Week 29, 2021｜Kristin Kimball｜July 23, 2021
An ode to the egg this week, in honor of its moment of perfection and abundance. Egg production, like everything else, is seasonal. Not as strictly seasonal as strawberries or sweet corn, but abundant in spring and summer and less so in the dark days of winter. Right now, our old hen flock is still producing well, and the new flock of pullets is also in full swing. So we are at peak egg right now. We sent a hundred dozen to the food bank this week! Members, take extra to share with your friends. Here are two ideas for using them well.
1. Dutch Baby
Serves 8 average people or 4 farmers
We are longtime fans of the Dutch baby around here. It is versatile, so easy, and when it comes out of the oven, puffed up high and brown, it never fails to delight. I’ve written about it before but if you’re new to it, think giant popover, or a Yorkshire pudding without the roast. Most Dutch baby recipes out there veer to the sweet side, with sugar in the batter and something fruity on top, but it’s much more versatile than that and goes well with herbs, sausages and cheeses, and can be served any time of day. I prefer to make it neutral (no sugar) and add whatever sweet or savory toppings float the boat. Our version is a thin batter with four ingredients — flour, milk, eggs, salt — cooked in a generous amount of ghee, which can withstand the high temperature it takes to get a good puff better than butter can. It’s a very flexible and forgiving dish. Over the years, I’ve started using more eggs for a more substantial outcome, but some people like it with more air less there. Because we are always voracious, we make it in a 12” cast iron skillet, but if you are using the standard 8” skillet, halve the recipe.
- Place a 12” cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 425F.
- 1 C flour
- 1 C milk
- ½ t salt or to taste
- 4-6 eggs, fewer for lighter result and more for more density
- Using an immersion blender, thoroughly blend the ingredients to make a thin batter
- When the oven is hot, add to the hot skillet
- Return the skillet to the oven for two minutes to let the fat heat up and cover the whole skillet.
- Pour the batter all at once into the skillet and cook for 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Make sure everyone is gathered at the table to see your glory as it comes out of the oven, because it deflates very quickly.
2. Crustless Quiche
The second idea is something delicious that has been evolving in our kitchen this summer, and I don’t have a name for it. A crustless, custardy quiche, or dense soufflé, if that’s not an oxymoron? Name suggestions are welcome. It involves large amounts of sour cream. If this level of dairy fat consumption is not your jam, skip it. But if it is, you are in for a treat. It is easy, fast, delicious, and keeps you going until well past noon. You can add sausage or bacon for variation. I’ve never made it with store bought sour cream so I have no idea if it would work. Again, I use the 12” cast iron skillet; if you are using an 8” you probably need to scale down the recipe.
- Preheat the oven’s broiler and set a rack in the middle of the oven
- 10 eggs
- 1½ C sour cream
- Handful of finely chopped herbs (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded cheese (optional)
- Buzz everything except the cheese together thoroughly with an immersion blender. Sprinkle cheese on top, if using.
- On the stovetop, over medium heat, melt enough butter or ghee to thoroughly coat the bottom and sides of your skillet. You don’t want it to stick.
- Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook until the bottom is well set but not burning. Move to the oven and broil for 3 minutes to start, keeping a good eye on the top. It may begin to brown but it won’t be done all the way through yet. If the top begins to brown too fast, move the skillet to a lower rack. Continue to broil until set through, golden brown, and puffy, another 3-8 minutes.
I have much more farm news for this rain-soaked 29th week of 2021, but am off to watch Miranda’s gymkhana for the last day of pony camp at CSG Horsemanship. More next week! Until then, find us at 518-963-4613, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram at kristinxkimball, farmerkimball and essexfarmcsa, or here on the farm, any day but Sunday.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball.