Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anyone for Welsh Eggs?

Yesterday’s post was about the availability of dried egg in Britain during World War II, and I was tempted to give you the Ministry of Food’s recipe for “Welsh Eggs” (which used dried eggs of course) as the finale to the story. I decided on reflection however to hold it over until today so that I could explore the concept further, as I presumed the recipe was a variation of the theme of Welsh Rabbit. As most of you know, Welsh Rabbit is one of my favourite topics (see previous posts here and here) and I hoped to add something to my appreciation of the dish.  As it turns out, the recipe is a variation on the theme of scrambled eggs -  the Welsh connection being the inclusion of leeks.

Welsh Eggs.
A new supper dish that tastes as good as it looks.
Here’s a new egg dish, made with dried eggs, that you’ll find a delightful change. It’s made with “hard boiled” eggs – that is, dried eggs reconstituted and steamed in greased egg-cups or moulds for 15 minutes.
For Welsh Eggs you need: 1 oz. margarine (or dripping); 3 level tablespoons plain flour; ½ pint milk (or milk and water); 2 level tablespoons coarsely chopped leek or spring onion;  1 level teaspoon salt; ½ level  teaspoon pepper; 4 dried eggs, hard-boiled and chopped; 4 pieces toast.
Melt the margarine and stir in the flour to absorb the fat. Then add the milk gradually and bring to the boil, add the leek or onion, and seasoning, and stir until cooked – about five minutes. Finally, add the chopped egg and serve on hot toast. (Sufficient for four.)
One of the main secrets of success, when using dried eggs for scrambled eggs and omelettes, is to be very careful about reconstituting. Measure the dried eggs exactly – one level tablespoon to two of water, and be sure to get out all the lumps before you start. Season generously. A pinch of dry mustard (added before reconstituting) is a good addition to scrambled eggs; it brings out the real egg flavour.
Dried eggs are shell eggs with only water and shell taken away. You need never go short of delicious egg dishes with a packet of dried eggs in the house.
Ministry of Food’s Food Facts leaflet, as published in
The Times [London, England] 24 May 1945

I did find a couple of other recipes also called Welsh Eggs in other sources. The first one below does have an element of Welsh Rabbit about it in that it contains cheese. The second recipe has a creamy scrambled egg with cheese, so has the best of both concepts perhaps.

Welsh Eggs
Two or more eggs, butter, seasoning, a few slices of cheese.
Well butter some scallop shells and line each with some very thin slices of cheese. Break an egg carefully into each, and put a few more shreds of cheese on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in a moderate oven for a few minutes, until the egg is lightly set, and the cheese is lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Worker (Brisbane, Qld) 31 May 1938

Welsh Shirred Eggs.
Place in a skillet 3 tablespoons butter, and when melted add ½ cup cream and 4 well-beaten eggs, seasoning with salt, pepper, and a little grated onion. Stir as for the scrambled eggs while cooking, and when just ready to serve add ½ cup grated cheese, and as soon as the cheese is melted, serve.

Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW) 16 July 1922

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