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Whether for brunch bunch or two at your table, eggs are a morning favorite

You can fry them, shir them, scramble or roll them up. Is there a more versatile food at your fingertips? It’s that incredible egg, long on the upswing after its battering on the health front.

But everyday eggs can be so, well, everyday, always pleasant and comforting, with a predictability and demeanor that might as well whisper, “It’s time to wake up.”

But when morning takes on grander importance, for those celebrations when you want to shout, “Welcome!” to the day – whether it’s a regular morning or any of the spring gatherings where guests gather around the table – the egg can be dressed for company.

Whatever the option, morning couldn’t taste better.

Egg Roulade

5 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons. flour

1¼ cups milk

4 eggs, separated

Freshly ground black pepper

Filling (see below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the 10- by 15-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper; either butter or spray it with cooking oil.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Increase heat to high, whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Season with pepper.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into yolk mixture and fold in the rest.

Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and smooth it out. Bake for 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, prepare any filling that needs to be warmed. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Cover the egg surface with another oiled or buttered piece of parchment. Invert onto the counter, and peel off the parchment on the top.

Sprinkle the egg surface with whatever filling is to be used. Starting on the long side of the egg surface, and using the parchment on the bottom to help, roll up the egg, jellyroll fashion. Place the roulade back on the jellyroll pan, with parchment underneath, and return it to the oven. Bake until any cheese in the filling has melted, about 10 minutes. To serve, cut into ½-inch slices. Serves 6 to 7.

Note: This calls for a 10- by 15-inch jellyroll pan (a baking sheet with edges). If you have a different size, just shape the batter on the pan accordingly. I’ve made two of these at a time, for a group of 12 diners, and I made the batter individually for each. With two roulades, it’s a little extra last-minute pressure, but if the rest of the meal is simple, this is doable. Keep in mind that you’ll need the full oven if you’re making two of these.

– Adapted from Sara Moulton

Filling variations:

The filling must be prepared and hot (except for cheese) before it is placed on the cooked egg surface. Make sure any moisture in the vegetables is gone; heat in a saute pan to assure it.

• Diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers and grated cheddar cheese

• Diced sauteed mushrooms and Gruyere cheese

• Cooked, chopped spinach (make sure it’s thoroughly dry) and Parmesan cheese

• Slices of prosciutto and any grated cheese

• Black beans and diced roasted red peppers

• Diced ham and grated cheddar cheese

• Smoked salmon (lox), whipped cream cheese (so it’s easy to spread), chives or capers

• Cooked and crumbled bacon or sausage

Topping variations:

• Grated cheese or fresh, minced herbs

• Salsa

• Green chile sauce

• Hollandaise sauce

Shirred Lemon Eggs

Butter for the ramekins

4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons grated Gouda cheese

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

1½ teaspoons minced herbs (dried fines herbs or fresh parsley, oregano, tarragon, marjoram or thyme)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 2 ramekins well and pour 1 tablespoon cream in each. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon lemon zest and 1½ tablespoons cheese over the cream in each ramekin. Salt and pepper to taste.

Crack 1 egg into a cup and carefully pour it into a ramekin (this is to assure that the egg yolk doesn’t break or have a spot on it; if it does, use another egg); repeat with remaining egg into second ramekin. Pour the remaining tablespoons of cream over the eggs. Scatter herbs over the top. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes (about 15 minutes for the white to be cooked, but the yolk will still be soft and a bit runny). Serves 2.

From “The Breakfast Book” by Marion Cunningham.


• Add lemon zest to the top of egg before it’s cooked.

• Add salsa or Asian chile sauce over eggs when they come out of the oven.

• Prosciutto-wrapped: Place a paper-thin slice of prosciutto in each ramekin (cut to assure it fits the dish without overhanging) and bake for 10 minutes. Continue with recipe, first warming cream before adding it to ramekin. Add egg and seasoning.

• Ham (or prosciutto) and mushrooms: Finely chop ham, mushrooms and green onions. Toss with a little brie and place mixture in ramekins. Top with egg and additional cheese over egg and bake.

• Florentine: Spread 1 tablespoon chopped cooked spinach on bottom of each ramekin. Top with egg and 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Mushroom and Onion Quiche

6 to 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced (¾ cup)

2 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease pan

8 eggs

1½ cups half-and-half or milk

4 ounces (1 cup) finely shredded Gruyere or white cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon salt

Dash white pepper

2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute mushrooms and onions in a saucepan with butter until soft. Set aside. (If preparing in advance, refrigerate mixture until ready to use.)

Crack eggs into large bowl; whisk until egg whites and yolks are thoroughly blended. Add half-and-half or milk, cheese, salt, pepper and chives; whisk thoroughly. Add mushroom mixture and stir.

With butter, lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch pan (glass or ceramic will look nicer than metal for serving) or two 9-inch pie pans. Pour egg mixture into pan(s). Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature, with additional chives sprinkled on top for garnish. Serves 10 to 12.

Note: This quiche does not have a crust. If you prefer one, roll out two prepared pie crusts and bake according to directions. Then add the egg mixture and bake as directed. Substitute other vegetables as you prefer; chopped fresh asparagus is particularly nice (be sure to cook until almost tender in advance of adding to eggs).

– From “Come One, Come All: Easy Entertaining With Seasonal Menus” by Lee Svitak Dean.