Before the darting, diving, shrieking pandemonium of an early morning egg hunt, we like to ground our bellies with a preliminary warm-up breakfast of hot cross buns and steaming hot chocolate. Then after boasting baskets so quickly filled up with treasure, we kick off wet and grass-stained slippers to head back inside for something more peaceful and sustaining. It's time for the playful preparation and eating of our traditional Easter egg hunt breakfast. The one that grabs our attention to extend the pleasure (and keeps us from having sulfury old eggs to throw out later in the week). And whereas most full-on breakfasts are a mad scramble to get all the parts done and served hot together, this relaxed menu is more like countryside picnic fare. In fact, if it's a sunbonnet sort of day, you could always carry everything outside for a languorous sprawl. And more coffee (or champagne)...
"Easter Egg Hunt Breakfast", continued:
...Start with a basket of fresh bread: challah, brioche, croissants, panettone and/or black bread make sense for this spring celebration. To pass with sweet butter and strawberry jam. Then make a sunrise platter of oranges, first cutting off both pith and peel before slicing them into rounds to fan out in overlapping circles. Try cara cara and blood oranges for spectacular color contrast. And drizzle on some Grand Marnier if you're so inclined. Now on to our main event here, which is the creation of stuffed eggs dressed up to look like chicks and nestled in a garden of butter lettuce cups. With rolled up rosettes of thinly sliced ham, chive grass, baby carrots and French breakfast radishes to tuck in and around. Perhaps a shower of violets, rose petals, or mustard flowers scattered on top. Sprigs of lavender, rosemary or thyme. Or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Casual Recipe for Stuffed Egg Chicks
hard-cooked eggs, peeled
salt & pepper
whimsical adornments [See suggestions above]
- Cut the top lengthwise third off the eggs; discard that part of the white and remove the yolks to a bowl.
- Cut a thin slice off the base of the egg white bottoms so they can sit up level and steady.
- Mash the yolks with a fork or pastry blender until light and fluffy. Then work in equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream (about 1 tsp. EACH per egg) to create a smooth paste. Season to taste with mustard, salt and pepper.
- Fill each egg white bottom with a 2 Tb. scooped ball of the yolk mixture.
- Use fresh peas for eyes, beaks and combs cut out of sliced carrot rounds, and parsley leaves or flower petals for bonnets/bow ties/ascots/ruffled collars or other general silliness.
and Play with:
Even if you don't celebrate Easter and you're no longer a kid, these stuff-your-own eggs are a lot of fun. When I demoed them in a rites of spring menu class, over half the students stayed inside feeling inspired to make up their own instead of moving on with the rest to learn about grilling lamb.
And this is what happened when we did them at our adult son's birthday party...
Bon Appetit! Kay
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