As you will see by reading the recipe below, there’s no part of the recipe where you cook the eggs. Thus, there are raw eggs in this recipe. It is possible to get salmonella from eating raw eggs, so people with weakened immune systems like babies, old and sick people, and pregnant women should not eat avgolemeno sauce. And, please try to make avgolemeno sauce from fresh, farm-raised, free-range eggs that are as healthy as they can be. But this is really a delicious sauce!
How to make Avgolemeno Sauce:
Separate an egg. Use an electric mixer (or a whisk if you feel very energetic) to beat the egg white until it forms peaks. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze both halves. Mix the egg yolk and the lemon juice into the egg white. Serve over chicken soup, or over stuffed zucchini.
Will avgolemeno sauce keep?
No, the danger of getting sick from it is much greater the longer you keep avgolemeno sauce hanging around. Eat it immediately after making it.
It just happens that eggs and asparagus are both in season in the spring, so it seems like a happy coincidence that they taste so wonderful together! Spinach quiche is also very appropriate for springtime; in the summer, we usually have zucchini or tomato quiche. By fall, the chickens have stopped laying so much, and we stop eating quiche until spring.
How to make Asparagus Quiche:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Start by cooking the asparagus. You can use an asparagus steamer, or just cut the ends off about a third of the way up, throw them away, and throw the rest of the asparagus into boiling water for about five minutes. You’ll need one bunch of asparagus.
While the asparagus is cooking, make the crust. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, melt one stick of butter in the microwave. Take it out and add 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix. When it forms a dough, turn it out into a pie pan and push it around with the tips of your fingers until it forms a crust all over the bottom and sides of the pie pan. When the asparagus are done, chop them into one-inch pieces and arrange them on the bottom of the crust.
In the same bowl (no need to wash it), crack five eggs. Mix them, and add 1 1/2 cups of whole milk, a large pinch of kosher salt, and three tablespoons of flour. If you only have skim milk at your house, add a little Greek yogurt to make your quiche creamier. Mix and pour over the asparagus and crust. Bake about 45 minutes or until the quiche is set and not runny in the middle. Let it rest for five minutes outside the oven before serving. We usually have a green salad with quiche, or sauteed spinach.
Vegetarian or Vegan?
Asparagus quiche is vegetarian. It’s not vegan though.
Will it keep?
Yes, this quiche will be terrific cold or reheated for lunch the next day, and really for three or four days even.
People were talking about Eggs Benedict one day, and I got to thinking about how I might adapt Eggs Benedict to be something we would actually eat. Now traditionally Eggs Benedict is an English muffin with ham or bacon on top, a poached egg on top of that, and Hollandaise sauce poured over it. We don’t eat much ham or bacon here, and we like to have vegetables in our meals. So I substituted canned artichoke bottoms or fresh broiled asparagus for the English muffin, and lox for the ham. The kids loved it, and often ask for it, though they think it’s “too weird” to serve their friends. It’s a good quick dinner and if you have asparagus, the rest of the ingredients you probably already have in the house.
How to make Poached Eggs on Asparagus:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Take a couple of bunches of fairly thin asparagus and cut off the bottom third with a sharp knife and throw it away (I know, you’re supposed to break them one by one, but this is faster). Toss the asparagus with 1/8 cup olive oil on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until it is soft and a little blackened at the edges. Now you need to work quickly while the asparagus cooks.
Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil. If you cover it, it will boil a little faster. Get ready a carton of eggs and a large serving spoon. Then, make Hollandaise sauce in the microwave. As soon as the Hollandaise is done, when the asparagus is almost done and your water is boiling, begin poaching the eggs: one at a time, crack an egg into the spoon and gently spill it into the boiling water. (This is easier if another person holds the spoon). Make two eggs for each person. Let them cook for about a minute after the last one goes in.
Use that minute to distribute the asparagus on plates and put a few slices of lox on top of each plate of asparagus, crossways to the asparagus. Now use a slotted spoon to fish out the eggs and put them on top of the lox. Finally, pour Hollandaise over the top and serve. We usually have a green salad with it, too.
Vegetarian or Vegan?
Poached eggs and asparagus is vegetarian, if you leave out the lox. Add some salt instead. For a vegan alternative, try broiled asparagus on baked thyme bread with tahini sauce.
Will it keep?
No. Not even for five minutes. By the time you’re poaching the eggs, the family should already be sitting down waiting for it eagerly!
Arancini are usually food-cart street food, because they’re usually deep fried and most people don’t deep fry at home. But these are also good, and they’re just baked in the oven – no deep frying required, and you don’t have to go out to the food cart either!
How to make arancini:
This is a traditional way to use up leftover rice, and it will save you a little cooking time and make forming the arancini easier if you do have leftover rice, but it’s not necessary. You’ll need about two cups of leftover rice. Or begin by making rice: 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice in a small saucepan; stir once and then cook covered over a high flame until it boils, then reduce heat to low and cook – still covered – until the water is all absorbed and the rice is soft. Keep an eye on it so you can turn it off as soon as the water is all absorbed. Meanwhile, do your prep: get out a baking sheet and pour a small puddle of olive oil on it and spread it around. Cut half a pound of good mozzarella into small cubes (you can also put other fillings if you like: shredded ham, chopped greens, peas). Pour some breadcrumbs on to a small plate.
When the rice is done, transfer it to a mixing bowl and let it cool a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, and two eggs and stir quickly with a wooden spoon before the egg scrambles. Stir a lot, mashing a little so the rice becomes mashed together.
Use a metal spoon to scoop out a ball of the rice mixture, and put it in the palm of one hand. Use the other hand to flatten the ball, and place a cube of cheese in the center. Mush together the rice around the cheese, then roll the ball in the breadcrumbs and place on the greased baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve made all the rice into balls. Use a pastry brush to paint all the balls with olive oil (you can just brush it up off the baking sheet). Bake for ten minutes at 350, then broil for another five minutes or until the balls are lightly browned. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, and don’t put them too close to the broiler or the olive oil will burst into flames. They won’t be as golden as in this picture – the ones in the picture are deep-fried.
Spicy tomato sauce
While the arancini are baking, saute some chopped onions and garlic in olive oil. Add red pepper flakes to taste and cook one minute, then add a can of tomato sauce and simmer until the arancini are done. Serve alongside the arancini for dipping.
Vegetarian for sure. For vegan or lactose-free, use a meltable vegan cheese. For gluten-free, substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Can I keep this for later?
Sure. Put the leftovers in a tupperware in the refrigerator, and the flavors will blend and it will be even better than it was at first. You can reheat the arancini balls and the sauce in the microwave all week.