Photo by Eugenia Bone
Provenance of Dish
Creamed eggs are a southern and midwestern staple in the USA, consisting of hard-boiled eggs sliced and combined with ample béchamel, aka cream sauce. Regional and household variations abound, with the sauce flavored by sherry or capers or, in the case of the mushroom hunter, mushrooms! It traditionally is served over toast or biscuits. A wide variety of mushrooms may be used like chanterelles, boletes, hedgehogs, even mixed mushrooms.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 ounces coarsely chopped mushroom, either one species or multiple species
2 cups whole milk
1 egg yolk
1 cup minced white onion (and I mean minced!)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
Pinch of salt to taste
Pinch of Urfa biber (Turkish pepper) or Cayenne pepper to taste
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced (not too thin)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon paprika (sweet or smoked—they are both good)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sized skillet over a medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have given off their water and the water has evaporated. Set aside.
In the meantime, whisk together the milk and egg yolk in a measuring cup or small bowl with a spout. Set aside.
In a medium sized saucepan melt the remaining 4 tablespoon of butter over a medium high heat. Add the onions and cook them until they become transparent, about 6 minutes. Do not brown, so if necessary, lower your heat. Add the flour and stir to coat the onions. Cook for about five minutes. Do not brown, so if necessary, lower your heat. (It takes about 5 minutes to cook off the raw taste of flour.) Lower the heat to medium low and slowly add the milk and egg mixture, whisking all the while. It will boil up at first and seem chunky but keep whisking in the milk. As the béchamel comes together pour in the last of the milk even slower, and whisk until smooth, for a total of about 5 or 6 minutes. The finished consistency is like a gravy. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms. Combine well. Add the sliced eggs and fold them in being careful not to break up the eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the eggs into a casserole dish (I use a 1.5-quart dish), sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and paprika, and place in the oven. Cook the eggs until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and is just barely golden on top, about 15 minutes.
Serve over or with toast or fresh biscuits. Alternatively, you can prepare this dish in individual ramekins.