Old-fashioned Creole Eggs

Creole Eggs and Toast

I recently found a hundred-year-old recipe for Creole Eggs, which are shirred (baked) eggs topped with tomato, green pepper, and onion. Shirred eggs are surprisingly easy to make. And, when topped with the tomato mixture, they are absolutely delightful.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Creole Eggs
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Recipes and Household Discoveries (1920)

I found this recipe confusing – though the eggs turned out well. It is an odd mixture of very specific directions – “2 tablespoonfuls green pepper”; “Garnish each dish with a tablespoonful of the tomato mixture.” And, very general directions – “one to two eggs per individual” with no clue how many individuals the recipe was supposed to serve. If only 1 tablespoon of the tomato mixture was put on top of the eggs in each ramekin, it seems like this recipe would make enough tomato mixture for a lot of eggs. In the end, I decided that another option would be to just make fewer servings and use more of the tomato mixture per serving (2+ tablespoons).

It also was not clear how big “two large tomatoes” were supposed to be – though the comment that 1/2 can of tomatoes (a 1 pound can?) could be substituted for the fresh tomatoes made me think that it was calling for about a cup of canned tomatoes. The statement that just the “solids” from a can of tomatoes were supposed to be used, also made me think that the recipe was calling for about 1/2 cup of canned tomatoes after they were strained. And, that if fresh tomatoes are used (which is what I used), that there should be about 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes.

I used clear glass ramekins, and didn’t grease them or “dust” with breadcrumbs, because I was concerned that the photo would not look very nice with the breadcrumbs around the edge of the ramekin. I didn’t have any problems with the egg sticking excessively to the edge of the ramekins, so don’t think that it is necessary to grease and dust them. I also reduced the salt from 1/2 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon, since the original amount called for seemed like a lot.

Bottom line – This recipe appears to be an attempt to provide exact measurements for a recipe that actually is very flexible. It’s not important to have exact amounts of onion, green, pepper, or tomatoes – just make an amount that seems appropriate for the desired number of servings.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Creole Eggs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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4 – 8 eggs (1 – 2 eggs per serving)

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons onion, chopped

2 tablespoons green pepper, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tomatoes, diced (about 1/2 cup) or 1 cup of canned tomatoes, strained (measure before straining) – I used fresh tomatoes.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion and green pepper; cook until tender. Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked; stir occasionally while cooking. Stir in salt.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 400° F. Break 1 – 2 eggs into each of four ramekins. Place in a shallow pan that contains about 1 inch of hot water. Put in oven and bake until the white is set, and yolk is the desired firmness. (About 10-15 minutes.) Remove from oven and remove the ramekins from the pan with water.

Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the cooked eggs (about 2 tablespoons per ramekin), and immediately serve the eggs.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Puffy Green Pea Omelet

puffy green pea omelet on plate

Omelets are a wonderful way to turn the lowly egg into a really special dish, so I was thrilled when I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Puffy Green Pea Omelet.

This omelet is as light as a cloud. It gets its fluffiness from beaten egg whites. And, creamed green peas make a tasty and healthy filling.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Puffy Green Pea Omelet
Source: Balanced Daily Diet (1920) by Janet McKenzie Hill

I used butter instead of Crisco shortening in this recipe. And, I put all the creamed green peas in the omelet rather than reserving some to put around the edge of the omelet.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Puffy Green Pea Omelet

  • Servings: 2 -3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Omelet

4 eggs, separated

4 tablespoons water

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place egg whites in a bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then stir in the water, salt, and pepper. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet on the top of the stove using medium-low heat. (If needed to prevent sticking, liberally grease the skillet before heating.) Pour the egg mixture into skillet, and gently cook for 1 minute. Move the skillet to the oven, and bake for about 10 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. Remove from oven, and loosen the edges of the omelet from the skillet with a knife or spatula, then turn onto a plate. Spoon the creamed green peas onto one half of the omelet, and fold in half. Serve immediately.

Creamed Green Peas

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup milk

1 1/3 cups green peas, cooked

In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir the flour, salt, and pepper into the butter. While stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Gently stir in the peas and bring back to a boil; remove from heat.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Dandy Stuffed Eggs (Stuffed Eggs with Dandelion)

Stuffed Egg on Dandelion

HAPPY EASTER

I love to browse through hundred-year-old cookbooks. Sometimes I flip through cookbooks looking for an inspiration about what to make; other times I’m looking for a certain type of recipe. Today, since I had hard-boiled Easter eggs, I knew that I wanted to make a recipe that called for hard-boiled eggs. I found several recipes which were candidates for this post, and then I read the ingredient list for Dandy Stuffed Eggs and saw that it called for dandelion greens. I immediately knew that I’d found the recipe that I was going to make for today’s post. .

I have memories of my grandfather foraging dandelion for my mother to prepare;  and each year I carry-on the tradition. Maybe it is my imagination but eating dandelion always seems to restore my energy after a long winter. My mother always called dandelion greens her spring tonic.

Back in the days before modern supermarkets with produce sections filled with fresh fruits and vegetables year round, nutrient-rich dandelion was one of the first greens available in the spring, and people craved them. Dandelion greens contain lots of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, folate, vitamin K, calcium, and potassium.

The Dandy Stuffed Eggs were wonderful The eggs are stuffed with a dandelion, bacon, onion, and vinegar mixture  The stuffed eggs are served hot on top of a bed of wilted dandelion.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Dandy Stuffed Eggs
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Recipes and Household Discoveries (1920)

One teaspoon of salt seemed like a lot, so when I made the recipe I only used half as much.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Dandy Stuffed Eggs (Stuffed Eggs with Dandelion)

  • Servings: 12 stuffed egg halves
  • Difficulty: moderate
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6 hard-boiled eggs

1 pound dandelion greens (spinach, beet greens, or chard may be substituted for the dandelion greens)

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 4 tablespoons chopped onion)

1 slice fried bacon or salt pork, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vinegar

If desired, sugar and additional vinegar

Preheat oven to 375° F. Thoroughly wash dandelion greens, then take about 1/2 cup of the greens (reserve the remaining greens) and put in a small skillet.  (No additional water is needed, since the dandelion greens should have some water clinging to it.) Using medium heat, wilt the greens while stirring constantly (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and chop the wilted greens.

In the meantime, cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks and put in a bowl; then mash the yolks using a fork. Add the chopped wilted dandelion greens, onion, bacon, salt, and vinegar. Stir to combine; then stuff the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture.

Put the stuffed eggs in a baking dish. Cover and put in oven until the stuffs eggs are hot (about 15 minutes.)

In the meantime, put the remaining dandelion greens in the skillet. Using medium heat, wilt slightly while stirring constantly. If desired, sprinkle with sugar and add a splash of vinegar. Remove from heat.

To serve, put wilted dandelion greens on serving plate or bowl. Place the stuffed eggs on top of the greens.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-Fashioned Eggs with Spinach and Cheese

Eggs, cheese and spinach in ramekin with toast on plate

Preparing eggs in the basic ways can get boring, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Eggs with Spinach and Cheese. Each egg is served in an individual ramekin which makes an easy to serve, lovely presentation that can turn any breakfast into a special meal. The eggs are embedded between layers of creamed spinach and cheese.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for eggs with spinach and cheese
Source: Balanced Daily Diet by Janet McKenzie Hill (1920)

I’m not sure what a “very moderate” oven meant in 1920, but I interpreted it to mean 350° F. Maybe it actually was higher. The 5-8 minutes baking time called for in the original recipe was not nearly long enough to set the eggs. It took about 15 minutes for them to set.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Eggs with Spinach and Cheese

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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5 ounces (5 cups) of fresh baby spinach (approximately 1/2 cup cooked spinach)

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar.)

3 eggs

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash spinach and put in a sauce pan. There should be some water clinging to the spinach. Using medium heat, cook until the spinach has wilted down (about 2 minutes) while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the meantime, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gradually, add milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and add the cooked spinach. Stir to combine.

Put 1/6 of the spinach and white sauce mixture in each of 3 small ramekins; then sprinkle with 1/6 of the shredded cheese. Then break an egg into each of the ramekins. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put 1/6 of the spinach and cream sauce mixture on top of each egg; then sprinkle with 1/6 of the shredded cheese on top of it.

Put in oven and cook for 15 – 18 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Eggs, Grand Duc Recipe

toast topped with asparagus, cheese sauce and poached eggAsparagus and eggs pair beautifully, and hum of spring, so I was thrilled to come across a hundred-year-old recipe for Eggs, Grand Duc which is a delightful, surprisingly modern, egg and asparagus recipe.

Toast is topped with long, graceful spears of asparagus, which is immersed in a creamy cheese sauce. And, it all is topped with a perfectly poached egg.

The presentation is lovely, and would be perfect for a small Spring brunch.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (March, 1919)

Here’s the recipe updated modern cooks. To make this dish more visually appealing, I used whole slices of toast instead of the toast squares called for in the original recipe. I also assembled the ingredients in a different order than called for in the original recipe.

Eggs Grand Duc

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1/2 pound asparagus

4 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/3 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar.)

4 slices of bread, toasted

Asparagus

Trim asparagus spears to remove the tough sections at the bottom of the stalks. Place asparagus in a pan with a steamer. Put water in the bottom of the steamer, and cover. Heat to a boil; then reduce heat until the water simmers. Steam for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. (If preferred the asparagus can be roasted instead of steamed.)

Poached Egg Directions

Bring 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a skillet, then reduce to a simmer. Break each egg into a small bowl or cup, then slip into the water. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the poached eggs from the water using a slotted spatula, and drain on paper towels.

Cheese Sauce Directions

Using medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan; then stir in the flour and salt. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly. Then add the cheese; continue stirring until the sauce thickens.

To Assemble

On the top of each slice of toast, arrange one-fourth of the cooked asparagus. Spoon cheese sauce on top of the asparagus, and top with a poached egg.

Grated Apple Omelette (Fruit Omelette)

Similarly to what we believe today, people a hundred year ago believed that healthy eating was important, and that good nutrition could support their health.  A 1918 cookbook called the Nature Cure Cook Book is chock full of health advice and interesting recipes.

The recipe for Fruit Omelette intrigued me. Eggs and fruit are both nutritious foods, but I’d never before seen them combined in an omelette.

Source: Nature Cure Cook Book (1918)

This recipe offers lots of options. It can be made using “apple sauce, stewed pears, peaches, plums, berries, raisins, etc.” or, as indicated in the note at the end of the recipe, grated apples. And, either cinnamon or nutmeg could be used to season the omelette. I decided to go with the grated apple option and cinnamon.

I served Grated Apple Omelette at breakfast – though it had a dessert-like essence. The omelette had a nice cinnamon-apple flavor, and the liquid from the grated apples combined with the eggs during baking to create an omelette with a custard-like texture.

The old recipe calls for “sugar to taste.” I used two tablespoons of sugar when I made the recipe – though I think that it would work just fine to skip the sugar.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Grated Apple Omelette

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups grated apples, (2-3 peeled and core apples, grated)

5 eggs, well beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Put eggs in mixing bowl, and beat until light and foamy. Add butter, sugar, and cinnamon; beat until combined. Then stir in grated apples.

Put egg mixture in a well-greased oven-proof skillet. Put in oven and bake until the eggs are set (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from oven,  loosen the edges with a knife or spatula, then gently flip or slide onto a plate. Fold in half to create the omelette. To make the most visually appealing omelette, it should be folded so that the side which was facing up when in the pan is on the outside of the finished omelette.

Cook’s note: Care must be used when removing omelette from pan and when folding to keep it all in one piece.

Southern Golden Fleece (Cream Cheese and Eggs) Recipe

Scrambled eggs are always good, but sometimes when I make them for the fourth time in less than a month, they begin to seem boring – so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe with a “new” twist and an intriguing name to boot.  Southern Golden Fleece is made with cream cheese and eggs, and is silky and rich.

It surprised me that Southern Golden Fleece is made using just one dish, and cooked in the oven.  Apparently the recipe author did not want to end up with a stack of dirty dishes.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Larkin Housewives Cook Book (1915)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Southern Golden Fleece (Cream Cheese and Eggs)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup whipping cream

5 eggs

salt and cayenne (red) pepper

Preheat oven to 375° F. Put cream cheese and cream in a large casserole dish. (A 2-quart dish works well and leaves lots of space for stirring and beating).  Place in oven for about 5 minutes or until the cream cheese is soft; remove from oven and blend using a fork.  Break the eggs on top of the cheese mixture, and stir until combined. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Put lid on dish and return to the oven. Bake until the egg whites begin to set (5-8 minutes); then beat for 2 minutes. Cover and return to oven and cook until the eggs are set (3-5 additional minutes). Remove from oven, and put in serving dish. Serve immediately.