Easy to Make – Christmas Eggs and Venison

Scott Leysath |

Christmas morning at the Leysath house starts with a Bloody Mary and Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict. Freshly steamed Dungeness crab is piled onto a crispy English muffin and topped with poached eggs and “real” hollandaise sauce, not something made from a foil packet or can. It’s a tradition that will live on as long as I’m around to make it happen.

At other times during the holidays, I make mass quantity egg dishes to feed whoever happens to be staying at the house. It beats cooking eggs to order and, if you don’t like whatever it is I’m serving for breakfast, you’re welcome to make something yourself. Just don’t leave a mess in the kitchen. Frittatas, quiches and other one-pan combos make for a great way to start your Christmas day. They’re also a delicious alternative to turning your ground venison into something besides burgers, chili and meatballs.

A frittata is pretty much just an omelette that’s got all the ingredients mixed up and baked in a non-stick skillet. The non-stick part is essential. My go-to frittata skillet is a well-seasoned cast iron pan. A quiche is a creamier version of a frittata that is baked in a pastry shell. They’re both good, but real men eat frittatas, or at least they’re more likely to admit to eating them.

Egg dishes are usually served with some form of potatoes on the side. It’s actually easier to combine the taters, venison, peppers and eggs in one big skillet. Brown some ground deer meat or sausage, add some diced potatoes, onions, peppers and lightly beaten eggs. Pop it into a 350-degree oven until it turns light brown on top, then add a few sunny side up eggs on top, maybe some cooked bacon and pop it back into the oven until the eggs are set, but still runny. You know that sounds good.

To make a frittata, beat a bunch of eggs into a bowl. Figure on about 2 eggs per person if your friends and family eat like mine do. Add cooked venison, cheese, mushrooms, onions, whatever makes you happy. Pour the whole shebang into a buttered non-stick pan over medium heat and give it a few minutes until the eggs start to set. Stir gently with a spatula until the egg mixture is just about completely set. Top with some more cheese, maybe some onions and mushrooms, and pop it under a broiler to brown the top. Wash it down with whatever you drink on Christmas morning, but I’m still thinking that Bloody Mary sounds pretty good.


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