The Miraculous and Delicious Egg

eggs

 

To the music of “These are a few of my favorite things” – and  with apologies to Maria! – let’s all sing together:

Soufflés & Quiches, Omelets & Crepes

Clafoutis, Flans, and Croque-Madames

Waffles & Cremes, Meringue & Mousse

Not to mention sunnyside up

Custard & Ice, and Devil & Neige

Angel Food Cake

Steamed  bread pudding and lemon pound cake

These are a few of my favorite things.


Somewhere along the line, eggs got a bad rap. Too much fat! Too much cholesterol! This from people who did not blink an eye about recommending margarine and other wholly unnatural man-made white fats. And then thanks to the horrors of factory farming where hundred of thousands of hens are crammed together, fed junk,  and forced to lay continuously, salmonella scares have  further discourage the eating of eggs. But of course! Anything produced in factory “farms” conditions is going to be less than wholesome.

But  a pastured flock has access to a varied diet of grass, weeds, bugs; enjoy sunshine & fresh air; range and do what chicken naturally do (scratch, run, take dust baths etc). Those eggs are truly an amazing food, a power house of protein, minerals, vitamin and oligo elements – delicious and nutritious.

In my area, eggs from pastured hens sell vary from $4.25 to $5.75 a dozen, generally depending on whether the grain rations are GMO-free or organic, or soy-free. At 2 oz per egg extra-large), that’s 24 oz or 1.5  lb per dozen – or $2.83 to$ 3.83 per pound – a pretty good deal!

Besides, consider that chicken lay unfertilized eggs while wild birds lay eggs only after mating. Does that give us an indication of how long the relationship between chicken and humankind is?

So… need some egg ideas?

IDEAS FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH OR LIGHT DINNER

eggs - strata 009

Strata, aka savory bread pudding, here with roasted pepper, slow cooked onions & spinach

 

grits & manchego souffle

Souffles – here corn grits souffle

 

IDEAS FOR LUNCH OR DINNER

Everyone like deviled eggs! Here’s my recipe.

eggs-deviled-13-225x300

Vegetable, buckwheat noodle  & egg stir-fry

garden-buckwheat-noodle-002

Sunnyside eggs anytime – that’s the ultimate fast food!

chayote-eggs-003

Sunnyside eggs, chayote shoots, rice & spicy zucchini rougail

Sunnyside eggs with purslane, blue potato & cherry tomato salad

Sunnyside eggs with a summer salad of purslane, blue potatoes & cherry tomatoes

 

Spring omelette with asparagus & morellesmorels-2009-04-043

 

 

IDEAS FOR DESSERT

While many desserts include eggs, some rely almost exclusively on eggs, including these:

Baked custard. I vary the sweeteners, often using honey, as well as the flavoring: almond extract, fennel seeds, orange oil are flavors I often use (but vanilla bean is the most frequent)

maple-vanilla-baked-custard4

Fruit curd, including lemon curd are good on toast, mixed with plain yogurt, as cake filling,  or as a base in a fruit tart. Add whipped cream and/or whipped egg whites and you’ve got lemon mousse.

meyer lemon curd

Meringue & passion fruit curd… and also pavlovas

Meringues with passion fruit curd

Meringues with passion fruit curd (lemon curs or any kind of curd works too)

 

pavlova 030

Early Summer Pavlova with rhubarb curd

 

Chocolate mousse.

chocolate mousse

Spicy Chocolate Custard. custard, spicy chocolate 005

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Sylvie,

    Oh my goodness, all your dishes look so tempting! Such gorgeous deviled eggs, they sing of spring. Your chayote shoots remind me to buy a few and try again to grow them. What does rougail mean?

  2. Sylvie says:

    Deirdre, thank you! We never stopped loving eggs ever since we understood about pastured eggs some 20 years ago. They taste and are fabulous!
    Do try chayote shoots, it might take you a couple of seasons to get the timing of sprouting/planting/harvesting right (and don’t hesitate to ask me, you hear….?). Time to sprout them now, as a matter of fact.
    Don’t plant it in your hoophouse until you’ve planted it a few seasons outside. It might become perennial (and set fruit) and that is a good thing only if you (or you chefs) like it.
    It’s difficult to give an exact meaning to “Rougail”, it’s a Reunionese creole word. The ingredients and context define whether a rougail is a main dish or a side, whether it’s cooked or raw. The word itself may be of Malagasian origin, meaning a mixture of tomatoes, onions, ginger, chilies etc — although some Reunionese rougail don’t have tomatoes The recipe for that particular “rougail” (which is I have never seen on Reunion) is here: http://www.laughingduckgardens.com/ldblog.php/2009/10/26/rougail-zucchini/#more-1592

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