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Creamed Egg Chartres

Creamed Egg Chartres is a basic creamed egg dish. Onions, hard-cooked eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese and a touch of cayenne pepper bake into a creamy, golden, bubbly, delicious casserole that is perfect for brunches, Sunday breakfast, or even as a meatless main course. For brunch, serve with colorful foods – roasted potatoes with sautéed red and green bell peppers, Summer Tomato Corn Salad, and luscious, ripe fresh fruit.

Makes 8 servings

Softened butter for greasing baking dish
8 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 medium-size onions, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
12 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
6 cups whole milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons sweet Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 13X9X2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with about 1 tablespoon softened butter. Set aside.

In a deep bowl, beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk or manual egg beater until smooth. Add the milk, salt and cayenne pepper, whisking to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the Parmesan cheese and paprika together to combine. Set aside.

Melt the butter pieces in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron works well) over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they are soft and lightly golden, about 8 - 10 minutes.

Add the flour in 4 portions, mixing well between each addition. Reduce the heat to low and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Stir occasionally, to keep the mixture from burning.

Stirring the onions mixture constantly with a wire whisk, pour in the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream and cook over high heat until the sauce comes to a boil, thickens and is smooth. Remove from the heat and gently stir in 9 of the sliced hard-boiled eggs.

Pour the eggs and sauce into the buttered dish and sprinkle the Parmesan-paprika mixture evenly over the top. Bake in the center of the oven until the top is browned and the sauce begins to bubble, about 15 minutes. Garnish the top with the remaining hard-boiled eggs and serve at once.

For a bit more color, sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions or minced flat leaf parsley.

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