Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fresh Eggs are Egg-cellent!

Did you know that the eggs you buy from your local grocer are probably one to two months old when you purchase them?  In addition, compared to conventional store eggs, pastured, free range eggs contain*:
  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • Three times more vitamin E
  • Seven times more beta carotene – converts to vitamin A
  • most recently noted, 4-6 times more vitamin D

Not only that but they taste much better too!  And that means everything you make with them will taste better - whether it's hollandaise sauce, a frittata or your favorite batch of chocolate chip cookies. Trust me.   From the moment you see that deep-yellow-almost-orange-colored yolk, you will be smitten!

Actually, don't trust me.  Try them for yourself and let your taste buds be the judge.  If you live in my beloved Berkshires, here's a short list of local farms from which you can purchase fresh eggs from pastured, free range chickens.  There are many, many more options - feel free to share them in the comments section, these are just a few of the farms from whom I have personally purchased eggs.
You're also likely to find pastured, free range eggs at your local farmer's market.  Local author, Jennifer Trainer Thompson, just published an entire cookbook dedicated to fresh eggs.  It's called, what else, but The Fresh Egg Cookbook!  Available through Storey Publishing, you can also find copies at the Cricket Creek farmstore.  It contains a fabulous variety of recipes.  In the meantime, here are a couple of my favorite concoctions.

Soft-boiled Eggs on Toasted Challah
Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Gently lower one or two eggs into the water (I use a ladle to do this) and lower the temperature to simmer.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (no longer, no less).  Prepare a bowl of iced water (and when I say iced water, I mean place several cubes of ice in the water).  In the meantime, toast one or two slices of Challah bread.  As soon as your egg timer goes off, remove the egg(s) (again, I used a ladle) and place them in the bowl of iced water for 30 seconds.  If all goes according to plan, your bread will be done toasting and you can lightly butter it, while you wait for the eggs to cool in the iced water.  Once 30 seconds has elapsed, you should be able to crack the shell at the tip of each egg and peel it!  I like to break mine open right on top of the Challah toast.  Season with salt and pepper as desired - YUM!

Fried Egg on a Bed of Spinach
Saute a VERY large handful of spinach (or whatever type of green(s) you prefer - Chard works well too) in a small amount of butter.  After a minute or so the greens will wilt down.  Make a 'well' in the middle to crack and egg into and dot the spinach/greens with feta cheese.  This particular cheese is from Cricket Creek Farm and is made with cow's milk vs. goat.  Put a lid or cover on the pan and turn the heat off, allowing the egg to cook and the cheese to soften.  Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve with freshly toasted bread.

Here's to the incredible, edible egg!  Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

  1. I love fresh eggs--so delicious! In the Boston burbs, I get my eggs from Dragonfly Farm at the Westford Farmers Market, or Chip-In Farm in Bedford. Though fresh local eggs have become pretty widespread and easy to find in the past few years. Lucky for us!