Æggekage is basically a baked omelette. It can be as fancy (cheese, mushrooms, green onions, tomatoes, bacon, prosciutto, sausage…etc…)or as simple (usually tomatoes and bacon) as you like. It caters to everyone save vegans and those with egg allergies. When I was a vegetarian I ate this often for dinner (filled with sautéed mushrooms), especially when I craved the fatty satiety meat provides.
When I was growing up eggs were Omnipresent but highly regulated. A healthy breakfast included no more than two eggs, usually scrambled in a gingerly applied spritz of vegetable oil. In fact, I vividly remember my shock and repulsion at being offered eggs that had been scrambled by my Grandmother…in butter. It was almost too rich. I also remember being allowed no more than one hard boiled egg a day, for cholesterol’s sake. They were healthy enough to remain a staple, but meted out like ticking heart disease time bombs, savored with caution as I childishly wondered what cholesterol was.
Now however most people have shaken off the dietary austerity of the 90’s and new studies come out all the time informing us of what we were missing out on. The Egg. Apparently cholesterol is no big deal, and eggs are full of protein, containing both vitamin d and vitamin a, amino acids, selenium (thyroid health, immunity, antioxidant!), phosphorous (bones and teeth!) and choline (liver and neurological health). Their purpose is to be the external womb of a growing creature, and thus they contain all the nutrients necessary to foster healthy, stable growth. Eating them provides essential nourishment at a fraction of the cost of meat, and for some, without the ethical qualms.
There are many different sources out there indicating the varying degree of humane treatment chickens receive… and truly, the market does seek to deceive. When possible for both ethical and nutritional reasons, free range from the farmer is of course best. Egg quality (which in and of itsself says a lot about the lifestyle of the chickens) can usually be judged by two factors; the thickness of the shell and the brightness and taughtness of the yoke. Thin shells with pale, delicate yolks that want to break with the slightest disturbance are indicative of poor nutrition, and usually a sedentary (caged) life. Thick shells with bright, round yolks usually indicate some foraging is taking place, bugs are being eaten, and to do that, the lady must leave the hen house.
At the store though, I prefer either Happy Eggs or Vital Farm, and then if pressed I ignore cage free in favor of free range or pastured.
A warning to those sensitive-types, easily shocked by deviations from the US governments suggested dietary schema…the following recipe caters to the very active who follow a very high fat diet. File under keto, paleo, WAPF and atkins friendly. If you need it less heavy, use your own judgement. Fill it with veggies (I suggest spinach!) and reduce the amount of butter.
You will need a ten inch cast iron skillet and a functional oven for this recipe.
Preheat your oven to four hundred degrees farenheit.
On the stove top, with plenty of butter, saute bacon or mushrooms on medium high heat.
Scramble six eggs in a bowl. Add a dash of milk, and if you like, some grated cheese. I like extra sharp cheddar.
At this time you can also add any herbes you might like to include, such as herbes de provence or thyme or basil or even arugula.
Add chopped green onions to the egg scramble. Once the bacon is cooked but not too crispy, turn down the oven to 350f and pour the egg scramble into the skillet. Give everything a gentle swirl in the pan, and pop it in the oven.
Let it bake 15-20 minutes, watching for solidity in the center and browning of edges. When it is becoming golden, test the center with a butter knife. If the knife is wet and eggy, turn the oven down to 300f and let it keep baking a few more minutes.
Otherwise, take it out, let it set a few minutes, and then cut it into cake wedges. I love it on a bed of greens with tomatoes and raw sauerkraut.