• All About Eggs

    I’m often so impressed with how perfect an egg is — the animal equivalent of a seed — with everything it needs to follow through on the creation of life. And similarly, there is no more perfect or accessible protein for the human body. Unlike animal milks, which can sometimes wrestle with our digestive processes, an egg is always well received physiologically. Besides that, they can be used for so many different functions in cooking: binder, emulsification, leavener, thickener, a glaze, a basic protein! They can be poached, fried, whipped, baked, boiled, roasted, even grilled or steamed…how many other elements in the food world, let alone the world at large, are as versatile as an egg?

    So when you find someone with a passion for raising chickens that produce the most beautiful, most desirable eggs, that produce the most beautiful results, you certainly take notice. Or rather, I DO! We sell two kinds of eggs in the shop: chicken & duck. The chicken eggs are from a small farm near Corvallis called Vitality Farms and the duck eggs are a bit closer to home at Dancing Chicken Farm — these are two sets of such passionate farmers.

    At Vitality Farms, Karen tends her happy hens that live in custom-designed, mobile houses that are moved to fresh, organic pasture every 3-4 days. Every day of the year these hens feast on a diet of greens, bugs and worms in addition to her certified organic feed (NON-GMO, Corn & SOY FREE).

    Likewise, Ellen & Marvin at Dancing Chicken Farm raise quail, chicken, duck and geese for eggs. You can find them at many of the local farmers markets and now we have their duck eggs in the shop, all lovingly cleaned and packed by hand.

    Worth Noting:

    ● Eggs hate high heat and love to be coaxed into their next manifestation. Due to their high protein content they have a tendency to stick to the pan, we suggest using a healthy scoop of coconut ghee to keep things fluid!
    ● The fresher the egg, the harder to peel. Older eggs are better for hard-boiled or deviled eggs. Also adding a pinch of baking soda or a splash of vinegar to your boiling water can help to loosen the shells for easier peeling.

    How to know a good egg?
    ● Unwashed fresh eggs are safe at room temperature, once washed they must be refrigerated.
    ● A fresh egg yolk will practically salute you; firm and perky with a tight egg white, and a deep orange yolk if the chicken was properly pastured, always a lighter yellow in the winter.
    ● It’s good to ask about the feed of chicken- truly pastured chickens eat greens, bugs, worms – supplemental grain feed is added in the winter. SOY is not a natural part of their diets!
    ● The taste is worth remembering!

    Spring Quiche is one of my favorites with all the tender greens and shoots in season!



    Spring Quiche with Peas & Scallions

    Makes 1 10” tart

    Ingredients

    5 eggs

    Sliced peas on the bias or shelled

    1 cup créme fraiche or cream

    1 tsp mustard seeds

    1 bunch scallions, cut on a bias

    Handful of nettles, stems removed (wear gloves!)

    Salt to taste

    1 Tbsp fresh herbs or lemon zest

    Crust

    1½ cups whole wheat flour

    ¾ cup cold butter

    ⅓ cup cold water

    Pinch of salt



    Preparation

    Add salt to flour and mix well, cut in the butter or fat until the size of large crumbs. Drizzle in the water until the mass comes together, try not to handle it to much or you will overdevelop the gluten (it’s okay to see butter chunks). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Take it out and on a floured surface roll out the dough and then fit it into your tart pan. Bake for 20 minutes just to set the crust. Be sure to poke the bottom with a fork before baking to let the steam escape. Use pie weights or old beans to hold the shape of the crust.

    Now, reduce the heat of the oven to 325˚F. Blend the filling ingredients together and fill the pre-cooked crust with the mixture. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until it’s slightly firm. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.



    Mayo

    Ingredients

    1 egg yolk (room temperature)

    ¾ cup oil (your choice — i like avocado, pumpkin seed, fruity extra virgin olive, or coconut)

    ½ tsp powdered mustard

    ½ lemon, juiced

    Pinch of salt



    Preparation

    Add all ingredients to a blender EXCEPT the oil and mix well on low speed. Increase the speed of the blender (if possible) and slowly drip in the oil. Watch for the mixture to begin to emulsify to continue to add oil until it looks like it can’t mix any further because it has thickened so greatly. Do not force more oil into the mix or it will “break” and return to a liquid.



    Deviled Eggs

    Ingredients

    1 dozen eggs, hard boiled, cooled and peeled

    2 Tbsp grainy mustard

    ½ cup mayo

    1 Tbsp paprika

    ½ tsp nutmeg

    Zest of one lemon

    ¼ cup of parsley

    Salt to taste



    Preparation

    In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except the eggs. With a sharp knife and a delicate touch, cut the eggs lengthwise and gently remove the yolks. Mash the yolks and add them to your mayo mixture. Gently refill the halved egg whites with the mash. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.