 4 ounces. Use one color of jelly beans for best results.
Have questions? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail her c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.