Anyone who has ever had chickens knows the joys, and trials, of raising a flock of hens for eggs. People ask “Do you name them all?” No – they are not pets; they are chickens. “Are they free-range? Do you let them out in the vineyard?” No – if we did, they would all become Black Lab dinner in a manner of minutes – they are caged for their own protection.
The reality is that we raise vegetables, and fruit in the garden, and animals to eat and for eggs only because we then know the source, and the wonderfully fresh flavors, of what we are eating. It is NOT a time or money saving venture, but more a matter of pride in having fresh food on the table that we have raised from scratch.
We ordered our last batch of day-old chicks in April, and were counting the days until mid-summer when they actually started to lay. Those first tiny eggs we raised were probably $60.00/each when you add up the time to build the pen; clean the pen each week; purchase the chicks, automated water and food containers, high protein chick starter, laying crumbles, scratch, oyster-shell for firm shells, shavings for the laying boxes and straw for the pen. We sort scraps in the kitchen and weeds in the garden to give the hens something different and tasty each day, even to the point of saying “Oh, you don’t want that French-Fry? Can I take it home to my chickens?” when we’re out with friends in a restaurant. It gets obsessive!
The joys, ah the joys, of fresh, tasty, brilliant orange-yolked eggs whenever you want! Make a cake and need 4 eggs – no problem. Want a quick gift to offer friends – take an 18 pack of eggs!
But what to do when the daily dozens of eggs fills your refrigerator and doesn’t stop coming? Make an Egg Bake – have a Frittata with friends for brunch – or Roast Eggs in Tomato Sauce. Here are a few of our favorite Dozens of Eggs recipes.
Eggs Baked in Roasted Tomato Sauce
Food & Wine – Contributed by Marisa May
- 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped oregano and other fresh herbs
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a roasting pan, toss the tomatoes and garlic with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up and roast for 15 minutes; turn and roast until soft, 20 minutes. Let cool, then scrape the mixture into a blender and puree. Add the oregano and other herbs.
Set 4 shallow ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Strain the pureed sauce into the bowls, pressing on the solids. Crack 2 eggs into each bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and bake the eggs for about 15 minutes, until the whites are just set. Serve hot. As a cold-weather luncheon or dinner dish it pairs beautifully with the Two Old Dogs Cabernet Sauvignon.
Terry’s Egg Bake
Similar to a large frittata, you can add vegetables and herbs to this dish to give it more flavor, but it is delicious as is! Serve with a fresh garden salad and Two Old Dogs Sauvignon Blanc for a great brunch menu.
- 26 eggs
- 4 c. half & half
- 1/2 c. chopped green onion
- 1 1/2 c. cooked crumbled bacon
- 1 c. grated Swiss Cheese
- 1 c. grated Monterey Jack Cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
Beat eggs well, season with salt & pepper and mix all ingredients together. Bake in a 350 oven in a greased oven-proof dish (or 9″ x 12″ roasting pan, and cut into squares) until slightly browned and it bounces back to the touch.