This got started when some friends who have organic chickens gave us three dozen eggs – We got them because people who’d promised to come and buy from them hadn’t, and our friends were running out of space in their fridge.
I find it really interesting, the way their eggs taste: it takes me back to when I was a kid and my Granpa kept chickens. His eggs tasted like this; kind of earthy, not fatty. He had a number of stories about keeping chickens, usually centered around keeping the chickens alive and safe from predators, both human and animal.
So here we go, a recipe in pictures. Of course we have to show off some of those cute little eggs; they’re about 2/3 the size you’re used to from what you see in the store… If you’re used to handling even medium eggs, they’re ‘just so itty-bitty’…
I decided I’d use a 9×13 pan – as I’ve said before, my wife has some mobility issues after her back surgery. She’s getting better (thank you for your prayers!), but still has a long road ahead. I’m using this bigger pan, so we can have leftovers plus a salad for a couple days beyond this.
‘About a dozen’ jumbo eggs
Buy two cartons, just in case – you just have to eyeball the amount of coverage you get. (You want it to look like my ‘ready to go into the oven’ photo below.) Figure on using more than 12. With these little organic eggs, I had to use 24 of them because they were so small. Don’t gasp, I got them for free!
A pound of Mortadella
When you get it at the store, instead of having it sliced thin, have it sliced about as thick as your little finger. When you get it home, cube it up into pieces about the size of your thumbnail. (I like to use measurements I have handy. This would be about 3/4″ for those of you (like my wife) who have a ruler handy in the kitchen.)
3/4 pound of Provalone
Get this sliced as if you were using it for sandwiches.
Jar of green olives
I used black olives here because that’s what we had in the pantry. Next time I do this, I’m going to spend the bucks and get those green olives with the garlic in them.
Cooking spray (yuck) or just olive oil
I’m admitting my increasing bias against cooking spray. I don’t like what the overspray does to the handles, it turns into tar, making it harder than heck to get off when it bakes on, and I’m just not liking the taste, as it’s made from Canola. I guess I’m one of those people who can taste the grittiness on the tongue that Canola does. So let’s use an olive oil or grapeseed oil here.
Start by oiling the 9×13 pan. Put in a layer of ‘the bumpy stuff’ on the bottom to allow the eggs to flow under there when you pour them in later. Then lay a layer of Provolone over the top of that. Here’s a shot of the second layer, because we have dark counters and not everything would show up through the glass pan:
So we lay the Provolone on top of this layer, like so, and continue building layers – like you do in a lasagna – until we run out of ingredients.
All that’s left is to beat up the eggs until very well-mixed, and then pour over the top. I actually ended up adding a few more eggs in because the mixture didn’t come up quite as far on the sides of the dish as I’d have liked. This is where having some eggs in reserve comes in.
Here’s what it looks like, ready to go into the oven. I suppose I could have been more artistic with my leftover pieces of Provolone, but I had to quick throw it onto the dish so I wouldn’t just eat it…
Okay, you caught me: yes, I did eat that one half of a slice. After I made this shot, I sprinkled some Parmesan on the top, and kept some aside for a plate garnish.
I baked this at 375°, until a thermometer inserted in the center gave me 150°.
So here’s how it looks, just out of the oven, volcanically HOT, but PUFFY! Wow!
Those little pieces of Mortadella on the top are just begging to be picked off when we enjoy this. I gave it about ten minutes to cool off while I tried my best to assemble a decent salad.
Here’s what it looks like with a slice removed; you can make out the layers:
And of course we have to show you a piece on a plate. Now I’m the first to admit that using a Fiesta green plate wasn’t a very good choice. This is complicated by the cellphone camera’s inability to make a good white balance when confronted by a lot of color. I’ve corrected as much as I can but even so, it looks like we did pretty good:
And it was GREAT! That special taste of the Mortadella, the Provolone which doesn’t overwhelm it, and the olives, giving it a nice Mediterranean roundness. Hope you enjoyed this – it was a really good dinner, and leftovers were just as good as the first night!