Tag Archives: egg

recipe: how to cook perfect fried eggs ( hint, use ghee *and* butter ).

recipe: how to cook perfect fried eggs ( hint, use ghee *and* butter ).

when you have backyard chickens you discover the divine pleasure of a perfectly cooked, fried egg straight out of the nesting box. and by perfectly cooked, i mean crispy edges with tender whites ( not snotty! not overcooked! ) and runny yolks. it’s a tough trick to get the trifecta of crispy, tender and runny and i could never get it consistently until i read this cooks illustrated fried egg recipe ( great magazine, highly recommended ).

it explains that yolks and whites set at different temperatures. yolks set at 158F and whites set at 180F, so the trick is getting the whites to cook before the yolks. you can get the whites to set first using the “hot and fast” method by using a fat with a high smoke point. drop the eggs in a sizzling hot, hot, hot pan and the whites set before the yolks know what hit ‘em.

recipe: how to cook perfect fried eggs ( hint, use ghee *and* butter ).

the cooks illustrated recipe recommends using a vegetable oil, but what has a higher smoke point than almost any vegetable oil and has a delicious buttery taste that you want with a fried egg? ghee ( aka clarified butter )! throw in a few tablespoons of butter into the pan right as you add the eggs to add a boost of extra butteryness. awesome eggs every time.

you can take this general philosophy to its logical conclusion and jump right on the crispy egg train.

ingredients
2T purity farms organic ghee
2T organic valley cultured butter
2 organic valley eggs ( or from the backyard if you’re that lucky )
salt and pepper

directions
– preheat ghee in skillet on low heat for 5 minutes
– crack 2 eggs in bowl and season with salt and pepper
– turn up heat to medium-high until sizzling hot ( and! i! mean! sizzling! )
– add butter and quickly swirl around pan ( this is a little tricy because you don’t want to burn the butter. act fast and don’t burn yourself ).
– pour eggs from bowl into skillet ( they should just about explode when they hit the oil )
– cover skillet and cook for 1 minute ( that’s right, just 1 minute )
– remove from heat and let stand covered – about 30 seconds will get you runny yolks, 60 seconds will get you soft set yolks and a few minutes will yield medium set yolks.

i typically let sit until the layer surrounding the yolk turns white which is a good indicator the whites are completely done and i avoid serving snotty eggs. at that point the yolks are right between runny and very soft-set.

The Girls started laying eggs!

The Girls started laying eggs!

kris went out the coop at the end of the day to check on The Girls and happened to look in the nesting box and discovered they’ve started laying eggs! whooohoooo! fresh eggs!

it seems like just yesterday we were attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls.

when i lifted open the lesting box, The Girls were all “oh hey! we didn’t know it did that!”

finally, fresh eggs from The (new) Girls!

finally, fresh eggs from The (new) Girls!

some time ago we gave away The Old Girls to a nice farm in the country. after two full years of laying they weren’t producing many eggs anymore and were old enough that they probably wouldn’t have tasted any good on the dinner table. as luck would have it, a local organic pumpkin patch was looking for friendly hens who were used to being handled by children to add to the friendly farm ambiance for their customers. a win-win for old girls!

we wanted to get some new girls that were close to laying age and got a tip that if we hung around the poultry barn at the end of the county fair we could probably pick up some 4H hens after the poultry competitions were over from kids who didn’t want to take their chickens home. so we did! and we did! we got the blue ribbon winning blue-laced wyandotte and an americauna that took second place. later, we bought two year-old black marans to round out the flock.

i haven’t taken many pictures because right after we got them they went into moult, lost a bunch of feather, stopped laying ( this is a perfectly normal seasonal process ) and looked rather pathetic.

but now after about 2 months, they’ve got their feather back and have started laying again! so we’re very, very happy to once again have a supply of super fresh, super tasty and super colorful eggs ( the americauna lays blue eggs, the black marans lay the chocolate brown eggs and the wyandotte lays regular browns ).

recipe: red bell pepper ringed sunny side up eggs!

recipe: red bell pepper ringed sunny side up eggs!

here’s an easy but satisfying twist on regular ol’ eggs. slice a cross section of red bell pepper so you get a nice circle-ish shape. take care to cut it so it will sit flat on a pan. heat both sides of the pepper in a frying pan for a minute or two, so that the pepper starts to soften but not too much. then, crack open an egg and put it right in the middle of the pepper.

carefully splash a bit of water in the hot pan and cover for 3-4 minutes. the steam from the water will cook the egg whites but leave a proper sunny side up soft yolk.

acceptable modifications include adding crushed red pepper flakes and pepper jack cheese.

recipe: bacon wrapped eggs with cheese.

recipe: bacon wrapped eggs with cheese. I.

as soon as i saw this video for bacon wrapped eggs i knew i had to try it. i mean, how possibly could you go wrong with bacon, eggs and cheese? and it’s really simple, as it doesn’t really take much longer to make than regular ol’ bacon and eggs.

first, you brown some bacon ( pssst! organic prairie uncured bacon. ) – but don’t get it crispy! then you place a full strip around the wall of the cup of a muffin tin and a few more bits in the bottom. crack and egg in the cup, sprinkle with a titch of salt and pepper and add your favorite cheese ( today we used organic valley raw sharp cheddar ) on top.

of course, if you wanted to fancy it up you could add some sauteed garlic or chives or whatever strikes your whimsy.

then, place in it a preheated 400°F oven for about 10-15 minutes. how long depends on how thoroughly cooked you want the yolk. i like runnier yolks so i put it in for 10 minutes.

recipe: bacon wrapped eggs with cheese. II.

after a bit, they should come out like so. it might be hard to tell, but two of them don’t have cheese added because, weirdly, odin said he didn’t want any. i swear, sometimes, i wonder if he’s my kid at all.

recipe: bacon wrapped eggs with cheese. III.

part of a complete breakfast! or at least a breakfast complete with spelt bread in an attempt to sort-of abide by my gluten free lifestyle ( spelt gives me less “trouble” than wheat ).

recipe: bacon wrapped eggs with cheese. IV.

bacon wrapped eggs with cheese makes a plate smile :-)

recipe: egg nests.

recipe: egg nests. I.

since The Girls are always producing eggs and odin loves to help in the kitchen, we’re always looking for fun and simple egg recipes that he can help make. recently, i ran across this recipe for egg nests and thought i’d give it a try.

first, of course, you want some fresh eggs. we have those aplenty.

oh, and preheat the oven to 450°F.

recipe: egg nests. II.

grate some cheese, about a 1/4 cup for every 2 eggs. the recipe calls for gruyere, which i used, but there’s no reason you couldn’t substitute something else to your liking.

recipe: egg nests. III.

separate the egg yolks from the whites. put the whites in a mixing bowl and the yolks in individual bowls to help you later on when you have to place them carefully in their nest.

recipe: egg nests. IV.

whip the egg white with a quarter teaspoon of salt until stiff. i might have overwhipped these whites, but whatever.

recipe: egg nests. V.

gently fold the cheese into the egg whites, being careful to not collapse the whipped goodness.

recipe: egg nests. VI.

create little mounds of the egg white mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. you want the mounds shaped like nests so they can hold the yolk, so be sure to make indentations in the center.

recipe: egg nests. VII.

put the egg white nests in the oven for about 3 minutes and then pull out the tray and carefully add an egg yolk to the center of each nest.

recipe: egg nests. VIII.

put the baking sheet back in the oven for about 3 more minutes and prepare yourself for eggy cheesy goodness! they are quite tasty but obviously only for going to be enjoyed by those who like “runny” yolks.

truth be told, i probably over browned these whites just a titch. be warned, they brown fast! but i don’t think it affected the flavor.

grow yer own grass for easter!

grow yer own grass for easter!

it makes me smile to see an easter egg odin made with grandmother sitting in a basket odin made at school filled with real easter grass that grows and grows and grows. i like that odin makes the basket every year as a vibrant and tangible reminder that spring and its promise of renewal is, literally, right around the corner.

and it’s much more pleasant smelling and soothing to the senses than that nasty plastic grass :-)

this year the school used rye, i believe, which grew an astonishing inch per day and goes from seed to needing a trim in about a week.

next year we’ll need hopefully dye some eggs from The Girls.

HELP! one of The Girls has A Taste For Eggs!



i checked for eggs for the last time late this afternoon and found one egg which appears to have been pecked by one of The Girls! it doesn’t seem like she pecked all the way through the tough membrane, so it’s possible she didn’t get A Taste of The Good Stuff inside which we’ve heard can be Very Bad. once they get a taste of an egg they quickly learn that it’s much yummier than their regular food and will quickly eat all the profits, so to speak.

but why now? i don’t think we have any of the typical causes of egg eating – weak eggshells, improperly built nesting boxes, overcrowding, too much light in the nexting boses, insufficient nest litter etc. kris fessed up and said that a few weeks ago she inadvertantly dropped an egg and didn’t realize it until she saw some of The Girls Pecking away at it. perhaps that’s the cause? though it rather strange that it took them a few weeks to get around to investigating whether the eggs in the nesting box are as good as the one they found on the ground.

any eggperienced folks have suggestions for how to prevent further egg eating? everything i’ve read indicates that it’d difficult to break the habit and it’s best to cull the offenders sooner rather than later. thoughts?

reaping the benefits of an insulated nesting box.



the sub-zero temperatures over the past week have provided a good test about whether or not it was worth the effort to insulate the nesting box in an attempt to prevent frozen eggs.

The Conventional Wisdom folks said the insulation wouldn’t make a difference and unless we were able to collect the eggs throughout the day ( not a possibility ), we’d probably end up with a 25% of the eggs frozen by the time we got to them.

we haven’t had a single frozen egg so far this winter.