Eggs: Four Recipes That Will Exceed Eggspectations
The egg is probably the most versatile ingredient on the planet. Eaten by many cultures over thousands of years, it’s a culinary wonder. With its high nutritional value, mix of proteins and healthy fats, the egg plays many roles — sometimes as the star and sometimes in a supporting role. It is the workhorse for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and anything in between.
Despite their availability year-round, eggs have a season (and I don’t mean Easter). Birds naturally lay eggs in the spring when extended hours of daylight and the warmer temperatures trigger full egg production. Plus, a diet of fresh spring greens creates a brighter yolk. With the heat of summer, the laying of eggs once again starts to slow and continues to slow until the winter when the hens all but cease production to conserve body heat.
Though the white chicken egg is the most commonly used (and commercially available) egg, it is far from your only choice. In our region, a trip to your favourite farm, farmers’ market or specialty grocery store can reveal many more options. Tiny speckled quail eggs, beautifully coloured chicken eggs in greens, blues and pinks and larger eggs from ducks, turkeys and geese can all be used for any of your favourite recipes.
Blue Bantam — the breed of chicken determines the colour of the egg. These beautiful blue eggs are from the small Bantam hens (great for backyards, not that it’s legal here).
Pastured egg — hens are raised naturally on a foraged diet (grasses, insects, etc.) These eggs are typically sold at the gate of small-scale farms in season. Pastured chickens are a key player in biodynamic farm practices.
Quail — coveted for their high yolk-to-white ratio, dainty size and beautiful speckled shell. They’re a great addition to many dishes aimed to impress.
Duck — larger and thicker shelled than chicken eggs with a large yolk, one egg contains average daily amount of B12 and 15% of protein
Pullet — eggs from a hen under one year of age, just learning to lay eggs. They are smaller than regular eggs, and prized by pastry chefs for their richness.
To show-off just how versatile the egg is, these four basic recipes for classic egg dishes can be dressed up with local variations and creative twists that take them out of the past and into the future.