Archive for egg recipe

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.

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Vegetable, buckwheat noodle  & egg stir-fry

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

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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)

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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)

 

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Early Summer Pavlova with rhubarb curd

 

Chocolate mousse.

chocolate mousse

Spicy Chocolate Custard. custard, spicy chocolate 005

 

 

 

Gingery Custard Pear Tart

A recipe initially published in the October 2012 issue of Food-Shed Magazine.

Pears start to ripen in my area in August (apples in July), but I really don’t start to pay attention to them until after the stone fruit of summer are gone.

Almond and pears in custard – that’s a most classic flavor combination.  Add ginger for a little twist, actually a double twist with the double layer of ginger flavor: the pears are poached with fresh ginger and then candied ginger is added to the custard.

Make sure your pears are perfectly ripe: overripe pears are mealy, underripe pears bland and sometime astringent. Pears are generally sold underripe (most European pears ripen off the tree): keep them at room temperature to ripen them. They are ready to eat or cook when the area immediately around the stem yields slightly under the pressure from your fingers. If the whole pear is soft, it’s likely too gone, with the inside rotten. Once ripe, refrigerate and eat within a couple of days.

A tart pan with a removable bottom unmolds easily. And yes, it makes all the difference in the world, to bake the shell blind and let it cool thoroughly before adding the filling. An

Gingery Custard Pear Tart

Yields a 9″ Round or Square Tart, Serving 8-10 Read more

The Third Day of Christmas

We make Meyer Lemon curd. Lots of it.

It takes less than 30 minutes to make a quart of it, and since it freezes beautifully, you may as well make a few quarts… provided you have eggs and lemons. And we do.

meyer lemon curd

Jars of Meyer lemon curd for the fridge and the freezer

 

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When You Have Eggs, Make Custard… or Flan

I love a good baked custard – or flan as we call in France (which is not the same as a Spanish flan – maybe a post for another day). And although the last few days have been warm, the down spiraling leaves are letting us know – in no uncertain terms – that cooler times are coming. As a matter of fact, they are supposed to sweep through the area Saturday with near freezing temperature. The next two days are going to be spent in a frenzy of tasks that should have been accomplished weeks ago: digging up the banana trees, moving into the greenhouse all the tender plants I want to keep over the winter, pick up the last of the tomatoes (and up-root the now unsightly plants), harvest all the remaining basil and turn it into pesto… Fat chance of being able to even accomplish half of it!

Maple Vanilla Baked Custard

But at least, on Saturday, as the evening gets really chilly, I can console myself with a nice little flan. Easy to make, it only requires a few ingredients, so it makes sense to get the best ingredients you can: whole local organic milk from pastured cows, fresh fat farm eggs from free-range chicken allowed to roam in the pasture to forage for at least part of their food – and real vanilla bean.

Do you know that this orchid (yes, vanilla beans are the fruit of an orchid) originates from Mexico? When it was exported to other countries in the hope of producing vanilla and break the Spanish monopoly – in the 18th century – growers were very disappointed that they could not get the orchid flower to fruit (it’s because the orchid needs a specialized pollinator endemic to Mexico). It was not until a slave figured how to manually fertilize vanilla in the early 19th century on French Bourbon Island in the Indian Ocean (now Reunion) that the culture of vanilla took off in so many different places around the world. Bourbon Vanilla now comes from Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius and I believe some of the Comoros Islands. Growers on Reunion are trying to establish international recognition for their vanilla – for cultural, historical, agricultural and culinary reasons.

No matter the origin of your vanilla bean, ensure it’s plump for maximum flavor.

For my custard, especially at this time of the year, I like to add a touch of maple syrup (from not too far Pennsylvania), and so that gives us Maple Vanilla Bean Baked Custard.

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