~ Eggs a la Goldenrod or Creamed Eggs on Toast ~
Once upon a time, this vintage egg recipe was reserved for Easter breakfast or brunch. Why? It was a tasty way to make use of a dozen or so of those hard-cooked, pastel-colored eggs that got dyed by the children to celebrate the holiday. In my kitchen, eggs a la goldenrod is simply a delicious way to enjoy hard-cooked eggs, which I always keep on hand. Besides liking eggs a lot, as a busy food blogger and host of a TV segment, I hard-cook several eggs at the beginning of each week -- it's ten minutes well spent. I consider a hard-cooked egg a filling snack, and, a quick-to-fix tuna or egg salad sandwich is a favorite "eat while I'm working" lunch option.
Eggs à la goldenrod are "gussied up" creamed eggs on toast.
Creamed eggs on toast and eggs à la goldenrod are basically the same thing. Start with an easy-to-make white sauce then add some chopped hard-cooked eggs (small bits of cooked ham, seafood, asparagus or peas can be included too). The finished sauce is served over toast, butter-fried croutons or biscuits. If some or all of the bright-yellow yolks are reserved, minced and sprinkled over the top as a pretty garnish, the dish is called: creamed eggs à la goldenrod.
Because of the calories, I don't make goldenrod eggs often, but now and then I succumb to my craving for creamed eggs. The first time I tasted it was at an elegant brunch the day after my co-worker and friend Karen's wedding. This prearranged menu item arrived at each table plated and served over buttermilk biscuits with shaved country ham and asparagus. Karen's sister Karla explained it was a specialty of their Southern grandmother. I'd never heard of it, but, I ended up quite smitten with it.
"A fun dish to serve to folks who never heard of it." ~ Melanie
Research revealed that the recipe first appeared in 1896 in The Boston Globe Cooking School Cookbook by Francis Farmer and was reprinted on page 96 of the 1996, 100th anniversary edition. That said, the version I used as my guide was from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (12th edition/1986), and it appears on page 344. I actually bought the book to get the recipe.
When it comes to eggs à la goldenrod, I did break with tradition on one small point: I do not make this dish with leftover hard-cooked eggs that have been refrigerated. Of course the dish will be fine if you do, but, I am here to tell you it will be obviously better if you take a few minutes to hard-cook the eggs just before you make it. Both the yolks and the whites will be softer and tenderer, which, to a perfectionist like me, makes a difference in the end result. Try it, you'll see.
6 hard-cooked egg yolks that have been removed from 6 extra-large hard-cooked eggs that have been peeled and sliced in half
whites from 6 hard-cooked eggs, thinly-sliced into 'half-moons'
2 cups whole milk, heated
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons, unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
freshly-ground sea salt & peppercorn blend (about 40 coarse-grinds each)
4 slices of any type of toasted bread, butter-fried croutons or baked and split biscuits
~ Step 2. In a 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Increase heat to medium and add all of the flour. Whisking constantly, cook until the smooth paste begins to bubble, controlling the heat to make sure is does not brown, and, continue to cook a full 1 1/2-2 minutes.
Note: It's important to allow this to bubble for 1 1/2-2 minutes because, if it does not, the white sauce will have a floury taste to it. While whisking constantly, I just keep lifting the saucepan up and down, on and off the heat, to keep it bubbling without browning for the full 2 minutes.
~Step 3. Add the hot milk and continue to whisk constantly as the sauce thickens and comes to a gentle, steady simmer. Once simmering, add the cayenne pepper, optional nutmeg and season to taste with freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend (I use about 40 grinds each). Add the egg whites and continue to stir until the whites are heated through, about 30-60 more seconds. Remove from heat. Ladle over toasted bread, butter-fried croutons or split-biscuits.
Garnish with plenty of egg yolk sprinkles and serve immediately:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; paring knife; 4-quart saucepan; small saucepan or 2-cup measuring container; whisk; small ladle
Cook's Note: Plain toast or freshly-baked biscuits (or even toasted English muffins or bagels) are perfect for serving eggs a la goldenrod, but, if you're interested in ~ How to Make Croutons & Toasts for Salad and Soup ~, just click into Categories 2, 5, 9, 15 or 20 to find out how I butter-fry them.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)